IP News June 2018

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

EU headed for copyright crack-up? Critics decry plan to introduce ancillary rights “link tax” for news snippets, and force websites to monitor uploads for IP

Patent peace comes to smartphones: Apple and Samsung’s epic seven-year IP fight ends in in a draw as the two sides finally settle

Tesla CEO tangled in a copyright battle over farting unicorn picture: English potter demands royalties for Elon Musk’s use of image in Tesla branding


The Supreme Court will hear a challenge by land surveyors to Ontario’s practice of claiming copyright over their surveys and selling them to the public

Canada’s best weapon to retaliate against Trump’s tariffs might be drug patents; CIPP founder Prof Gold tells CBC how that might work

United States

A Chicago artist is suing the NRA for using his famous city sculpture in a recruiting video without permission, saying the NRA’s “nightmarish… vision perverts everything [the sculpture]—and America—stands for.”

Congress moved closer to approving 144 year copyright protection for sound recordings

SCOTUS opened the door for patent plaintiffs to collect damages on overseas profits; critics fear this could hurt domestic innovation

Microsoft announced an ambitious program to use blockchain technology for tracking and paying royalties, beginning with online video games;  the scheme comes after years of unfilled hype for blockchain and IP

As blockchain emerges as a major technology, a cross-industry coalition is exploring ways to avoid a smartphone-style patent war

The University of California has received a pair of CRISPR patents amid a larger ongoing squabble between schools over IP rights to the gene-editing technology

It’s been four years since Alice, SCOTUS’s fateful ruling on patentable subject matter; a tech site uses the occasion to examine the decades long tug-of-war over software patentability

SCOTUS granted cert in a case over whether to change a prior art rule that holds pre-filing secret sales and other commercial activity will invalidate novelty

Remote deposit technology is at the heart of a rare bank-vs-bank patent infringement lawsuit

The romance novel world is in uproar after an author obtained a trademark for “cocky,” and sought to enjoin other writers from using it


The impending European copyright directive has raised fears the law could trigger the “end of Internet memes,” while music and publishing lobbyists claim such concerns reflect a “cynical campaign from the tech companies”

IP fights over genetically-modified mice are back as a UK biotech company seeks a ruling from the Supreme Court that a US firm’s mice patents are invalid


The White House published a 35 page report alleging detailed accusations of IP theftand policy abuse by China

A copyright battle over global video game sensation Fortnite ended quietly as the plaintiff and game maker resolved the case in South Korea

New Zealand is set to double and triple some patent fees after its IP Office concluded they were much lower than in other countries

A German chemical manufacturer owns half of the patents on marine genetic resources, raising questions over how to distribute IP obtained from the sea

Need free films for travelling? A growing number of sites offer vaults of public domain movies to watch on laptops or mobile devices

This content has been updated on September 28, 2018 at 19:08.