Posts Tagged: "Department of Justice"

Supreme Court Punts on Costco First Sale Copyright Case

United States Supreme Court issued a non-decision in the matter of Costco Wholesale Corporation v. Omega, S.A. The Per Curiam decision simply read: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court. Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.” Unfortunately, this non-decision could well signal the beginning of the end for the first sale doctrine given that goods manufactured and sold outside the United States can apparently be controlled downstream by the copyright owner without the copyright owner having exhausted rights through the sale.

News, Notes and Announcements

In this edition of News, Notes & Announcements, websites engaged in the sale of counterfeit merchandise were ordered seized as part of a joint investigation coordinated between the Department of Justice and ICE. Additionally, there will be an event celebrating the 30th Anniversary of passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in Washington, DC on Wednesday morning; the USPTO will hold a roundtable on Friday, December 3, 2010 to discuss trademark prosecution best practices; FIRST, the company founded by Dean Kamen, received a 5 year contract from NASA to provide support for hands-on robotics competitions aimed at inspiring our youth to pursue science and technology; ITT launches an innovative new graduate program that combines engineering, design and intellectual property; the mother of all patent trolls is back at it both in terms of licensing and in terms of acquiring more patents; and patented software that makes it possible to find plagiarized code is released.

Conflicting Positions on Gene Patents in Obama Administration

On Monday evening, November 1, 2010, David Kappos, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, told the Dow Jones news service: “The USPTO at the present time is maintaining the status quo. We’re continuing with current procedures as they are.” This could set up a contentious and public policy battle between the United States Department of Commerce and the United States Department of Justice. This battle of agency titans — DOJ v. DOC — comes as a result of the Department of Justice filing an amicus brief in The Association of Molecular Pathology v. The United States Patent and Trademark Office, which actually does not take the side of the USPTO, but rather says that what the USPTO is doing is wrong. Thus, in an extremely odd twist the DOJ is supporting the plaintiffs’ against the United States Patent Office.

Department of Justice Seeks to Cripple Biotech Industry and Fundamentally Change Patent Laws

On Friday, October 29, 2010, practically on the eve of a national election that will in all certainty be an enormous rebuke of the Obama Administration and the Democrats’ agenda in general, the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that would destroy the U.S. biotechnology sector. In an astonishing and irresponsible policy shift that directly contradicts the long-standing policy of the United States federal government and a variety of agencies, the Department of Justice is promoting the dialing back of what is considered patentable subject matter and is urging the Federal Circuit to rule that “isolated but otherwise unaltered genomic DNA is not patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.”

DOJ, FTC & PTO to Hold Workshop on Promoting Innovation

On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a joint public workshop on the intersection of patent policy and competition policy and its implications for promoting innovation. Assistant Attorney General for the department’s Antitrust Division Christine Varney, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David J. Kappos, and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will give opening remarks at the morning session of the workshop. FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez will open the afternoon session.

Google Books Patent Suggests Copyright Friendly Censorship

In this patent Google gives us a glimpse at the possible future of Google Books, which can censor books it serves based on the copyright laws of the location from which you access the Internet. In one implementation the method disclosed includes a user requesting a document, the request being received, information being processed and the viewable portions of the document being determined based on the governing copyright laws. The governing copyright laws are determined based on information relating to the user, such as relying on the IP address of the requester, which can disclose the geographic location of the user, at least when it is not spoofed.