IP News June 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

Rght on cue after Canada extended protection for sound-recordings, over-exposed 60’s rocker Randy Bachman has pounced to demand that the government extend song-writer protections by 20 years as well More »

The fight over human gene patents is cresting in another country, as the High Court of Australia decides whether to cancel Myriad Genetic’s exclusive right to test for a breast cancer mutation; Myriad has already lost major cases in Canada and the US More »

So Whatcha Want? The Beastie Boys received only part of the $2.1M in fees they sought after winning a copyright case against Monster; a judge said legal bills were “partner-heavy” and that the band could collect for “Honda Civic” but not “Cadillac” legal services More »


Stock analysts are unimpressed with Canadian patent troll Wi-LAN, which is struggling to grow as courts grow skeptical of its business model More »

BlackBerry, as part of its search for a second act, signed a long term patent cross-licensing deal with Cisco More »

A TV executive accused her daughter of “stealing” after finding she was one of millions of Canadians who use a VPN to watch the US version of Netflix More »

United States

Fordham University launched what it claims is the first “fashion law” program to help lawyers and fashionistas navigate everything from copyright to data privacy More »

SCOTUS refused to review a decision that let Oracle claim copyright on APIs; the case will now go to a fair use hearing, but tech types are upset the court didn’t disallow the claim on merger or idea/expression grounds More »

Which country has been granted the most US patents this year? So far IBM leads with 3,052 followed by Samsung and Canon; Apple is no. 11 More »

A well-known mural artist in Brooklyn is suing Starbucks for appropriating her work for a “Mini Frappuccinos” ad campaign More »

An empirical study by legal scholars uses author biography pages from 1859 to 1969 to peg the value of public domain images on Wikipedia at over $246 million More »

Sirius-XM and music labels reached a $210 million settlement over pre-1972 recordings; the deal appears to create a new royalty for old songs More »

In what Prof Risch calls “strategic filing,” wearables maker Jawbone hit rival Fitbit with a patent suit and a trade secret claim weeks before its IPO More »

“Patents endow their holders with certain superpowers but only for a limited time,” said SCOTUS in ruling against a Spiderman toy inventor who tried to enforce a contract beyond 20 years More »

Heirs of a comedy duo filed a copyright suit over a hit Broadway play in which a satanic sock puppet performs part of the duo’s 1938 “Who’s on first” shtick More »

Let it go, Disney: studio settles copyright claim brought by maker of snowman-themed short film More »

Patent trolls have branched out from tech and retail sectors to target the energy industry More »


The UK ditched its “patent box,” which offered low tax rates for IP, in the face of outrage from Germany; such IP disputes are now central to a global debate over “BEPS” (base erosion & profit shifting) More »

Critics are crying censorship after the Sunday Times sent a copyright takedown notice to a news organization that criticized the Times’ coverage of a major Edward Snowden story More »

Google and Facebook are pushing Europe to adopt a “single digital market,” saying it would help companies comply with conflicting local laws More »


Microsoft donated an online copyright registration portal to the Kenyan government, which will replace paper forms; the company hopes it will increase IP awareness More »

Australia has passed a landmark law that permits copyright owners to require ISP’s to block websites; critics fear the law is badly written and could cause “collateral damage” More »

An ICANN plan, supported by the entertainment industry, may allow trademark and copyright owners to identify some proxy-registered WHOIS addresses without a court order More »

This week’s Twitter star is Prof Richard Gold, the founder of CIPP whose tweets offer an excellent source of global IP news. Follow him @IP_Policy More »


Tips or comments? Send them to jeff.roberts@mcgill.ca

This content has been updated on March 26, 2016 at 17:11.