This Week in Intellectual Property, November 18th

This Week in Intellectual Property, November 18th

News and Commentary

With the announce of the Pfizer vaccine, much hay has been made over claims by the firm and supporters that they did so without R&D support from Operation Warp Speed. However, this research by Public Citizen demonstrates how Pfizer (and other pharmaceutical firms) have relied on government-supported research in the development of their treatments.

Meredith Rose of Public Knowledge provides a detailed rundown of the ongoing DMCA saga surrounding the streaming service Twitch. Following a flurry of DMCA takedown requests, Twitch not only took down the content but also permanently deleted it, a clear violation of the protections afforded to users under 512(g) of the DMCA.

In the latest series of run-ins between the Trump campaign and copyright law, Trump’s lawyers are claiming that the President’s use of “Electric Avenue” was fair use on the grounds that it was “transformative.” It wasn’t, and this is not even close to how fair use works.

Game restoration company Nightdive Studios is in the business of buying the rights to older video games and updates them for modern hardware so they can be played again. However, in their attempt to get the rights to “No One Lives Forever,” Nightdive has run into issues determining who owns the rights to the work, making it impossible to re-release the game.

In two recent incidents of DMCA abuse as a way to silence criticism, Netflix has used the DMCA to remove tweets critical of the controversial film Cuties, while the anti-cheating software Proctorio used it to remove tweets which sampled its code and criticized the functioning of the software.

EFF’s Joe Mullin puts out an appeal to the USPTO against a proposed rule which would put into place rules that would impede the use of the inter partes review process by allowing the denial of IPRs any time there is a court case involving the patent challenger. These rules go directly against the purpose of the IPR process and the PTAB, which was to provide a low-cost alternative to the traditional process of patent review.


New Research

A new paper from the Centre for Economic Policy Research examines the practice of “patent screening,” the weeding out of bad patents. The authors find that around 40% of all patents are “inventions that do not require the patent incentive” and that while the current patent system is a net positive, greater screening and more intensive examinations would increase the welfare gains from the current patent system.

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By |2020-11-18T14:39:47-08:00November 18th, 2020|Blog, Intellectual Property|