IP News December 2017

Welcome to the final IP News This Month of 2017! A Happy New Year from Prof Geist and all of us at CIPP. Thanks as always for reading — we look forward to sharing more IP goodies and tibdits in January! – Jeff

Top 3 Stories

Patent trolls seek a bite of the blockchain: Notorious patent shark, Erich Spangenberg, launches new venture to extract IP royalties from the booming world of bitcoin and blockchain tech (CNBC)

More and more IP: Annual patent filings reached a record 3.1 million worldwide while those for trademarks jumped 16% to 7 million. The IP growth, which also included 42,500 protected GIs, primarily came from Asia (WIPO)

Presumed GILTI? US firms are sweating over new “GILTI” tax rules (“global intangible low-taxed income”) intended to stop them parking IP royalties abroad (Bloomberg)


Canada is kicking off a five-year review of landmark 2012 copyright reforms, raising hard questions about the role of law in promoting creativity in the digital era (Globe & Mail)

An adjunct prof at U of T is upset about a Patent Office policy denying diagnostic claims, saying it’s an illegal blow to health and innovation (National Post)

The CIPP gang came out to contribute at last month’s Canadian Food Law and Policy Conference (CIPP)

Ham labeled “prosciutto di Parma” will arrive in Canada following a GI and trademark fight that spanned three generations of McCarthy lawyers (Globe & Mail)

United States

A new book by Prof Lobel, a trade secret expert, uses the long running Barbie v. Bratz IP case to expose the dark sides of the doll industry (Above the Law)

A Houston IP firm bought a private jet to shuttle its patent lawyers back and forth to the Bay Area, concluding it was cheaper than relocating them or hiring outside counsel (Business Insider)

The lawyer who holds the EFF’s Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents warns dubious patents in fields like AI pose an ongoing threat to innovation (WaPo)

Tax experts fear athletes and rock stars will game the new tax law by structuring their income as IP royalties paid to a small business (WaPo)

Disney’s deep IP portfolio just got even richer after it acquired Fox, which owns the X-Men, Avatar and other famous characters (CNN)

A drug maker hiked the price of a 40-year old cancer treatment by 1,400% — the latest example of a firm exploiting a de facto monopoly in off-patent medicines (CBS)

Facebook signed its first deal with a major record label, which will allow users to post music videos to the site and to Instagram (Reuters)


The IP Kat has a helpful round-up of the most important copyright developments of 2017 (IP Kat)

The Trump Administration is on the verge of suspending Ukraine’s preferred trade treatment over its alleged failure to protect IP (CNBC)


China’s red-hot bike sharing sector is seeing a spike in IP cases as companies seek injunctions to keep competitors off the market (China Daily)

Western tech firms remain worried that China’s new cyber-security law is a pretext to steal their trade secrets (WSJ)

A last minute tweak to Australian safe harbor legislation means copyright liability shields will extend only to domestic institutions, not platforms like Facebook and Google (Torrent Freak)

This content has been updated on March 30, 2018 at 12:44.