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Posts Tagged: "Bob Goodlatte"

Music Industry Groups Square Off Against Songwriters, Small Publishers in Mechanical Licensing Collective Battle

On October 11, the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) was enacted into law after passing both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The bill was drafted in order to modernize U.S. copyright law as it relates to the licensing of copyright protected music for use in digital streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music. Such digital service providers (DSPs) may obtain a new kind of license created by the law, known as a blanket license, which covers the distribution of all musical works available for compulsory licensing. DSPs may then make these works available to consumers through covered activities, such as delivering digital phonorecords of musical works available in the form of a permanent download, a limited download or as an interactive stream.In short, the blanket license under the MMA allows Spotify and others to offer streaming music services without having to negotiate licenses with copyright-owning entities, including recording studios and songwriters. Instead, these streaming services would obtain a blanket license from the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), another new feature of the MMA. The MLC is a non-profit entity responsible for administering blanket licenses to DSPs, collecting and distributing royalties, enabling copyright owners to claim ownership of musical works and administering a process by which royalties for works with unidentified owners are equitably distributed to known copyright owners. The statutory language of the MMA directs the Register of Copyrights to designate the membership of the MLC within 270 days of enactment of the law. Given the date on which the MMA was enacted, this would indicate that July 8 of this year is the deadline for Register of Copyrights Karyn Temple to designate the MLC that would start administering blanket licenses at the beginning of 2021. There are two groups that have proposed their own membership of the MLC to the Copyright Office: a coalition of major publishers from the music industry, including the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), Songwriters of North America (SONA) and Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI); and the American Music Licensing Collective (AMLC), a collection of songwriters, musicians, tech developers and executives from smaller rights organizations and publishers within the music industry.

Iancu: ‘It is unclear what is patentable and what is not, and that can depress innovation’

Earlier today USPTO Director Andrei Iancu testified at an Oversight Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. In addition to detailing forthcoming changes to post grant proceedings, Director Iancu fielded many questions on patent eligibility. “The issue is very significant. It is significant to the Office, to our applicants, and it is significant to the entire industry,” Iancu responded to Congressman Collins. “In some areas of technology, it is unclear what is patentable and what is not, and that can depress innovation in those particular areas. Our plan at the PTO is to work within Supreme Court jurisprudence to try and provide better guidelines. What we think is in and what we think is out, and provide, hopefully, forward looking guidance that helps examiners and the public understand what at least from the PTO’s point of view we think is right.”

IP rights are essential ingredients to our innovation system

“Let’s talk a bit about intellectual property rights,” Undersecretary of Commerce and Director of NIST Walter Copan said at the LES Silicon Valley conference on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. “IP rights are American property rights.” This simple, declarative statement by Director Copan was as important as it was direct. These words were spoken on the morning after the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Oil States v. Greene’s Energy, which rather than saying patents are a property right instead called patents merely a “government franchise.”

The House IP Subcommittee: A Bunch of Fiddling Neros Watching the U.S. Patent System Burn

Interestingly, in the history of the entire CBM program, only three petitions have ended with final written decisions upholding all claims as valid. That’s 1 percent of all CBM petitions ultimately resulting in a final decision in favor of the patent owner… If Congress enacts legislation to mix the CBM program with IPRs and PGRs, which Rep. Issa seemed to contemplate during the hearing, then you just get the worst of both worlds: an environment in which any person could challenge any patent on the widest number of statutory grounds, and it all happens outside of the federal judiciary without a jury trial.

Increasing Fairness For Independent Songwriters By Improving The Music Modernization Act

As advocates for all music creators, including independent songwriters, we have endorsed the Music Modernization Act, along with other organizations spanning the music industry, as part of a package of important reforms that will better the lives of people who make music for a living and strengthen the music economy overall.

What is on the Horizon for Patent Owners in 2018?

One of the questions that gets asked this time of year, when the world is busy flipping the calendar from one year to the next, is “What are you looking forward to in the new year?” For patent owners operating in the U.S., however, it may be better to ask, “What are you looking ahead to in 2018?” Looking forward would seem to denote a sense of optimism and such optimism has been in short supply among those in the tech space who don’t have the deep wallets to withstand the costs of pursuing infringers, including those costs incurred by the efficient infringer cartel’s use of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte Announces Retirement

Earlier today Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who has been Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a strong proponent for patent reform, announced that he would be leaving Congress at the end of his current term and not standing for reelection in 2018… With Goodlatte exiting the fate of further patent reform efforts in the House will largely depend upon who ultimately is tapped to wield the Chair’s gavel. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) can be expected to make an internal push for the gavel.

Chinese President Xi Jinping says infringers should be punished and pay a heavy price

“Wrongdoing should be punished more severely so that IP infringers will pay a heavy price,” Xi said. At a time when President Xi is actively moving China’s IP policy to a place where infringers are met with harsher penalties, U.S. leadership in Congress, especially in the House of Representatives, seems to be opening their arms yet again to the efficient infringer lobby. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House IP subcommittee, support legislation and poor narratives that continue attempts to further gut the U.S. patent system, allowing infringers a free holiday and the ability to infringe without consequence or penalty.

House IP Subcommittee holds yet another one-sided hearing on bad patents and patent trolls

House IP subcommittee chair Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) led off the hearing by discussing the large number of interests who are often on Capitol Hill to discuss their issues with “patent trolls,” including the “genius ones” which have only been developed in recent years. Despite the intent of the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 to weed bad patents out of the system, “patent trolls” remain active. Issa felt there were a few reasons for this, including the fact that such entities make money and that good patents could still be used to assert unreasonable claims. “Why innovate when it’s far easier and more profitable to simply purchase a patent, acquire one, acquire the rights to a patent, perhaps one that has never been licensed, bully businesses into writing a check, go away without ever seriously litigating,” Issa said. He said that 80 percent of “patent troll” litigation focuses on small business. “Simply put, we should not confuse ‘Making America Great Again’ with ‘Making American Patent Trolls Richer Again,’” Issa said. Although Issa was pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on patent venue in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, he recoiled at what he felt was an “overreach” by Judge Rodney Gilstrap from the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.); Issa felt that Gilstrap misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland by denying a motion to transfer venue from E.D. Tex. in Raytheon v. Cray. “It is, in fact, an act that I find reprehensible by that judge,” Issa said.

House IP subcommittee looks for further ways to curb patent trolls after TC Heartland decision

The day’s hearing focused on the patent troll narrative despite the lack of a substantive connection between that narrative and the TC Heartland case… Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House IP subcommittee, started his remarks by asking to what degree the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland fixed a decade-old problem. Noting that new lawsuits have hit consumer electronics giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.), Issa went on to say that “patent trolls, in my opinion, are the scourge of the patent world. We have time and time again attempted to stop patent trolls while in fact being objected to by genuine innovators who feel that they will be trampled in our effort to stop the worst of the worst.” Issa also opined that the TC Heartland decision now likely makes businesses of all kinds avoid the jurisdiction of E.D. Tex. “Why set up shop in Eastern Texas if it creates venue for patent infringement,” he said.

Congress seeks to make Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointment

H.R. 1695 would amend 17 U.S.C. 701. Currently, the Register of Copyrights is appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and acts under the Librarian’s direction and supervision. That would change if and when H.R. 1695 becomes the law of the land. The substantive change would add the following sentence: “The Register of Copyrights shall be a citizen of the United States with a professional background and experience in copyright law and shall be appointed by the President from the individuals recommended under paragraph (6), by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”

Goodlatte pledges to pursue patent litigation reform, copyright reform in 115th Congress

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) holds the Chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee, and as such will wield a great deal of power over any intellectual property related legislative reforms that will occur during the 115th Congress. Earlier today Goodlatte unveiled his agenda for the 115th Congress. Not surprisingly, a portion of his agenda includes additional patent litigation reform in order to address what he characterizes as “truly frivolous lawsuits,” as well as reforms to keep America’s patent laws up to date and copyright reforms to help ensure “America’s global leadership in creativity and innovation continues.”

IP and the 115th Congress: Meet the Republicans of the House IP Subcommittee

The House Judiciary Committee will set the agenda for any intellectual property legislative reforms that will arise over the next two years during the 115th Congress, and the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet will take the lead for the full House Judiciary Committee. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is once again Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and in that role will continue to have tremendous influence on any intellectual property related matters… At the start of the 114th Congress, Congressman Darrell Issa was made Chair of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. Despite being an inventor himself, the bombastic Issa has aligned himself with Google and other Silicon Valley elites. Issa is not viewed as a friend of independent inventors, and instead lambasts patents trolls as often as he can. While no one likes a patent troll, Issa has taken the unusual step to equate patent trolls with all patent owners who enforce their patents.

The Uncertain Status of Michelle Lee Wounds the Patent System, Causes Political Anxiety

Going to DEFCON 1 has no doubt begun, and will only continue, as those who are opposed to Lee staying continue to publicly explain why she must go. As this story continues to drag out there will be more of this, and if she is nominated to serve as Director those that oppose her will be extremely well organized and will mount a significant challenge to her confirmation. The groundwork is already being laid. It could get very ugly I’m afraid, which would only divide the industry and seriously wound whoever is ultimately given the job.

Cruel and Unusual: Rumors swirl, still no answer on PTO Director

Fresh rumors surfaced late last night, however, suggesting that Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld is currently Acting Director of the USPTO. Two independent sources also told us that an internal candidate has been elevated to the position of Deputy Director of the USPTO, although it is not known whether that is on a permanent or temporary basis. It is believed that the Deputy Director of the USPTO is now Anthony Scardino, who was previously serving as Chief Financial Officer at the USPTO… Whatever the resolution of this matter is, this sad chapter in USPTO history has been grossly unfair to Michelle Lee. Either she is Director or she is not Director. Someone somewhere has to know the answer to this very simple, straightforward question, but no one with authority will comment.