IP News July 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

The IP issue that could sink the TPP treaty is… cheese. EU demands over geographic indicators have led US lawmakers to wave wheels of gouda, and insist on the right to treat such words as generic in foreign markets More »

Happy birthday for everyone! A bombshell piece of evidence in the form of a 1927 songbook could end a studio’s copyright control over the world’s most famous song, and put it in the public domain More »

Take that, Taylor: after photographers in Montreal and Washington boycotted her concerts over onerous IP terms, Taylor Swift agreed to relax the copyright conditions in her show contracts More »


After hackers spilled details of 37 million Ashley Madison members, the online affairs site made a futile attempt to stop the damage with copyright takedowns More »

Pride Toronto is under fire for seeking trademark for “Dyke March” and “Trans Pride,” which critics say should belong to grassroots activists More »

Longer and longer: Canada appears set to cave on US demands for it to add 20 years to copyright terms for no logical reason More »

To meet TPP demands from the US, Canada is poised to extend copyright terms for no good reason More »

United States

Google will give 50 startups two patents apiece if they join a cross-licensing network and agree to use the patents only for defensive purposes More »

Meanwhile, Google has also introduced a powerful prior art search tool that blends its patents database with scholarly journals and other relevant literature More »

A judge ordered a new damages trial after a Texas jury ordered Apple to pay a patent troll $533 million; the issue turns on the little understood “entire market damages rule” More »

Twitter users are issuing copyright takedowns over jokes, and one comedian is suing Conan Obrien for allegedly stealing gags from his tweets More »

The pharma industry is still raising a fuss over a former patent troll’s tactic of challenging patents at the USPTO as part of a stock-shorting scheme More »

An industry group is pushing a controversial proposal for the next generation of streaming standards to be patent encumbered; this would hurt Netflix and others who offer 4K video More »

The US is contemplating a “patent box” that would reduce corporate income tax to 10% for IP-related activities; it’s part of a larger plan to repatriate revenue that tech firms are parking overseas More »

Patents for Monsanto’s early soybean variants are expiring, leading farmers to snap up cheaper “generic GMO” seeds More »

After hackers showed they can take over moving cars via the internet, the EFF is calling for a DMCA exemption to ensure copyright law doesn’t hinder research into vehicle software More »

Lilly Pulitzer, which sells clothes based on original artwork, filed a copyright suit against the Gap and Old Navy over what it says are “substantially similar” designs More »

The 9th Circuit confirmed Google acted in bad faith when it used FRAND patents to seek an injunction against Microsoft; Google had to pay breach of contract damages and lawyer fees More »


The High Court struck down a copyright law, making it illegal (again) to make private copies of CD’s and DVD’s in England; it’s unclear how this will be enforced More »

In a move to curb smartphone litigation, the EU Court of Justice limited opportunities for standard essential patent owners to seek injunctions More »


Taylor Swift cut a deal with China’s two biggest online retailers, hoping the partnerships will check the IP abuses that typically befall western brands there More »

NGO’s in Tanzania are urging the government not to sign on to an IP treaty that would limit farmers’ rights to share seeds More »

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, which offers an iPhone-like device, is buying thousands of patents as it prepares to enter the U.S. market More »

A study shows the number of patents with women’s names has risen from 2% in 1976 to 10% percent in 2013, and 18% in the case of academia More »

Michael Jordan has lost a trademark claim in China against an apparel maker that uses a logo of a jumping man wearing no. 23 with Jordan’s Chinese name More »

This week’s Twitter star is Hollywood Reporter Eriq Garnder, who shares important copyright cases from the entertainment industry. Follow him @eriqgardner More »


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

This content has been updated on March 26, 2016 at 17:09.