November 2005

I’ve added Raymond Nimmer’s Contemporary IP Licensing and Information Law blog to our list of links.

Ray tends to post only every other week or so, but his entries are insightful and well argued. Those interested in the Google Print debate might be interested in reading his post on the subject, in which he argues that Google’s controversial scanning project is unlikely to fall under the fair use exception to copyright infringement.

In another post, Ray argues that shrinkwrap and clickwrap licences are enforceable contracts.

Adam Cohen has published an interesting, and critical, opinion piece on Google in The New York Times, focusing on privacy issues raised by the company’s technology and services.

It’s been a long time coming. The television and Internet industries are working together to offer consumers the ability to download, legally, movies and television episodes. This convergence might be seen as inevitable, particularly since the advent of TiVo, Foxtel iQ, and other services using digital video recording systems (DVRs), as well as the popularity of P2P file-sharing networks. These industry developments reflect an important influence: the power of consumer demand. (more…)

The Sony/BMG rootkit fiasco has advanced to the next stage: Amazon has been flooded with reviews of CDs that contain the rootkit (and possibly some that don’t, but just contain other DRM). These reviews have uniformly been stingingly negative, and award one star (the lowest that Amazon lets you award) out of its one to five star rating system. (more…)

(via Troppo Armadillo)

I blogged the other day about the patent research exception, and specifically, the new ACIP report recommending (like the ALRC before it) a new exception for research use of patented inventions. Timely, then, to note this study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the effect of patents on research. (more…)

I see that matters have developed quickly in the Sony DRM story that I blogged about earlier. We’ve had a lawsuit filed, viruses developed that take advantage of the Sony rootkit system, instructions proliferating on how to remove the RootKit, and some warnings from US Government officials directed at Sony and others who do this kind of thing. Moreinfo, plus links, plus some thoughts on the legal issues, over the fold. (more…)

Interesting news indeed this morning, with a consortium of IBM, Sony, Philips, Novell and Red Hat announcing the formation of a company the Open Invention Network, a company for sharing Linux-related patents, for free. (more…)

And in some copyright news (my regular copyright-oriented readers must have been frustrated lately, it’s all been patent, hasn’t it!), the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, who are inquiring into the need for exceptions to the soon-to-be-drafted new anti-circumvention laws (the Oz-DMCA) have posted a whole lot more submissions onto their website, and put up the dates for the hearings – Sydney on 14 November, Melbourne on 15 November, and Canberra on 21 November. I’ll be appearing in Melbourne, as will a number of people I know. More fun! (Ta Anne for the heads up!)

Yesterday I gave a talk on IP enforcement here in Melbourne (same one will be given in Sydney on 21 November), based on research done by me and my colleagues (especially, Paul Jensen and Jason Bosland). The slides from the presentation are now online, and the working paper is also on the IPRIA site. There’s also an article in the August Federal Law Review with more on patent enforcement in Australia. Lots of graphs, especially on the slides. Lots of fun.

The Advisory Council on Intellectual Property, ACIP, today released its final report in its Review on Patents and Experimental Use. In short, like the ALRC, they have recommended the creation of a specific experimental use exception. (more…)

Two trade-related IP stories for this morning, c/o the Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest. (more…)

There’s been a fair bit of discussion in the last little while over ‘breaking’ the Tamiflu patents. Actually, of course, what we are talking about is not ‘breaking’ patents, as such, but rather, applying exceptions to patent protection, which are well-established both in Australian law, and in international law (via Article 30 of TRIPS, affirmed by the Doha Declaration). This would involve compulsory licensing of the patents – the patentee gets paid, but has no ‘right of veto’ and in effect loses some of the benefits of the monopoly. The debate heightened when Taiwan announced it would be using its rights under international law to have Tamiflu manufactured. (more…)

Another noteworthy IP blog: US Academic Raymond Nimmer. While he’s not a frequent poster (maybe once a month), the posts are interesting, if only because he promulgates a very articulate version of the pro-IP stance. (more…)

With all the current terror talk, perhaps it’s time that IP got in on the act. According to the IPKat, and from the New York Sun, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York has filed a trademark application for the phrase ‘If you see, something, say something’, in order to police the phrase and those who use it. This is just wilful misunderstanding of trade mark law. (more…)

Another interesting case that the US Supreme Court might be hearing: FTC v. Schering-Plough. It’s all about the competition law aspects of settlement of patent disputes between pharmaceutical ‘innovator’ companies and generic manufacturers. (more…)

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