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Update-Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Oracle v. Google Appeal

July 7, 2015
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On June 29, 2015 the US Supreme Court decided to turn down Google’s request to hear its appeal of the Federal Circuit’s ruling from a year ago, that Oracle’s declaring code for pre-programmed Java routines is eligible for copyright protection.  See my May 27 2015 post for more background.  This means the case will now […]

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News Flash – Oracle v. Google Copyright Case

May 28, 2015
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In its brief filed on May 26, 2015, the US Solicitor General (SG) advised the US Supreme Court to not hear Google’s appeal of a decision, from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, holding that copyright protection extends to declaring code.  Should the Supreme Court agree with the SG, it will once again […]

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DMCA Advice from the Department of Commerce

April 23, 2015
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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 was created to protect copyright owners from infringement of their works (such as photos, documents, music files, and videos) over the Internet.  Amongst other things, the DMCA created an exception (“safe harbor”) against monetary copyright liability for “service providers” (broadly, providers of online services) who establish and follow […]

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Startups and Patents

April 2, 2015
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A recent study on R&D vitality, “Measuring Innovation“ by Michael Cooper et al, reports that only about 50% of companies with R&D operations file patents. Another recent study focusing on patent litigation, “The Layered Patent System“ by Michael Risch, reports that on a percentage basis more patents asserted by non-practicing entities (so-called “patent trolls”) are […]

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Oracle v Google: Are APIs Copyrightable?

November 12, 2014
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Last month, Google asked the Supreme Court to hear its appeal of an appeals court ruling that certain application program interfaces (APIs) are copyrightable.  Oracle’s response is due in December, and the US Government may weigh in, so we may not know until January 2015 whether the Supreme Court will accept the case.  I expect they […]

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Software Patentability – The Supreme Court Speaks. Turn Down the Volume.

June 23, 2014
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On Thursday, June 19, 2014, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice v CLS Bank, a court case dealing with the patentability of software.  See our earlier post on the lower court rulings. What is Patentable? In the US, we have a law (35 USC §101) that lays out what kinds of subject matter are […]

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Tesla Patent Pledge….Too Good to be True?

June 15, 2014
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On Thursday June 12, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Moters, posted a blog post that said “…Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”   At first glance, a good thing.  It is certainly better than having no such pledge.  But before folks gleefully download all […]

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EU Court of Justice Rules Web Browsing is not Copyright Infringement

June 12, 2014
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Whenever we view content on the Internet, our web browsers (Internet Explorer or Firefox, for most folks) make temporary copies of that content on our computers.  Amongst the rights reserved by copyright holders is the right to prevent others from making copies.  So do those copies constitute copyright infringement?  On Thursday, the European Court of […]

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Pun Marks are Fun Marks! Then Why is Chewy Vuiton OK, But Not Ben & Cherry’s?

November 25, 2013
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by Jamie Fitzgerald Last year a California porn studio, Caballero Video, paid dubious homage to Ben & Jerry’s®   (“B&J”) when it launched a “Ben & Cherry’s” film series.  Even the less explicit titles in the series, such as BOSTON CREAM THIGH and HAIRY GARCIA, (a la B&J’s BOSTON CREAM PIE and CHERRY GARCIA®), evidence an […]

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3D Printing and Utility Patents: Will 3D Printers Lead to Widespread Infringement of Utility Patents?

September 11, 2013
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by Kevin McGrath This article is the next in a series of posts discussing IP issues surrounding 3D printing.  As discussed in the last post, some types of 3D printing technology have become affordable enough for home use.  This has led to increased concerns that the printers’ capability to make “perfect replicas” will lead to […]

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