IP News October 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. Tips or comments? Send them direct to jeffjohnroberts AT gmail.com. Thanks for reading! – Jeff

Top 3 Stories

Judge rips patent deal between drug firm and Indian tribe as a sham: “Sovereign immunity should not be treated as a monetizable commodity that can be purchased by private entities” (LA Times)

The CIPP’s cup is flowing over with an event this week on terroir and GIs(with real wine of course!) and, next month, talks on academic copyrightand post-Brexit IP rules. Come join!

Halloweeen is the time for goblins, ghouls and… IP lawsuits! Read about the scary showdown between Kmart and a costume maker over infringing banana outfits (Bloomberg)


A couple in a tony section of Toronto settled a copyright case that alleged their neighbour’s mansion looked too much like theirs (The Star)

As Canada reviews its cultural policies, the music industry is seeking broader royalties for radio and sound recordings (Globe & Mail)

Life after NAFTA? Prof Geist says the end of the trade deal would bring economic shock but also allow for “made-in-Canada” IP policies that use international, not US, norms as a baseline (Globe & Mail)

United States

The front line of Hollywood’s fight against piracy is shifting to popular “Kodi boxes,” which are TV devices that can find and index unauthorized live-streams (Fortune)

The USPTO will be on Reddit to host a Halloween “Ask Me Anything” all about #CreepyIP (Patently-O)

A Texas judge ordered Apple to pay a patent troll $440 million, including enhanced damages for “risky and reckless” behavior during the litigation (Ars Technica)

The 2nd Circuit threw out a claim against SiriusXM by The Turtles for state copyright royalties over pre-1972 recordings (Reuters)

Apple’s longtime general counsel, who oversaw the company’s numerous IP battles with Samsung among other work, is stepping down (Dow Jones)

Lululemon lacks the IP to halt Amazon from encroaching on its market, says an analyst (Bloomberg)

The most closely watched IP case of the new SCOTUS term is set for November; it turns on whether a patent review board is constitutional (EFF)

Vidangel, the firm that edited and sold “family friendly” versions of popular movies without copyright permission from the studios, is now in bankruptcy (Deadline)

The inventor of a computer graphics technology, which studios used illegally, is claiming rights of famous movie characters created with his software (Hollywood Reporter)


The battle over CRISPR gene-editing technology goes on: patent claims by a MIT-Harvard consortium go to appeal while, in Europe, the group’s claims may anticipated by its own published research (Nature)

The format of a TV show, including quiz shows, can receive copyright protection the High Court of England ruled (IP Kat)


Be careful what you feed your algorithm: copyright concerns are distorting the selection of data used to train AI, resulting in biases (Slate)

Qualcomm asked a Chinese IP court to ban the iPhone as part of a global IP fight that began when Apple sought antitrust action and stopped paying patent royalties to the chip maker (Bloomberg)

A New Zealand judge ruled a political party reproduced the essence of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” in campaign ads; the rapper says he’ll donate the copyright damages to hurricane relief (Billboard)

People are “vandalizing” public exhibits in Snapchat and other virtual spaces—raising questions of how legal norms, including IP, should apply in augmented reality (NewCo Shift)


This content has been updated on March 30, 2018 at 12:40.