Last week were the oral arguments in Google v. Oracle. Here are my initial impressions from the day of the arguments.
As everything moves online, so too does library lending. In response to the rise in prominence of e-book lending by libraries, publishers are shifting their strategy to “metered” lending, increasing costs for e-book licenses, and other measures which squeeze the budgets of local libraries.
News and Commentary
An investigation conducted by The Nation examined Bill Gates’ financial ties to various pharmaceutical companies and research institutions working on the COVID-19 vaccine, focusing mainly on the Gates Foundation but also discussing his personal finances. The Gates Foundation has several high-level personnel from the pharmaceutical industry, and despite commitments to open access there is something of an “ideological commitment” to exclusive licensing.
Knowledge Ecology International’s Kathryn Ardizzone writes that Regeneron’s drug REGN-COV2, has been 80% funded by BARDA.
Tim Lee offers his initial impressions on the Google v Oracle case. He was disappointed in Google’s presentation, to put it lightly, arguing that while it’s standard practice in the software industry to reimplement APIs as if they weren’t eligible for copyright protection, but while the “distinction between a program and an API makes intuitive sense to computer programmers who regularly use APIs (and write programs) in their daily work…it’s far from obvious to Supreme Court justices, all of whom are lawyers over the age of 50.”
Another fight over the use of copyrighted tattoo designs for athletes in video games depicting their likeness continues, this time in a WWE video game. Previous litigation related to the game NBA2K found that the appearance of the tattoo was de minimus in the context of the game and wasn’t infringing, but in the Seventh Circuit–where the most recent case has been filed–the de minimus rule is not present and won’t be a factor in litigation.
JD Supra has a rundown of the most significant intellectual property cases of the past term, including PublicResource.org and Thryv.
A new paper examines the role of injunctions in patent litigation, arguing that the eBay decision rejected both categorial requirements for and against injunctions even for non-practicing entities, which should make this group less skittish when pursuing them.
Carl Shapiro and Mark Lemley write about the role of patent holdup and its implications for antitrust litigation, arguing that recent efforts by the DOJ’s break with the FTC on the issue increase the demand for antitrust as a remedy for the situation.