Happy Election Day!
News and Commentary
Last week, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu made a statement tweeted out from the USPTO’s official account reminding voters about how “under President Trump’s leadership, the U.S. intellectual property ecosystem ranks #1 in the world, according to the 2020 International IP Index.” It raised some eyebrows, but the more interesting angle to the story is that the index is put out by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
When Judge Albright declared the Western District of Texas to be “open for business” for patent litigation–ant attempt to rival the EDT as a venue for patent litigation (and trolls), he probably didn’t anticipate recent developments where the Federal Circuit has ruled against his decisions and criticized his discretion when making rulings.
Joe Mullin of EFF covers a new bill, the “Protecting America’s Interests Act,” which would require those seeking exclusion orders at the International Trade Commission to diminish the power of patent trolls seeking to block imports by forcing them to demonstrate they are, in fact, a domestic industry which employs workers, invests in R&D, or other activities related to actual domestic industry.
In copyright infringement, the facts are silly but the law is quite serious. A post from EFF’s Alex Moss and Corynne McSherry discusses fair use in the “Omegaverse” a genre of literature defined by–and I cannot make this up–wolf kink erotica (Google it, but be sure to use incognito mode). This includes commentary on it by YouTuber Lindsay Ellis, who has herself been the victim of copyright trolling lawsuits for her criticism of the practices involved in abuse of the DMCA to stifle competition in the field.
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines the classic question in intellectual property in relation to exclusive ownership of ideas and the benefits of positive spillovers. With their model, the authors find that while slower diffusion (through preventing imitators from re-selling innovations) encourages innovation, but the overall capacity of a hypothetical industry grows more slowly.