Amanda G. Ciccatelli Image

Amanda G. Ciccatelli

s a Freelance Journalist for IPWatchdog, where she covers intellectual property. She earned a B.A. in Communications and Journalism from Central Connecticut State University in 2010. Amanda is also currently Head of Content Marketing, Social Media & Digital Products at Informa, a leading global business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events business. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Recent Articles by Amanda G. Ciccatelli

In Honor of April Fools’ Day: Diving Into Deepfakes

Deepfake technology has made headlines recently for its use in creating fake portrayals of celebrities, but the long term implications could be much more sinister than phony renderings of Scarlett Johansson appearing in porn videos or President Barack Obama calling Trump a profanity. While the California bill is chiefly aimed at criminalizing this particular type of technological deception, it has implications for IP in that it reaches conduct that may not be easily addressed by the enforcement of existing IP law.

Letter Signed By 170 Corporate Counsel Urges Law Firms to Get Diverse Fast

On January 27, more than 170 general counsel and corporate legal executives signed an open letter to big law firms expressing their disappointment that “many law firms continue to promote partner classes that in no way reflect the demographic composition of entering associate classes.” The letter states that the signatory companies will prioritize legal spend only on firms that commit to diversity and inclusion. Signed by chief legal officers across IP-intensive industries such as technology, retail, media, hospitality and financial services, the letter reiterates findings noted in a recent IPWatchdog webinar that indicate outside counsel need to do much better when it comes to fostering their corporate relationships. Companies including Google Fiber, Etsy, Heineken USA, Chobani Global Holdings, Waymo, Lyft, Vox Media, S&P Global Ratings and Booz Allen Hamilton are signatories.

Why Fewer Patent Applications are Being Filed

Over the next few years, the most interesting intellectual property trend to watch will be what happens with new patent applications. The number of utility patent applications filed in the United States declined in 2015 (compared with 2014) and again in 2017 (compared with 2016). If the downward slide continues, will this be due to smarter filing strategies, or will it be because less emphasis is being put on patents? Will it be because more emphasis is being placed on trade secrets? Is it because of an unfavorable climate in the United States for certain types of inventions? Filings in other parts of the world are on the rise at a time when U.S. utility applications are either stagnant or in decline. Could it be because patent applicants are moving elsewhere?

Coolpad Appoints Nancy Zhang as First-Ever Global Chief IP Officer

Nancy Zhang has recently been named Coolpad Group Limited’s first Global Chief Intellectual Property Officer, a brand-new role created within the company. Previously Minister of IP of Coolpad, she will globally support Coolpad’s drive to increase innovation in mobile technologies, and defend patents from infringements. Based in Coolpad’s global headquarters in Shenzhen, China, Zhang will also spend more time in Coolpad’s U.S. offices as the company increases its investment in the U.S with new locations and R&D teams.

How Employers Can Better Protect Trade Secrets

Today, the biggest reason to have a strict regime in place to protect trade secrets, according to Gambhir, is because technology has made misappropriation of trade secrets so much easier than ever before. Compare the days when trade secrets resided in physical forms (blue prints, coca cola formula etc.) and were stored in locked file cabinets, safes etc. with the trade secrets in the digital world. “In most situations, they may be stored in a computer file that has restricted access on a secure network,” he said. “Yet, even given all that, an unhappy employee can easily download that file on a USB drive and walk out of your building directly to your competitor’s office. Access to trade secrets has become so much easier. In turn, misappropriation has become so much easier.”

Cleveland Indians to Stop Using Chief Wahoo Logo in 2019

The Cleveland Indians are planning to stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms or on signage at the stadium starting in 2019. As a longtime source of controversy, the logo has been used less frequently recently with increasing protests and a legal challenge. However, the franchise will not give up the trademark or profits from sales of merchandise bearing it, and doesn’t plan to change the team’s name. 

Largest Ever Copyright Royalty Board Ruling Transforms How Songwriters are Paid

Less than 48 hours before the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruled to increase royalty payments to songwriters and music publishers from music streaming companies by nearly 44 percent, the biggest rate increase granted in CRB history. These rates will go into effect for interactive streaming and limited download services like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Spotify for the years 2018-2022, and will transform how songwriters are paid by these interactive streaming services.

Olympics and Intellectual Property: What Brands Need to Know

“The purpose of Rule 40 is to prevent over-commercialization of the games and to protect the exclusivity of the official sponsors, who spend many millions of dollars to market during the Olympics,” she explained. “So, there was a blackout period (Feb 1- Feb 28 this year) where brands who sponsor athletes, but are not official Olympic sponsors cannot run ads featuring their athletes or even wish them good luck/congrats on social media.”