We don’t have much to go on in figuring out how a Justice Amy Coney Barrett would rule when it comes to intellectual property, but an exchange with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) offers some clues as to Judge Barrett’s positions on–and lack of familiarity with–the issue.
San Francisco has proposed a “UBI for Artists” program, providing eligible recipients with $1,000 a month. Most of the focus is on the implications for welfare policy, but it may be worth asking if this could be the start of an alternative to copyright.
New research on the costs of academic journals to libraries–both public and private–show cost increases that have gone far beyond the pace of inflation with no conceivable justification for such price growth.
News and Commentary
Knowledge Ecology International hosted a panel on government support for drugs used in COVID-19 treatment and how private and public actors have failed to disclose their support. You can watch the videos here.
The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in U.S. v. Arthrex. The case centers on the constitutionality of judges appointed to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), and whether or not they are inferior officers (who can be appointed without advice and consent of the Senate) or superior officers (and must go through the usual confirmation process).
The Chinese Government has finished a new draft of its patent laws, expected to go into effect early next year. Among the changes to the laws is an open license system to streamline the patent licensing process with reduced or eliminated annuity fees as an incentive to participate.
The flag of the Aboriginal people in Australia is being blocked off from free use to the people whom it represents. The flag is under copyright protection, and while the creator, and Aboriginal man named Harold Thomas, allowed free reproduction since its creation in the 1970s, he sold the rights to WAM Clothing in 2018.
Google and Microsoft have prevailed in the PTAB by invaliding the claims of patents held by IPA Technologies, Inc. on the grounds that they were obvious.
The Copyright Office has implemented a new process for the group registration of multiple short online literary works (such as tweets). Regardless of whether or not tweets, blog posts, and other works which would be included in this program should be eligible for protection in the first place, the program is an improvement over the previous process, where each individual work would have to be registered.
A few weeks ago, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu claimed that there was no evidence of patents holding back the development or implementation of COVID-19 treatments. This claim is patently false, as Mike Masnick of Techdirt shows.