On May 18, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court answered an exceedingly narrow question of copyright law with potentially sweeping impact: did the purpose and character of Andy Warhol’s below ‘Orange Prince’ work—as used on a 2016 Condé Nast magazine cover—support fair use of Lynn Goldsmith’s photograph of famed musician Prince Rogers Nelson a/k/a Prince? In a 7-2 decision, the Court found that it does not, calling into question nearly 30 years of fair use jurisprudence, arguably narrowing the scope of that doctrine, and potentially threatening disciplines that rely on it, e.g., appropriation art. The decision is also sure to impact generative artificial intelligence (“AI”), an emerging technology that is also likely to rely heavily on fair use.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued two precedential decisions that provide additional guidance for those participating in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. These decisions are Medtronic, Inc. v. Teleflex Innovations S.a.r.l., cases 21-2357 and 21-2359. In total, they address six IPR proceedings challenging five patents related to various advances in guide catheter technology. The decisions raise a number of issues that suggest some tips for practice going forward.
In 2015, China launched its 2025 Initiative listing all the technologies and industries it wants to control by 2025. So far, they have been successful in leading 37 of 44 technologies critical to economic growth and national security. The nation that dominates these technologies will determine the fate of all nations. In the past, the United States led the world in technology, but today it is China. How did this happen? This damage was caused by a series of big hits by the courts, congress and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The first big hit was eBay vs. MercExchange (eBay) in 2006. In order to obtain an injunction, a patent holder must prove that they not only have a patented product on the market, but also the ability to distribute that product. eBay let loose massive predatory infringement, killing off startups, the biggest competitive threat to Big Tech and many other industries.
Patents have many audiences, and folks from our industry tend to focus most on the patent office and the courts. But for inventors, they often care more, initially anyway, about investors. And investors are going to look at patents in very different ways than an examiner or a judge would. That’s the perspective we’re hoping to offer in this episode of Patently Strategic. What do investors want to see in patents? What do patents tell a potential investor about a founder? And what do investors wish inventors knew before coming to them?
In this episode of The SEP Couch podcast, Tim Pohlmann, CEO and Founder of IPlytics, interviews Mang Zhu, who is Chief IP Strategy Officer and Head of Patent Asset Management for ZTE Corporation. Mang began her career at Motorola in 1994, and by 2003, after joining the IP team, she established a process that ensured the tracking of standardization activities during the patent prosecution process. Mang’s methodology was optimized at Motorola during the LTE development period and supported all of Motorola’s standards essential patent (SEP) licensing activities thereafter.
In my previous article, I made a modest proposal for improving one aspect of patent examination by requiring applicants to identify support in the specification for new and amended claims. That suggestion was premised on my firm conviction – based on 34 years at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in roles ranging from examiner to Commissioner for Patents – that we must improve the quality of examination if we want the United States to remain on a par with patent offices in other leading jurisdictions such as Europe, Japan and China. I believe that the best, and perhaps only, way to do this is to move toward viewing examination less as an adversarial process and as more of a shared responsibility in which applicants work in partnership with examiners to improve examination. Continuing with that theme, I would suggest that the current fee-adjustment process presents another opportunity for applicants and the Office to work together to improve examination and strengthen our nation’s patent system.
What is at the intersection of name, image likeness rights (NILs), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), artificial intelligence (AI) creations, big data, blockchain and the metaverse? Intellectual property, of course, because IP is connected to everything. New technologies necessitate updating intellectual property laws and regulations to address these advancements. Digital computing is advancing at warp speed, including AI, big data, transformative multi-media platforms and social media platforms. Governing laws and regulations are often obsolete, among them data privacy, but at the center of the intersection are intellectual property rights—copyrights, patents, trade secrets, rights of publicity, data rights, and trademarks.
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is now a reality. The Court opens its doors tomorrow, June 1, 2023. In the past four articles, we have aimed to dispel myths about some of the key aspects of the UPC. Part 1 focused on the designated UPC judges, Part 2 on the timelines, Part 3 on the remedies that are available at the UPC and finally Part 4 on the financial aspects of the UPC. These articles illustrated that the UPC will become a success story, since there are simply no good reasons not to engage with the Court. This final installment to the series will provide five predictions about how the UPC will operate. We’ll review in 12 months where our peek into the crystal ball got it right, and where it missed the mark.
In Episode 10, Season 2 of his podcast “Understanding IP Matters,” Bruce Berman asks questions about what generative AI means for business, creators, and society. Is the content produced by new tools like Microsoft-owned ChatGPT ownable? Is it ownable via copyright? If it is, who owns it? The human who entered the prompt, or the company that owns the tool? What about the rights of copyright owners whose works were used to train these new tools — sometimes without their consent and often without compensation? To explore how artists and inventors can continue use intellectual property to get paid for their original ideas in an AI-world, Berman hosts Keith Kupferschmid and Lana Love.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a crucial tool for organizations in various sectors, particularly in the generation of content and code by generative AI systems such as ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot, AlphaCode, Bard and DALL-E, among other tools. As the promise of incorporating these generative tools in the corporate setting is all but assured in the near term, there are a number of risks that need to be minimized as companies more forward. In particular, as AI applications grow increasingly sophisticated, they raise concerns with several forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. This article aims to discuss these issues and provide a sample company policy for using AI-generated content such as software code.
“It became obvious to me that IP was a lot more than laws and court decisions and regulations,” says Joff Wild of IAM on the latest episode of Clause 8. “IP was becoming a fundamental business asset, one that people could use to generate profits, build partnerships, go out into the markets, and raise cash. But no one was writing about that there was no coverage of that. So that said, to me, there was an opportunity to create something new.” Wild joins Eli from “across the pond” on this episode of the Clause 8 podcast to talk about founding, editing, and growing IAM.
The European Commission (EC) is at it again, threatening to regulate standard essential patent (SEP) licensing relationships, despite a lack of evidence that such regulation is appropriate. The economically harmful nature of this regulatory framework (and its prior draft) has been highlighted by many expert commentators, including contributors to IPWatchdog (see here, here, and here) and Truth on the Market (see here and here). Fortunately, the EC’s proposed regulatory framework is still open for public comments. Mindful of that opportunity, on May 23, Mercatus Center scholars Christine McDaniel, Satya Marar, and I filed a public interest submission with the European Commission, focusing on three sets of problems posed by the framework. I summarize our submission below.
On April 3, 2023, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) issued much needed guidance on how digital goods and services – namely non-fungible tokens (NFTs), virtual goods, and services provided in the metaverse – should be classified for trademark purposes. NFTs The UKIPO defines an NFT as “a unique unit of data (the only one existing of its type) that…
The Dimopoulos Law Firm, a personal injury firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada, has filed a lawsuit against the NFL alleging that the league threatened to sue the firm for trademark infringement. The dispute arose after the firm hired three professional athletes, including Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders, to appear in an advertisement that used the firm’s black and silver color scheme. According to the law firm, the advertisement did not feature any logos or trademarks of the NFL, the Raiders, or any other sports teams. Despite this, the NFL sent a cease-and-desist letter to Dimopoulos accusing the firm of unauthorized use of the Raiders’ marks.
If you’ve ever attended a major intellectual property (IP) conference and found yourself captivated by an exceptional performance during a review of recent patent court decisions, chances are you witnessed the unmatched expertise and passion of Tom Irving. After over 47 years of focusing on pharmaceutical patents, Tom has the unique vantage point of someone who saw the field explode after the passage of the Hatch-Waxman Act and the creation of the Federal Circuit. Widely regarded as a legend of the patent bar and a virtuoso of Federal Circuit decisions, Tom Irving has made an indelible mark on the legal profession.