Sean Mooney writes about how despite added exemptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA Section 1201 in 2015, plenty of farmers are having a tough time getting the tools necessary to repair their equipment from companies like John Deere. It demonstrates that despite the promise of nationwide right-to-repair, there are many fixes necessary to fully secure end-user ownership.
The intellectual property law blog Written Description had an excellent post discussing the pitfalls of both the patent hawk and patent dove arguments as it relates to COVID-19 medicine and vaccine supply. Liberalizing patent laws wouldn’t be a death-knell, but it also isn’t a cure-all and affirmative steps are necessary make possible the technology transfer necessary to expand vaccine supply.
Despite these warranted criticisms, however, the calls for the WTO to vote for TRIPs waivers to member states ordinarily required to enforce intellectual property rights are growing. The most recent of these comes from Georgetown professors Matthew Kavanagh and Madhavi Sunder in The Washington Post, making explicit that the needs and demands of the most vulnerable developing countries should come first.
News and Commentary
In PatentlyO, Dennis Crouch examines the growth in the average number of inventors listed per patent, finding that in the U.S. we have officially exceeded an average of three inventors per patent.
Charles Duan of R Street has been published in The New Atlantis, writing about the financing of drug development, policy tools which (are supposed to) attach strings to those patenting with government support, and how to best promote innovation while balancing affordability.
Matt Yglesias has written about the Dr. Seuss “cancellation” controversy as a problem related to copyright terms, making interesting arguments as it relates to the input costs of producing new creative works.
Matthew Gault of Vice writes about the exciting range of bills introduced in 25 states across the U.S. which would expand right-to-repair.
In TechDirt, Mike Masnick writes about a Section 512(f)–related to misrepresentation in DMCA claims–case where the publisher of Paper Magazine, Enttech Media Group, has sued copyright troll Jon Nicolini and his firm Okularity. While a RICO claim brought by Enttech was dismissed, the 512(f) claim will proceed.
A new paper from NBER discusses the Medicines Patent Pool, a program which pools patents related to hepatitis C and HIV. The paper finds an increase in licensing with a smaller impact on entry sales and sales, demonstrating the potential for patent pools as a means of technology transfer in the prescription drug market.
Another paper examines risk-taking in science, finding that the current structure of research in science discourages risky research, and proposing strategies for hedging and encouraging risk-taking.