IP News April 2015

Welcome to CIPP’s IP News This Month, your guide to the most important news and trends in intellectual property culled from news reports around the world.

Top 3 Stories

Tension is growing over the Trans-Pacific Partnership: will the massive deal really improve trade, or just serve to benefit select US industries – especially those relying on copyright and patents? More »

Copyright gets even longer: the Canadian government tucked a 20-year term extension into the federal budget. Critics fume the windfall doesn’t serve the public interest More »

Just another day at WIPO: UN agency faces investigation over inexplicable firing of whistle-blowers who called attention to weapons-related tech transfer to North Korea More »


ICANN asked Canada and the US to examine if an Ottawa registrar’s coercive scheme to charge businesses $2500 for “.sucks” domains is illegal More »

Canada is set to be the first G7 country to sign the Marrakesh Treaty, which reduces copyright obstacles that block blind people’s access to books More »

United States

If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em: Google is trying a new tack against trolls with a “Patent Purchase Program” that offers patent holders a temporary opportunity to list their patents More »

No offense? The USPTO denied trademarks for “The Slants,” “Heeb” and “Khoran” as disparaging – but a free speech challenge could change that More »

UCLA students are angry the school has chosen Nathan Myhrvold, “the world’s biggest patent troll,” as their commencement speaker More »

The perennial patent fight in Congress is up and running for real as the Senate introduced a major reform bill to replace last year’s failed effort More »

Prof Crouch suggests that changes to US patent law have led to more “submarine prior art” More »

Activist investors are pushing Qualcomm, a longtime IP mischief maker, to spin off its patent licensing operations into a separate company More »

A crowd-funding campaign finally invalidated a notorious patent for podcasting from 1996; key prior art included CNN clips and CBC radio shows More »

Twitter warned users not to use its new live-streaming service to broadcast low grade copies of Game of Thrones More »

Patent trolls are the latest target of comedian John Oliver, who said they do nothing but “threaten to sue the living s— out of people” More »

In a man bites dog moment for copyright, a new trade group of tech companies and non-profits will lobby for fair use and balanced IP rights More »

As cars contain more and more software code, some fear that auto makers want to use copyright to restrict tinkering and repairs More »


The EU is making a major push for a “Digital Single Market” but faces hard questions on geo-blocking and country-specific copyright royalties More »

A German court ruled against powerful publishers, and held that libraries may digitize their collections More »


The latest leaks from the Sony hack add grist for those who regard Australia as a stooge for Hollywood copyright interests More »

China dropped demands that all foreign tech companies must turn over their IP and source code if they sell to Chinese banks More »

China has launched a huge translation database specifically for patents in Chinese and English More »

India’s ongoing obsession with Geographic Indicators continues: it awarded 20 more, including “Naga tree tomato,” Arunachal orange” and “Sikkim large cardamom” More »

A Japanese man patented the selfie-stick – but the patent expired in 2003, well before the device’s current craze More »

This month’s Twitter star is Eleonaro Rosati, an Italian lawyer and copyright expert who also blogs for the IPKat. Follow her @eLAWnora More »


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

This content has been updated on March 26, 2016 at 17:15.