Washington – Today in Beijing, China, a delegation from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), of the U.S. Department of Commerce, joined U.S. State Department and U.S. Copyright Office officials in negotiating and signing a landmark multilateral treaty that advances global intellectual property (IP) rights for the creative content of audiovisual performers.
With approximately 140 signatories to the Final Act, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, or the “Beijing Treaty,” strengthens intellectual property protections for actors, musicians, and dancers globally, by requiring countries to ensure updated and consistent standards of protection for performers in audiovisual works.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry (Credit: Yuan Wenming)
The diplomatic conference to finalize a new treaty for audiovisual performers was successfully concluded on June 26, 2012 as negotiators from WIPO’s member states signed the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances– so-named in recognition of the city that hosted the final round of negotiations. The new treaty brings audiovisual performers into the fold of the international copyright framework in a comprehensive way, for the first time.
Welcoming the excellent atmosphere that characterized the talks, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry thanked the Government of China and the Municipality of Beijing for the outstanding organization of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances which met from June 20 to 26, 2012. He expressed gratitude particularly to the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) and the Municipality of Beijing for taking the lead in staging the Diplomatic Conference and for their generosity.
The decisions in the recent intellectual property lawsuit of Oracle v. Google[i] have drawn the attention of software developers and intellectual property lawyers alike. As we read about the verdict’s potential to shape future copyright case law, our team here at Zeidman Consulting also wondered whether all the facts in the copyright portion of the case had been uncovered. We decided to pursue these questions using the advanced tools for detecting copyright infringement created by our sister company, Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering (SAFE Corporation) and the thorough processes that we have developed. What started off as simple curiosity turned into an interesting research and analysis project to determine if we could uncover evidence of copyright infringement that Oracle’s experts had missed. Our two-week effort turned up some very surprising results–significant amounts of apparently copied code that was not brought up at the trial.
The Oracle v. Google Lawsuit
The lawsuit began with Oracle accusing Google’s mobile operating system, Android, of violating both patents and copyrights that Oracle holds based on its Java programming language. Specifically Oracle initially accused Google of infringing seven of Oracle’s patents [ii] though five were later thrown out [iii], and also accused Google of copying 37 Java language application program interfaces (APIs) [iv] and other Java source code into Android source code. This article focuses on the copyright portion of the case, leaving the patent infringement claims to a future article (if we have the time).
Many law firms are starting to contemplate the new business opportunity that will arise on September 16, 2012, when the new post grant review procedures are ushered into effect thanks to the America Invents Act. The next wave of changes in patent law go into effect on September 16, 2012, which is one year to the day that President Obama signed the bill.
Section 7 of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act changes the name of the current “Board” from the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The AIA also dictates that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board members will include the Director, Deputy Director, Commissioner for Patents, Commissioner for Trademarks, and Administrative Patent Judges. The duties of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board are to: (1) Review adverse decisions of examiners upon an application for patent; (2) review appeals of reexaminations pursuant to section 134(b); (3) conduct derivation proceedings pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 135; and (4) conduct inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews pursuant to chapters 31 and 32 of title 35, United States Code. The AIA further requires that each appeal, derivation proceeding, post-grant review including covered business method patent review, and inter partes review shall be heard by at least 3 members of the Board, who shall be designated by the Director.
What do Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Lance Armstrong Foundation, Top Level Domain Holdings Limited, and The City of New York have in common? Each are seeking to register generic top-level domains (gTLDs) (.allstate, .walmart, .livestrong, .beer, and .nyc respectively). Now the race is on to see which applicants will actually make it to the finish line and secure the right to operate new gTLDs! These “zoning” changes to the Internet will change the way we search, advertise, and shop online.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) released the publicly available information from the 1930 new gTLD applications, which may be viewed at ICANN’s gTLD web site by clicking here. As a Brand Owner, what do you do now?
Over recent years, online advertising has been a driving force in the growth of the Internet. As business owners, you never stop hearing about the benefits of having your own website and advertising your services on-line. I am guilty of preaching this sermon myself! However, because of the ever-increasing existence of badware, it has become increasingly difficult to know what ads or websites we can trust. Thankfully, tech giants such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, PayPal and others have joined forces with StopBadware.org and formed the Ads Integrity Alliance (AIA) in order to combat Badware, protect users from bad ads and maintain the integrity of the “online advertising ecosystem.”
StopBadware.org is a non-profit organization that is focused solely on protecting the public from badware websites. The organization started out as a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University but has grown significantly to include partners such as Google, Mozilla, Verizon, PayPal, Qualys, and VeriSign. The StopBadware Board of Directors consists of many of the biggest names within the Online industry such as Chief Information Security Officer at PayPal, Michael Barrett, (Currently the Chair of the Board), the Vice-President and Chief Internet evangelist for Google, Vinton, G. Cerf, Engineering Director for Google, Mike Shaver, Chairman and CEO of Qualys, Inc., Philippe Courtot to name a few.
Chinese & WIPO Officials at opening of Diplomatic Conference on Audiovisual Performances (Credit: Yuan Wenming)
China State Counselor Liu Yandong and Beijing Deputy Mayor Lu Wei joined WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and over 700 delegates at today’s opening of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances here to conclude negotiations on a treaty that will shore up the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances.
Speaking to the opening ceremony, Chinese State Counselor Liu Yandong underlined the importance of innovation in driving economic, social and cultural development. Mrs. Liu said China has made great strides in the area of IP and underlined that her country is committed to IP protection. “The Chinese Government has a very clear attitude and strong position on the protection of IP,” she said. “Last year, China took new steps for and is determined to step up its implementation measures to protect IP. We wish to establish a sound and effective IP strategy and system with a view to unleashing the dynamism of science and technology.’’
The supplemental briefs for the parties and amicus are now finally in for the remand of the AMP v. USPTO case to the Federal Circuit. As I’ve previously stated, the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., which caused this remand should not change the fact that Myriad’s isolated DNA sequence claims are patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. That’s based on the Supreme Court’s 1980 decision in Diamond v. Chakrabarty (man-made living organism is patent-eligible) being the controlling precedent, not Mayo Collaborative Services. See Chakrabarty Controls on Isolated DNA Sequences, not Mayo*
Not surprisingly, the ACLU and PubPat’s supplemental brief assert that these Myriad’s isolated DNA sequence claims are patent-ineligible in view of Mayo Collaborative Services, arguing that these claims “patent laws of nature and products of nature.” This further mischaracterization of Myriad’s isolated DNA sequence claims perpetuates the unfortunate “myth” by the ACLU and PubPat that this case “is about the validity of certain patent claims on human genes.” See page 8 of Brief for Appellees that filed for the original Federal Circuit panel decision. But what the Federal Circuit panel should especially take note of in the remand of the AMP case is the supplemental amicus brief filed by Professor Christopher Holman of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.