Items tagged "Patent"

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Thanks to 3D Printing and Open Source Hardware, Patent May be on the Cusp of a Copyright Moment

May 30, 2013 3D Printing , Patent

A new wave of creators care about innovating. They care about building things. And they mostly see patents as getting in the way.


If you are a practicing patent attorney, it might be a good idea to call up that one copyright attorney you know and invite them out for some coffee.  Because it’s starting to look like patents are about to have a copyright-like moment where they get pulled from an esoteric corner of law and thrust into popular culture.

And this isn’t a post about software patents, or about the portable patent thicket that is a modern mobile phone.  No, this is a post about what happens when an entire chunk of society runs into an area of law and gets really, really annoyed with what they find.

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Public Knowledge Urges Patent Office to Lower New Proposed Patent Review Fees

November 15, 2012 Patent , USPTO

Guest post by Minku Kang and Omar Noureldin of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic at the USC Gould School of Law.

Last week, Public Knowledge filed comments with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) asking it to rethink the fees it has proposed for several patent review procedures. The comments are part of a series of rulemakings that the USPTO is conducting as it implements the America Invents Act (“AIA”), the landmark 2011 patent reform legislation. The comments were drafted and filed on PK’s behalf by the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic.

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Verizon, Comcast, and the Patent Wars

July 27, 2012 Patent , VerizonSpectrumCo

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) continue their review of the proposed deals between Verizon, Comcast, and several other large cable companies, attention is turning to the companies’ side agreements tied to the proposed spectrum transfer. From the very beginning of this proceeding Public Knowledge has focused on the ways that the side agreements threaten the public interest, in addition to potentially spelling the end of competition between wireline and wireless internet service providers.

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Verizon and Cable Cos Keep Playing Games

April 12, 2012 Broadband , Comcast , Competition , FCC , Patent

Verizon and the cable companies have always been reluctant to answer the tough questions about their proposed deals to team up rather than compete on voice, video, and data services, but now they’re even going so far as to try to stop potential opponents of the deals from participating in the FCC’s review at all. The FCC shouldn’t indulge this kind of gamesmanship and should give all interested parties a meaningful opportunity to make thoughtful, well-informed arguments about these deals.

Yesterday Verizon and the cable companies filed an objection to try to stop Netflix’s outside counsel from reading the companies’ license transfer, agency, resale, and Joint Operating Entity agreements.

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Supreme Court Poised To Move In The Right Direction On IP

December 3, 2010 Patent , Trademark

While Net Neutrality has grabbed the headlines this week, that doesn’t mean things have been quiet on the intellectual property front. The scales of justice have often tilted too far in imposing excessive restrictions through IP, but it appears the Supreme Court may be looking to restore some balance. This Monday the Supreme Court decided which cases it will be dealing with this year, and consumers and innovators should be encouraged by the results.

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UPDATE: Take ACTION! Tell the Federal Government What You Think of Copyright Enforcement

March 23, 2010 ACTA , Fair Use , Patent , Piracy , Trademark

UPDATE: The deadline for comments passed at 5 p.m. today.

As John noted not too long ago, the new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator has asked for your opinions on how the various government agencies involved with IP enforcement should go about doing their jobs—what harms of infringement should be addressed, and what changes in policies, regulations, and even the law, need to be made so that we can have a workable and effective national enforcement policy.

We want to make sure that enforcement efforts aren't so broad and indiscriminate that they target fair uses of copyrighted works, or use draconian tactics that will cut off Internet access for those merely accused of infringement. We also want to make sure that changes to enforcement policy and IP law are made in open forums, not in secretive agreements like the proposed Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

If you'd like to send your thoughts to the nation's first "IP enforcement czar," have a look at the request for comments and send in an email. Or, if you like, you can use our action alert form here.

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PK’s Rashmi Rangnath Testifying at Special 301 Hearing Today

March 3, 2010 Patent , Special 301 , Trademark , USTR

Today, Public Knowledge's Director of The Global Knowledge Initiative and Staff Attorney, Rashmi Rangnath is testifying before the US Trade Representative on the "Special 301" process. You can read her testimony here (PDF). There is not a webcast or official live coverage, per USTR rules that "prohibit the use of electronic media in its hearing room." So, despite this ban, we are relying on reports from the hearing room via twitter (using the #ustr hashtag), and hope to bring you more coverage as well.

If you're not familiar with the Special 301 process, the latest 5 Minutes with Harold Feld does a great job explaining what's going on. So does Rashmi's prior blog post — that encouraged so many of you to write comments to the USTR.

Lastly, we have a link to today's hearing schedule, that tells us who is testifying and who the Special 301 committee members are (PDF) … also pasted below:

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Watching the Watchlists

May 1, 2009 ACTA , Fair Use , Patent , Piracy , Transparency

On Thursday, the US Trade Representative issued this year's Special 301 Report, which is meant to highlight countries that are seen as not doing enough to protect copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Countries are placed on a "Watch List" or a "Priority Watch List." Countries on the Priority Watch List face the possibility of trade sanctions.

Placement on the lists is based upon comments and consultations from interested parties—and the parties who keep showing the most interest in this process are the industry groups that profit from IP. The list has been used as a means for the content industries to add the weight of the US government to their gripes about the state of other countries' IP laws.

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‘Tis the Season Part III: USPTO Transition

December 18, 2008 Broadcast Flag , DRM , Fair Use , Orphan Works , Patent

Today PK, along with the Center for Democracy and Technology, Knowledge Ecology International, the Public Patent Foundation and representatives of the library community met with some of the members of transition team for the US Patent and Trademark Office. PK Advisory Board member and Duke University Professor Arti Rai, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Executive Vice President for Global Legal Policy Shira Perlmutter and National Inventors Hall of Fame IP Counsel Joyce Ward were the team members who met with us.

Most of the discussion focused on the USPTO's role in International Copyright policymaking.

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Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough IP Enforcement

July 15, 2008 Fair Use , Patent , Piracy , Trademark

The first Senate hearing I attended struck me as a “dog and pony show” since the witnesses were presented for display purposes, merely echoing the pre-determined opinions of the presiding Senators. I’m beginning to see the animals in a less benign light.

Today, Senator Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, held a hearing on “International Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and American Competitiveness,” with Ranking Member, Senator Grassley (R-IA), in the wings and with Senators Kyl (R-AZ) and Roberts (R-KS) making cameo appearances towards the end. As for the witnesses, the deck was stacked, as appears to be more the norm than the exception.

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