Other Barks & Bites for Friday, May 24: ChatGPT Pulls AI Voice That Sounded Like Scarlett Johansson; Report Finds Copyright Industry Resilient After COVID-19 Economic Dip; Google Fails to Revive Patent in Front of CAFC

Bite (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.

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Jason Harrier’s 14-yr old Samoyed, Blitzen.

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) celebrates patent practitioners who have offered significant pro bono work; ChatGPT pulls AI voice after actor Scarlett Johansson expresses “shock” at similarity to her voice; the Copyright Office releases a report that finds copyright-related industries were resilient after the economic impact of COVID-19.


USCO Report Finds Copyright Industry Resilient After COVID-19 Economic Impact

On Thursday, May 23, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) released on the impact of COVID-19 on copyright-related industries. The report titled The Resilience of Creativity: An Examination of the COVID-19 Impact on Copyright-Reliant Industries and Their Subsequent Recovery found that 18 copyright-related industries experienced a significant downturn, but that it was less impacted and recovered quicker than the U.S. economy as a whole. “One encouraging, although perhaps not surprising, theme that comes from this work is just how resilient many of the of the copyright-reliant industries really are,” said USCO Chief Economist Brent Lutes.

USPTO Celebrates Patent Practitioners Offering Pro Bono Work

On Wednesday, May 22, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded individuals and law firms that have spent significant time offering helping financially under-resourced inventors protect their intellectual property. The USPTO handed out the Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate as part of its Patent Pro Bono program. “USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono program has benefited thousands of underrepresented and under-resourced inventors since its launch in 2015 by providing free assistance to obtain intellectual property protection that fuels small businesses and our economy,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

Scarlett Johansson “Shocked” by ChatGPT Voice’s Similarity to Her Own

On Monday, May 20, actor Scarlett Johansson released a statement in the New York Times responding to the released of the new voice of ChatGPT 4.0, which many have noticed sounds eerily similar to the actor’s performance in the movie Her. According to the statement, Johansson was contacted twice by CEO Sam Altman asking her to voice the new AI model, but she declined both times. Upon release of the demo for ChatGPT 4.0, Johansson said she was “shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.” OpenAI pulled the voice from the demo model on Sunday and said, “AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice.”

Biopharma Company Must Face Lawsuit from Henrietta Lacks’s Estate

On Monday, May 20, a Maryland district court judge ruled that biopharmaceutical company Ultragenyx must face a lawsuit from the estate of Henrietta Lacks that accuses the company of unjust enrichment. Johns Hopkins cut cancer cells from Lacks in 1951, and these cells continue to be important cells in modern-day cancer research. The Lacks estate accused Ultragenyx of being unjustly enriched by the acquisition, sale, and sale of Lacks’s cells. In the lawsuit, the estate seeks a permanent injunction against the company as well as “a constructive trust in favor of the Estate on all HeLa cells in Ultragenyx’s possession, related intellectual property, and proceeds related to its use of the cells.”


Supreme Court Rules Courts Must Decide When Parties Agree to Multiple Contracts

On Thursday, May 23, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against cryptocurrency platform Coinbase in its ruling that when parties have agreed to two contracts, the court system, not an arbiter, will decide which contract governs the relationship between the parties. The case began as a class action lawsuit filed against Coinbase in California after the platform’s users realized a discrepancy between Coinbase’s User Agreement and a contract for a Dogecoin sweepstakes. The Court delivered the unanimous opinion that a court, rather than Coinbase’s preference for an arbiter, would decide whether a new contract would supersede an older arbitration agreement when it includes a delegation clause.

CAFC Affirms Invalidation of Google Patent in Dispute with Sonos

On Thursday, May 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision that invalidated claims in a Google patent. The ruling is part of Google’s larger patent dispute with the speaker brand Sonos. In this case before the CAFC, Google was trying to revive the patent claims to bolster its case with Sonos, which has accused the tech giant of infringing on three of its patents.

DOJ and Stanford University Set to Host AI Workshop

On Tuesday, May 21, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will host a workshop on May 30 with Stanford University to promote competition in the burgeoning artificial intelligence industry. “We look forward to hearing about how competition is developing, bottlenecks and other challenges established firms and new entrants are facing and how AI is affecting the authors, musicians, artists and other content creators that drive creativity and innovation in our economy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

USPTO Seeks Nominations for TPAC and PPAC

On Monday, May 20, the USPTO announced that it is seeking nominations for three vacancies for the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and three vacancies for the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). The terms will begin on December 1, 2024 and committee members can participate in proceedings online. Nominations must be submitted by July 5, 2024. “The diverse viewpoints on PPAC and TPAC are essential to strong decision-making and pressure testing ideas,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

This Week on Wall Street

Nvidia Announces Record Revenue in First Quarter

On Wednesday, May 22, Nvidia announced first quarter financial results with a record quarterly revenue of $260 million, a 262% increase from last year. The next day Nvidia popped 9.3% , increasing the chipmaker’s market cap to more than $2.5 trillion. The company has been bolstered by the demand for advanced chips for AI technology and it has also begun making its own AI ventures. “AI will bring significant productivity gains to nearly every industry and help companies be more cost- and energy-efficient, while expanding revenue opportunities,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA.

Senate Report Finds BMW, Jaguar, and VW Imported Parts from Banned Chinese Manufacturers

On Monday, May 20, the Senate Finance Committee released a report that found BMW, Jaguar, and VW had all imported or manufactured cars and parts from Chinese manufacturers that have been banned in the United States because they use forced labor. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (OR-D) said, “I’m calling on Customs and Border Protection to take a number of specific steps to supercharge enforcement and crack down on companies that fuel the shameful use of forced labor in China.”

Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2023 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2023 rank in parentheses):

  • Monday: None
  • Tuesday: None
  • Wednesday: HP (55), Salesforce (63)
  • Thursday: Dell (16), Marvell Technology (165)
  • Friday: None


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  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    May 24, 2024 07:29 pm

    “CAFC Affirms Invalidation of Google Patent in Dispute with Sonos”

    NOW how do you feel about the PTAB Death Squad, Google?

    What’s good for the goose . . .

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