This Week in Intellectual Property, September 15th

This Week in Intellectual Property, September 15th

News and Commentary

The Ninth Circuit has ruled that the elements of the biography of Tommy DeVito, one of the members of the band The Four Seasons, which were allegedly copied in the musical Jersey Boys didn’t infringe on copyright as the elements themselves were not eligible for copyright protection as “historical facts, common phrases, and scenes-a- faire, or elements that were treated as facts in the autobiography and were thus unprotected by copyright.”

Notorious copyright troll Richard Liebowitz remains in hot water over his professional conduct, this time for defying a judges order to clarify what he has learned from his mandatory continuing legal education courses and how he will improve his conduct.

As the craft beer industry has become corporatized and mainstreamed, inevitably intellectual property will become a more important feature of the business model for breweries. But praising this development, or even recognizing it without identifying the collaborative nature of the industry in its early days, sweeps an important bit of history under the rug and perpetuates the narrative of intellectual property as an unalloyed good.

Niki Minaj faces a copyright infringement suit after the song “Sorry” she recorded in 2018 using elements from Tracy Chapman’s song “Baby Can I Hold You.” Minaj requested permission to use the elements, and Chapman said no. However, the song was still recorded and allegedly leaked despite being left off of her 2018 album. Chapman is suing Minaj for making the song in the first place, even though it was never formally released.


New Research

A new paper examining the “readability” of patents finds that patents filed by universities are more readable than those filed by corporations. They confirm the presumption that corporate patent filers have a stronger incentive to make their patents less “readable” than academics, and encourage further exploration of empirical analysis of patent disclosure using their tools.

A paper from Michael Carrier demonstrates the errors made in the dismissal of an antitrust case against Abbvie over patent thicketing related to the drug Humira, even if the question of patent thicketing as it relates to antitrust is a complicated one.

Thomas Cotter has an analysis of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in the FTC v. Qualcomm decision, finding that the court erred in its analysis of antitrust law and how Qualcomm’s behavior negatively affects the complementary nature of the chip market.

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By |2020-09-15T14:31:04-07:00September 15th, 2020|Blog, Intellectual Property|