Posts in Technology & Innovation

ITIF Report: The U.S. Underestimates China as an ‘Imitator’ Rather Than an Innovator at Its Own Peril

On January 23, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) published a report entitled Wake Up, America: China is Overtaking the United States in Innovation Output, which applies innovation and industrial performance metrics for comparing relative innovation outputs from foreign technological rivals China and the United States. The report, produced by ITIF’s Hamilton Center on Industrial Strategy, is the latest indicator that China is close to surpassing the United States in terms of innovation output per capita and calls upon U.S. policymakers to develop a national economic and technology policy to restore U.S. dominance in innovation.

New York Court Finds Playlist Patent Ineligible as Abstract

On January 24, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held EscapeX IP LLC’s U.S. Patent No. 9,009,113 patent ineligible as being directed to an abstract idea. The patent covers a process for allowing users to upload “dynamic albums” to be stored on their devices. The district court granted Block, Inc.’s (better known as music streaming platform Tidal) motion to dismiss the patent infringement suit pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. According to the district court opinion, the patent’s specification states that “the patent seeks to remedy certain problems that currently exist with music streaming, including artists’ inability to effectively monetize their music, their lack of control over content once users have downloaded it, and the disconnect between streaming services and artists’ social media pages.”

DOJ and Attorneys General Say Google’s Tactics Have ‘Broken’ Ad Tech Competition

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Attorneys General of eight U.S. states on Tuesday announced they are suing Google for antitrust violations of the Sherman Act with respect to the tech company’s monopoly on digital advertising technology. The Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia joined the suit. In a 155-page complaint filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, the DOJ and Attorneys General explained that Google “has corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide swath of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers, and brokers, to facilitate digital advertising.”

Copyright Office Pilot Public Records System Mistakenly Reflects Cancellation of Registration for AI Graphic Novel

On Monday, January 23, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) Copyright Public Records System (CPRS) reflected that the registration for a graphic novel that was made using the AI text-to-image tool, Midjourney, had been cancelled. The Office has since clarified that the update was a system error (see above note). The USCO previously registered the work in September 2022. However, a month later, and following significant press attention, the Office issued a notice indicating that the registration may be cancelled. With Monday’s development, the cancellation seemed to be final.

Thaler Files Motion for Summary Judgment in Latest Bid to Argue AI-Authored Works Should Be Copyrightable

Last week, artificial intelligence (AI) systems developer Dr. Stephen Thaler filed a motion for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a lawsuit over copyright eligibility for artwork created by AI systems. Thaler’s motion for summary judgment argues that AI-generated works are copyrightable under U.S. federal law and that the copyright should vest in Thaler under common law property principles and the work made for hire doctrine.

Industry Risk and Investment Drives Academic Tech Transfer

AUTM, which represents the academic technology management profession, just released the results of the survey of its members for 2021. Once again, the results are impressive, particularly considering that the U.S. economy was just beginning to emerge from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic…. It’s clear that despite continual attacks on the Bayh-Dole system, which allows academic institutions to own and manage federally funded inventions without Washington micro-management, our system keeps truckin’ right along, year after year, leading the world.

Apple Loses ITC Battle to Masimo Over Pulse Oximeter Technology

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday issued a Notice of Final Initial Determination (FID) finding that Apple violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing and selling in the United States Apple Watches with light-based pulse oximetry technology that infringed claims 24 and 30 of Masimo’s U.S. Patent No. 10,945,648. According to a Masimo press release, Apple first started selling the Apple Watch with a pulse oximeter sensor in 2020 and has continued to use it in subsequent versions of the product since then. The ITC Notice said it found no violation of the asserted claims of four other patents named in Masimo’s complaint.

IBM Cites Deliberate Strategy Shift as it Drops to Second Place in IFI Claims Patent Grant List for First Time in 29 Years

This week, patent data analytics firm IFI CLAIMS published its annual report of the top 50 U.S. patent recipients and the global 250 largest patent portfolios for 2022. The list provides a comprehensive snapshot of the patent landscape with insights into growing trends in the industry. One of the most eye-catching details is Samsung taking the first spot for U.S. patent grants in 2022, ending IBM’s 29-year reign at the top. The difference between the two is also surprisingly wide, with a gap of nearly 2,000 patent grants. According to an IFI press release, the number of U.S. patent grants was at its lowest since 2018 despite the number of patent applications reaching a record high. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of patent grants has decreased three years in a row.

Blockish IP: The Top IP Events That Affected Emerging Technologies in 2022

“Non-fungible tokens (NFTs),” “blockchain,” “metaverse,” “web3,” and “artificial intelligence (AI)” are buzzwords that solicited significant discussion and development in the area of intellectual property (IP) law in 2022. This overview covers five key topics in IP law that affected the growth and mainstream adoption of these emerging technologies last year.

From Nonprofit to $29 Billion Valuation – The Promise and Danger of OpenAI

The research lab behind the viral ChatGPT chatbot, OpenAI, is in talks to sell existing shares in a tender offer that would value the company at around $29 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, reported the Wall Street Journal on January 5. This would make OpenAI, which started life as a nonprofit and generates virtually no revenue, one of the most valuable U.S. startups. Chatbots have captured the imagination of users and investors alike. They provide fast, succinct, and outwardly accurate responses to detailed questions well beyond the capabilities of Alexa, Siri and Google search. Those queries might include providing the foundation for writing an article, like the one you are currently reading, in the style of IPWatchdog.

mRNA IP 2022 Year in Review: Pioneers Clash in Major Patent Litigations

Substantial patent litigation activity occurred in the mRNA space in 2022, involving nearly all of the major mRNA and lipid nanoparticle (LNP) pioneers. Since this is the most significant happening in this space with respect to IP in 2022, this post will provide an overview of that activity as well as a summary exposure analysis.

The Year in Copyright: 2022 Gives Creators Hope for the Future

The Constitution empowers Congress to enact federal copyright laws because the Founders recognized that the best way to advance the public interest is by enabling creators to pursue their own private interests. The copyright system secures uniform property rights to creators across the nation as a reward for their productive labors and as incentive for them to profit in the marketplace. The incredible selection of creative works available to consumers today, in terms of quantity and quality, shows that copyright law is working well. Of course, that doesn’t stop the detractors from throwing as many monkey wrenches as they can. However, looking back over this past year, there’s good reason to think that the naysayers are becoming less relevant. There’s cause to be hopeful that the plight of all creators, big and small, is improving and will continue to get better in the years to come.

Iconic Toys and Games of 2022: The IP Rights Covering Virtual Environments, First-Person Shooters and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

As each year dwindles to a close, IPWatchdog puts together a list of Iconic Toys and Games that have become wild commercial successes, thanks in large part to the patents, trademarks and copyrights protecting the commercial sale of those products. This year, we’re taking a more modern approach by looking at games and toys that are currently popular, rather than honoring those treasured gifts from Christmases past. From Roblox to Activision Blizzard to Crazy Aaron’s, this year’s list of iconic toys and games includes some of the most popular entertainment properties for children and adults. Taking a look at the IP rights underpinning many of those properties gives us an interesting perspective on recent developments in both technological improvements as well as new branding for famed superhero characters.

Claim Drafting Issues for Biotech, Chemical and Pharma Patent Applications, Part I: Claim Construction, Markush Groups, Dependent Claim Invalidation

The fields of patent prosecution and patent litigation are ever-evolving, and with every new court decision there are lessons for patent practitioners. While it is impossible to cover all of the various issues related to claim drafting for biotech, chemical and pharma patent applications, here, and in future blog posts, we will cover a range of claim drafting topics of interest.

The Top U.S. FRAND / RAND Licensing Developments of 2022: Policy Statements, Patent Pools and IEEE Changes

While 2022 was somewhat less eventful than 2021 in terms of significant developments in fair/reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND/RAND) licensing occurring in the United States, the past year still did not disappoint and underscores the continued and growing interest from government in the standards related patents space. In 2022, the most progress was made on matters and issues we wrote about last year: i.e. government policy developments, Continental v. Avanci, the IEEE’s standards-related Patent Policy, and Ericsson v. Apple / Apple v. Ericsson  (see here and here)