Posts Tagged: "Congress"

WhatsApp end-to-end message encryption draws political ire in U.S. and abroad

In the world of messaging services, the cross-platform mobile messaging app WhatsApp enjoys the enviable position of being the world’s most popular messaging service, eclipsing one billion monthly active users as of this February. Owned by Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), WhatsApp’s user base even outpaces that of Facebook’s flagship messaging service Messenger. Over on Capitol Hill, WhatsApp’s encrypted messaging services has been drawing strong language from those perceiving the technology as a possible security threat.

House overwhelmingly passes Defend Trade Secrets Act, bill now moves to White House

Earlier today the United States House of Representatives passed S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), by a vote of 410-2. Only Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) voted against the bill. Even before the Senate passed the DTSA the Obama Administration voiced strong support for the bill, therefore, it is expected that President Obama will quickly sign the bill into law over the next several days.

Intellectual Property Professors Call on Congress to Modernize the Copyright Office

As the Library of Congress ushers in a new era with a new Librarian, the time is ripe to ensure that the Copyright Office has the accountability and authority to best serve all of its stakeholders—most of all the American public. The nomination of Dr. Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress provides us with the opportunity to clarify the importance of the roles both the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office play in creating, cataloging, and administering the systems that preserve and promote our nation’s culture, by ensuring that the two talented leaders have a close partnership and a direct working relationship, with appropriately defined authority and responsibility for their respective areas of expertise.

American business likely to benefit from greater protection for trade secrets

Where an ex parte order is unavailable under the DTSA, complainants may still seek injunctive relief. However, unlike the UTSA, which also offers injunctive relief, the DTSA includes language providing that an injunction is improper and not issuable if it: (1) prevents a person from entering into an employment relationship, or if conditions placed on employment are not supported by evidence of threatened misappropriation, or (2) otherwise conflicts with an applicable state law prohibiting restraints on the practice of a lawful profession, trade, or business.

Appropriately Crafted Federal Trade Secrets Legislation Will Promote Competition and Economic Welfare

Trade secrets are the only major type of intellectual property (IP) that is not backed by U.S. federal civil remedies to compensate owners for theft. Notably, American businesses face hundreds of billions of dollars in losses per year due to trade secret misappropriation, and the problem is worsening, as cybertheft (particularly from China) continues to grow in scale… Appropriately crafted civil trade secret legislation is no panacea, but it holds the promise of providing tangible benefits, not just to private trade secret holders, but to the overall economy. In addition to vindicating property rights and protecting individual businesses, such legislation should enhance the effectiveness of the competitive process and thereby raise economic welfare.

Defend Trade Secrets Act Adopted by Senate

In today’s political climate, any bipartisan legislative action is, well, unusual. Unanimous votes are like unicorns. But one happened yesterday, as the Senate voted 87-0 to approve the Defend Trade Secrets Act, S.1890. The DTSA does not preempt state laws, but provides trade secret owners with another, optional forum when the subject matter of the trade secret relates to interstate commerce. This means that local disputes will for the most part continue to be litigated in state courts, but for cases that can use the special advantages provided by nationwide service of process and a single set of rules across multiple jurisdictions, plaintiffs are likely to use the federal option.

Obama Administration strongly supports Defend Trade Secrets Act

Earlier today the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy, which strongly supports passage of s. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). The policy statement explained: ”The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016… S. 1890 would establish a Federal civil private cause of action for trade secret theft that would provide businesses with a more uniform, reliable, and predictable way to protect their valuable trade secrets anywhere in the country.”

Paul Ryan, Fee Diversion and Presidential Politics

This extra attention on Wisconsin, coupled with Paul Ryan being the dream candidate for those who favor an open Republican Convention, provides us with a somewhat manufactured, yet novel and non-obvious opportunity to examine Ryan’s views on patents. Oddly, much like those of candidate Kasich, Ryan’s views have been in favor of fee diversion, which have been identified by former heads of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office as the single biggest problem that has or will face the Office. Indeed, the mentality that leads Donald Trump to exalt the virtues of eminent domain for the greater good isn’t all that different from the thinking that must be required when Paul Ryan (and Kasich too) decide it is appropriate to siphon off user fees from the USPTO.

Patent litigation venue reform tips scales of justice against innovators

Despite being grossly unfair to small inventors, the courts are routinely transferring cases to a venue containing the headquarters of the infringing multinational corporation, as happened in this case. Often cases are moved thousands of miles requiring outside counsel, travel, additional motions and legal work and other costs. Often the new venue is not experienced in patent cases and may take years longer to conclude the litigation. Part of the strategy for defendants is to fight a costly war of attrition against independent inventors and small businesses. Eventually they will be forced to give up. That is why patent reform that impacts venue matters so much, it is about raising costs, tipping the scales of justice and beating innovators into submission using procedural rules.

Patent Reform Returns: Venue Reform Bill to be introduced in Senate

While widespread patent reform seems unlikely during the remainder of the 114th Congress, targeted patent reform is another matter entirely. Indeed, the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship recently held a hearing largely attacking the America Invents Act (AIA) and the current reform bills and in a bi-partisan manner. And this week we may see a bi-partisan push in the Senate for a bill that focuses only on venue reform, which will be co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). The bill, available in draft form, is titled the Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016.

The Patent System: It is important for America that we get it right

Small businesses and independent inventors are critical to revolutionary advancement of American technology. They file over 20% of the applications at the USPTO, and their patents are more likely to encompass breakthrough inventions, rather than incremental change. While Congress has considered a range of legislative reforms, the other branches of government have also been moving forward with challenges confronting the patent system. It is important for America that we get this right. Thoughtful legislation can further improve the patent system and lead to more job creation and economic growth as long as we remember that it is the patent system fuels America’s innovative spirit.

Patent Reform at all Costs: Desperate reformer resorts to lies

It is pure nonsense to say that opponents of patent reform never offer specifics, cite or discuss textual language of the bills. Utter fiction and complete fantasy. Frankly, Lee’s claims are as comical and insulting as they seem to be uninformed. Only the most disingenuous partisan could suggest that opponents of patent reform do not offer specific explanations citing to textual language of the bills. Indeed, quite the opposite is true. Opponents of patent reform make far more detailed and nuanced arguments. These intellectual, detailed, nuanced arguments have lead those fighting patent reform to lose the linguistic battle time and time again. So not only is what Lee saying false, but it is 180 degrees opposite from reality. So spurious are Lee’s claims that at first glance the article comes across as a piece of patent satire published by The Onion.

Patent Reform in 2016, Maybe Not as Dead as you Think

As interesting as the Senate may become when patent reform resurfaces, the dynamic in the House will be fascinating for many reasons. Since patent reform stalled there is a new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI). Speaker Ryan has said he plans to return the House to regular order and allow business to trickle up from members to the full House rather than have legislation forced down from leadership on Members. It is widely known that Goodlatte and Issa continue to want more patent reform and are seeking opportunities to push forward to a vote in the House. Will Speaker Ryan allow the Innovation Act to come to a vote in the House?

Senator Grassley talks about patent reform at Iowa town halls

The first meeting this week was in Grundy Center, IA, during which a question about patent reform was asked. Grassley answered that he was trying to stop patent trolls, which he described as a person who buys up patents but never intends to build a product, and then sends threatening letters to small businesses demanding thousands of dollars or they will get sued. Notably, he said that it costs our economy $83B per year.

The Year in Patents: The Top 10 Patent Stories from 2015

It is that time once again when we look back on the previous year in preparation to close the final chapter in order move fresh into the year ahead. 2015 was a busy year in the patent world, although change was not as cataclysmic as it was in 2013 when the United States became a first to file country or in 2014 when the Supreme Court issued the Alice v. CLS Bank decision. It was still an interesting year nevertheless. As I close out 2015, I’ve reviewed my patent articles and have come up with my own top 10 patent moments for 2015. They appear in chronological order as they happened throughout the year.