IP News September 2015

Top 3 Stories

Happy Birthday to all of us: the world’s most popular song is finally free after a U.S. court ruled that a studio’s claim to the century-old work is invalid More »

Fair use can go crazy (sort of) after the 9th Circuit sided with a mom who posted her baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” on YouTube. The landmark ruling is important because it creates new obligations on copyright owners to consider fair use before issuing a takedown notice More »

Woe, thy name is WIPO: the IP organization is reeling again as the US decided to withhold funding from the UN body over its failure to investigate serious allegations over ethics More »


A U.S. drug company filed a Federal Court complaint, claiming a drug patent review board can’t lower the price of a rare disease drug, which reportedly costs more in Canada than anywhere else More »

A Canadian patent troll is arguing in claim construction that “integer” doesn’t include the number 1 More »

United States

In a split ruling, the ever-unpredictable Fed Circuit cited public interest in saying Apple can seek an injunction against Samsung over a slide-to-unlock patent on older phones More »

Warner Bros can protect the Batmobile vehicle as a distinct character ruled the 9th Circuit; the judgment has the obligatory comic book references, including “Holy copyright law, Batman!” More »

The NYT editorial board cites the copyright first sale case, Kirstaeng, in urging the Federal Circuit to forbid a printer maker from using patent law to obstruct secondary markets for toner refills More »

The biotech industry is alarmed over Kyle Bass, a hedge fund manager and former patent troll, who is using a new USPTO procedure to challenge drug patents while shorting their stock More »

A New York judge called a patent lawyer at Mintz Levin a “fool” and fined him $10,000; the lawyer has been representing himself in his own divorce case More »

Vermont’s attempt to sue an infamous patent troll over bad faith claims is raising complicated issues over how much the action is pre-empted by federal law More »

The famous “monkey selfie” is back in the news as PETA filed a copyright claim on behalf of the monkey against a photographer who published the selfie in a book More »

Lawyers for Burning Man, citing brand concerns, are threatening legal action against Quizno’s for mocking the tech-hippie-utopia event in commercials More »

Some are throwing cold water on the “Happy Birthday” ruling by pointing out the song is not technically in the public domain, but an orphan work More »

The Facebook legal notice – purporting to protect copyright – has gone viral again (it still doesn’t work) More »

A court fined the owner of the Miami Heat for buying copyright to an unflattering photo solely to suppress the image; the judge cited “abuse of the Copyright Act as a tool for stymieing free expression” More »

Prof Lessig, one-time copyright and cyber-law poobah, is running for President of the United States More »


In an odd exchange, the CEO of News Corp ranted about Google as a a “platform for piracy” and more; the company shot back with: “Phew what a scorcher! Murdoch accuses Google of eating his hamster” (a reference to a false news story in a Murdoch tabloid) More »

Russia created a new IP office to replace the “20 different .. departments that currently — and ineffectively — enforce copyright” More »


A meeting between President Obama and Xi Jinping produced platitudes that neither China or the US would engage in “state-sponsored cyberintrusions to poach intellectual property” More »

A hearing is underway in New Zealand, where the U.S. is attempting to extradite Kim Doctom for copyright crimes related to a massive piracy operation that was known as Megaupload More »

The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership contains language that may prevent the U.S. from passing orphan works legislation More »

Copyright over auto software is becoming a hot topic amidst scandals over hacked and “cheating” cars More »

This month’s IP Twitter star is Daniel Nazer, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Follow him for an activist view of patent reform: More »


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