IP News July 2017

Welcome to IP News This Month. Here’s your 5-minute guide to all things intellectual property, culled from news reports from around the world.

Loyal readers – we’re in the process of improving IP News. Have any suggestions? What do you like or dislike? Email me: jeffjohnroberts AT gmail.com. Thanks for reading! – Jeff

Top 3 Stories

Google blasts “repugnant” Canadian Supreme Court decision to uphold worldwide injunction in IP case; tech giant appeals to US court to block enforcement on First Amendment and Section 230 grounds (The Recorder)

Fair dealing drama on campus: Surprise court ruling upends copyright practice at Canadian universities as judge rejects schools’ 10% fair dealing yardstick, orders payment of tariff fees (University Affairs)

Olive Garden threatens IP suit against fan blog ‘All of Garden’ for using its name in reviews; blogger consults Reddit for advice and legal hilarity ensues, fair-use loving lawyers offer limerick retorts (Above the Law)


The Supreme Court’s decision to let companies make unsubstantiated claims and still get a patent will undermine Canada’s innovation agenda and NAFTA position, warns the CIPP’s Prof Gold (Globe & Mail)

BlackBerry’s founder warns the US will use next month’s NAFTA talks to impose unfavorable IP laws on Canada; a prominent Toronto IP lawyer says the concerns are “balderdash” (The Star)

United States

The never-ending monkey selfie case is back: the 9th Circuit heard PETA’s appeal that Naruto (the monkey) has copyright, while a respondent argued “monkey see, monkey sue is not good law” (Ars Technica)

Pot meet kettle: Viral meme site Distractify files copyright suit against rival, claims the newer site infringed on its aggregation posts, which were themselves based on other works (NYT)

Facebook acquired a firm that monitors IP rights online; the deal will let FB add a YouTube-style system that gives IP owners a means to monetize (not just take down) infringing content (Variety)

Google, Amazon et al launched a new lobby to press Congress to reduce nuisance patent suits; the group together owns more than 115,000 patents (The Hill)

Since SCOTUS struck down a law that forbid trademarks for racist or vulgar marks, the USPTO has seen a bump in applications for swastikas and the N-word (Reuters)

A judge refused to thrown out a photographer’s copyright claim against appropriation artist Richard Prince, who took the artist’s photos from Instagram and added comments—claiming the comments are transformative (NYT)

A judge ordered Apple to pay $506 million in chip royalties to the University of Wisconsin, one of the first schools to aggressively pursue patent litigation (Ars Technica)

The annual Intellectual Property Scholars Conference will take place at Cardozo Law in New York on August 10-11 (IPSC)


George and Amal Clooney are suing French magazine Voici for taking photos of their twins in the back yard; the mag says the pics are a “response to public demand” (TMZ)

Paul McCartney and Sony settled a dispute over ownership of the Beatles catalogue—the deal leaves unresolved the issue of whether English contract law trumps the termination provisions of US copyright law (Hollywood Reporter)


A clinic director cites the successes of the non-profit Drugs for Neglected Disease Initiative to argue for more pharma research to take place outside of the patent context (NYT)

China’s media is pumped up about the country’s new “cyber-courts” that can resolve IP disputes online, and hopes to expand them (China Daily)

The order of Mother Teresa has trademarked her white-and-blue sari in India as part of a bid to stop commercial exploitation of the late nun’s legacy (BBC)

Tips or comments? Send them to jeffrobertslegal at gmail.com

This content has been updated on November 30, 2017 at 14:27.