IP News September 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. Tell your friends to subscribe here! – Jeff

Top 3 Stories

Europe strikes back: EU passes copyright directive to counter North American approach to the Internet. Supporters say it will mean fair payment for artists, but critics warn it will bring censorship and entrench tech monopolies

High noon at NAFTA over pharma IP: US presses Canada to increase data exclusivity for biologics as Professor Gold warns of new costs for Canadians without a benefit

Commonwealth compromise: the mints of Canada and Australia ended a 3 year court fight over the Aussies’ alleged infringement of a patented technique for coloured coins


In a 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court held ISPs may charge copyright owners a reasonable fee when they are obliged by court order to supply the names and addresses of infringers

The founder of Shopify says the country should be cautious of U.S. tech companies coming to Canada, in part because they may acquire Canadian IP but deliver its value to the US

Prof Gervais and rocker Bryan Adams told a Parliamentary committee that reversion rights should be available to artists 25 years after assignment, not 25 years after death

United States

SCOTUS agreed to hear a case over whether costs awarded in copyright decisions can include nontaxable items like witness fees

The “Stairway to Heaven” copyright case will go back before a jury as an appeals court ruled a judge erred by not allowing the plaintiff to play songs in court

Congress passed The Music Modernization Act, which creates new blanket licenses for digital music and takes a more high-tech approach to royalty collection

The law will also create a new federal levy for sound recording made before 1972, and protect them for up to 110 years

A new appeals court ruling means Harvard and MIT have likely won a bitter fight with California universities over key CRISPR patents

The Senate is renewing a push to make the Register of Copyrights a political appointee by the Presidnet; the EFF thinks this is a terrible idea, claiming the position should be non-partisan

Google will soon include copyright metadata for images, including the identity of the photographer and who owns the right to a picture

Dating app Bumble rejected Tinder’s accusations of patent and trade secret theft; the legal fight is bitter as Bumble’s founder was a Tinder co-founder who says she was pushed out by sexism


Artist and copyright provacateur Jeff Koons is being sued by a French advertising director who claims a Koons sculpture is a “servile copy” of a famous ad

Le Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris gutted Twitter’s terms of service after finding a copyright provision, which grants a near-unlimited future license, to be illegal


Banks in Australia are balking over a consumer data rights law, claiming it will strip their IP assets by forcing them to turn over “value-added data” like credit scores

Nintendo invoked its IP rights to shut down a Tokyo attraction that let tourists dress up in Super Mario costumes and drive carts around the city

This content has been updated on January 14, 2019 at 13:51.