New NBER paper finds positive spillovers from greater access to patented inventions. New research from NBER exploits the staggered expansion of USPTO’s Patent and Trademark Depository Library system from 1975-1997. In the pre-internet era, a library dramatically reduced the costs to examining information from recent patents, and the study finds that patenting increased by 17% after the opening of a new patent library. The study also found an increase in job creation and local business formation following the opening of a library.
Research shows evidence of regulatory capture via the revolving door at USPTO. By examining the patent granting habits of patent examiners, a new paper finds that patent examiners grant more patents to firms that hire them later in their careers, particularly in years when the firms are actually hiring. This practice leads to the issuance of more lower-quality patents, and is evidence of a revolving door dynamic between the USPTO and industry.
YouTube liable for copyright infringement in Austria. A recent ruling in the Vienna Commercial Court found that YouTube is directly liable for any content that infringes copyright. Previously it was considered a neutral platform, but the court found that activities related to categorizing videos according to users’ tastes made it no longer neutral.
Proposed E.U. Copyright Directive update would place burden on Wikipedia, other content hosters. Article 13 of the update to the E.U. Copyright Directive would require sites allowing users to upload content to screen this content to make sure none of it is copyright protected. The policy opens the possibility of abuse by those who claim copyright protection but face no sanction if the work is not protected.
FTC files amicus brief arguing Hatch Waxman suits could fall under sham litigation. When Zydus Pharmaceuticals filed for an Abbreviated New Drug Application to produce a generic version of an ulcer medication patented by Takeda Pharmaceutical, Takeda filed a suit alleging the generic violated four of its patents. Zydus countersued, arguing that the Takeda suit was sham litigation, an anticompetitive practice. The FTC is weighing in because Takeda is arguing that patent infringement lawsuits brought under Hatch Waxman are exempt from antitrust scrutiny.
Lawrence Lessig on the CLASSICS Act. In Wired, Lawrence Lessig writes how Congress shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of the Sonny Bono Act of 20 years ago with the pending CLASSICS Act.
A critic uses the DMCA to get pictures of his review blocked on Twitter. The block was later removed, but the author claimed that a Twitter user’s posting a selection from his review of an upcoming video game violated his content rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.