Despite his best efforts, Tom Lehrer’s dedication of all of his lyrics to the public doesn’t mean that they’re in the public domain due to features of U.S. copyright law that makes formal forfeiture impossible.
Theaters are hurting for obvious reasons right now, but if we had more reasonable copyright terms we could help them by giving them the ability to show a wide range of classic movies at the low, low price of $0 in licensing.
News and Commentary
Gerald Barnett discusses the oft-touted 35 USC Section 204–part of the Bayh-Dole Act–and its alleged preferences for U.S. manufacturing. Though a good concept in theory, the particulars of Section 204 and its implementation include no such preference, but there is room for improvement to achieve this aim.
In some good news, Public Resource has prevailed against an infringement claim brought against it when it published the Code of Federal Regulations and the standards included.
The TRIPS council of the World Trade Organization held a debate on a motion to waive certain TRIPS provisions related to protection of intellectual property rights so developing countries can better access medications and treatments needed in the prevention of COVID-19. Predictably, lower-income developing countries were in favor of the waiver while higher-income countries were opposed.
Engine has a primer on recent troubling developments at the USPTO related to patent quality. The most concerning of these is reorganization at the USPTO which eliminates positions related to examining and ensuring patent quality.
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines the extent of green patenting among different firms and asks whether the current system is sufficient or a rewards-based incentives would produce more efficient incomes in the development of green energy.