Viewing post categorized under: Other Intellectual Property



March 8 / Article, Other Intellectual Property

Dilemma of Trade Dress, Informational Values and Enigmatic Distinctiveness; Semiotics Illuminating the Status of Distinctiveness

Abstract: From info-economic point of view, the growing kinds of interactions between producers and consumers have occupied a large extent of commercial dialogues. The way by which a trade dress as an example of trademarks could promote the quality of an info-commercial system is our first question. At the same time, we know that the trademark law system, each of word mark and trade dress plays its own communicational roles based on laws which govern each of lingual and visual systems of communication. However, as a matter of fact, assimilating the concepts “trademark” and “trade dress” has invariably been posing the fundamental question of determination of “distinctiveness”. In this article we have tried to analyze and streamline the question of distinctiveness of trade dress based upon semiotics. Reaching at the conclusion that in terms of distinctiveness trade dress should be treated as a “pre-occurred” and explore-able event in relation to consumers not as a “presume-able” matter in relation to trade dress itself.

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February 7 / Blogs, Other Intellectual Property, Technology

Friend or Foe: Legal Rights of Artificial Intelligence

Abstract: As technology develops around the world, various forms of artificial intelligence are beginning to appear in every aspect of our daily lives. Robotic technology, such as drones and driverless cars, assist us in the transportation, military, and security sectors. Scientists predict that human jobs will be outsourced to machines and robots in the near future. Consequently, certain questions have arisen about the legal status of robots and whether robots may require constitutional rights. If robots are given legal rights, should they also be held liable for any illegal acts that they commit? If not, then who should be held liable for their conduct? In anticipation of these questions, certain countries have initiated the process of drafting and proposing legislation regarding robots and other types of artificial intelligence. It is likely advantageous for other countries to follow this lead because artificial intelligence, specifically robots, will be intertwined with humanity in the near future.

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February 7 / Blogs, Computing, Other Intellectual Property, Technology

Selfies in Court: Snapchat as Admissible Evidence

Abstract: Social media is now a widely accepted and important medium of evidence in court. Yet Snapchat, a new and popular image messaging app among the youngest generation of smartphone users threatens to upend the field of social media evidence. Snapchat is unique among social media platforms because it functions to avoid permanence. Such is the appeal to today’s teenagers: a normal “snap” (a picture or video captured through the app) can only be viewed for a maximum of ten seconds before it deletes. Users may also choose to upload a snap to their “Story,” which posts the picture or video for all their contacts to view multiple times within a twenty-four hour period. The deleting function unique to Snapchat presents inherent difficulty in saving images taken through the app. In fact, recipients of snaps are left with only one method of saving the images they see: the “screenshot.” A screenshot is a smartphone function not related to Snapchat which captures what the viewer sees on their phone screen at that moment and can be saved. While it has been these screenshots which have allowed Snapchat to enter the world of admissible evidence, it is now use of the app itself as evidence which have signaled courts’ acceptance of Snapchat and its greater value to justice in the near future.

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February 6 / Blogs, Copyright, Other Intellectual Property

The Long Arm of the National Football League: Is The NFL’s Copyright Policy Violating the Rights of Its Fans and Franchises?

Abstract: As the highest grossing sports league in the world, the National Football League (NFL) operates with expansive and unprecedented reach. Each Super Bowl broadcast from 2010 to 2016 ranks as one of the seven most viewed programs in American television history and Sunday Night Football was the most watched weekly program in four of the past five years. Unsurprisingly, the NFL is intent on protecting their immensely popular product through aggressive intellectual property protections, though few are as pervasive as the telecast warning that accompanies every NFL game: “This telecast is copyrighted by NFL Productions for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL’s consent is prohibited.” Does the NFL’s copyright warning truly preclude fans from talking about a game with coworkers or from posting about it on their social media pages? How far does it extend? Given recent coverage by outlets such as ESPN in October 2016, there are indications that the NFL’s aggressive copyright tactics extend to its franchise teams as well. According to sourced league memoranda, the NFL has prohibited its Member Clubs from shooting or streaming video inside the stadium during a game and posting it on any form of social media, punishable by an initial fine of $25,000 and up to $100,000 for additional offenses.6 Further, teams are prohibited from taking video from broadcasts and creating their own highlights or moving images, including Graphics Interchange Format images (popularly known as GIFs). Essentially, the NFL has severely limited a Member Club’s ability to use media content its organization had an essential role in creating and, debatably, authoring.

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March 31 / Article, Other Intellectual Property

Equine Cloning: An Investigation of Legality and Prospects

Abstract: In equestrian sports, the horses’ abilities will largely determine the outcome of any match or competition. In the competitive equestrian world, the ideal horse is not only the best playing animal, but is also a model specimen of its breed. Investing in a horse that carries good genes ensures a return on investment because the genes can be passed to many progeny through well crafted breeding programs. Thus breeding competitive horses has evolved into a highly studied and regulated industry. A world-renowned polo player, Adolfo Cambiaso, together with Crestview Genetics, has popularized cloning in the world of breeding competitive horses. Historically, equine breeders strove to produce the best competition horse, by selecting two talented horses to breed. Technological advances, like artificial insemination allowed for horses in different locations to be bred. Now, cloning allows the genetic material of a talented horse to be identically copied in creating one, or multiple offspring. Currently, it is unclear what the impact cloning will have on equine sports both legally and athletically.

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February 21 / Blogs, Other Intellectual Property, Patent

Data Exclusivity for Biologic Drugs: the TPP’s Potential Poison Pill?

Abstract: On October 5, 2015, after many years of secretive negotiations, the US government with 11 other countries across the Asia-Pacific and Latin America reached an agreement on the largest free-trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Addressing everything from wildlife conservation and tax reductions for agriculture, to the free flow of information on the Internet and intellectual-property rights for movies and pharmaceutical drugs, this far-reaching agreement has the potential to impact up to one-third of world trade. One of the most contentious parts of the agreement involves intellectual property rights of pharma companies to data exclusivity for biologics, a hot and promising type of pharmaceutical derived from living organisms.

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November 25 / Article, Other Intellectual Property, Technology

Telemedicine & The Courts: Teladoc v. Texas Medical Board as a Case Study

Abstract: Using varied technology platforms to leverage healthcare accessibility has become a principal goal for the venture capitalists that fund tech startups. Today, health
insurance companies such as Aetna and United Healthcare have partnered with telemedicine companies in order to provide the service for its members. Teladoc, Inc., which markets itself as the first and largest telehealth provider in the United States, is one such company. Of all of business generated by Teladoc’s 11.5 million members, one quarter comes from Texas.

Over the course of the past year, however, Teladoc’s ability to continue its services in the state has been on legally tenuous ground due to repeated steps taken by the Texas Medical Board to oust the company from its state. The Teladoc, Inc. v. Texas Medical Board case exemplifies the collision between emerging technology and healthcare law, and serves as a useful study of the treatment such a dispute receives from the court system.

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November 25 / Blogs, Other Intellectual Property, Trade Secret

The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Arrival of the Trade Secret Trolls?

Abstract: In today’s world it is increasingly apparent that advancements in technology have allowed information to be shared, and to be stolen, more than ever before. This
encompasses simple tweets, as well as information guarded and seemingly protected by small businesses and large corporations alike. There have been expected downsides with these technological capabilities, namely state-backed cyber espionage and trade secret misappropriation. A new bill that is currently facing Congress, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, is aimed at creating a federal private cause of action under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA). It is a bill that will, if passed, expand the EEA to provide federal jurisdiction for the theft of trade secrets. There is no question as to the degree of importance the protection of trade secrets is to United States businesses and society at large. The question is whether the well-intentioned DTSA will actually do more harm than good. There are a substantial number of legal professionals that have voiced their concern that not only will it fail to significantly hinder cyber-espionage, but it will open the door to a new breed of predators, trade secret trolls

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November 25 / Blogs, Copyright, Other Intellectual Property, Patent, Trademark

Intersection of American Law and Technology: The Innovation Act’s Fight Against Patent Trolls

Abstract: Few issues have attracted more legal attention and spurred more public debate in recent years than the controversy over patent rights. The crossroads of American law
and innovation finds its origin in the U.S. Constitution. Article 1, section 8 states that “Congress shall have the power to…promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” The founding fathers recognized the social value of innovation, and the critical role government will inevitably play in protecting and encouraging technological advances.

Out of the foundations of the Constitution grew an elaborate system of patent laws, evolving over time to meet the needs of modern society. Nevertheless, in recent years, the frequency of extraneous patent lawsuits has become increasingly concerning. The economic and social burdens of frivolous litigation have led “academics, policymakers, and even judges to suggest that patent law[s] may have overleaped its proper bounds, or at least become too likely to frustrate, rather than to fulfill, its constitutional purpose of ‘promot[ing] the progress of science and useful arts’. The primary causes of this problem are the overly litigious entities pejoratively known as patent trolls, who are collectively responsible for the majority of today’s patent infringement cases. Although solutions to this complex problem are evasive, the need for reform is readily apparent. One of the most important and highly debated pieces of legislature surrounding the issue of patent trolls is the Innovation Act. This article introduces the Innovation Act, discusses proposed arguments for and against it, and opine on its merit.

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November 25 / Article, Featured, Other Intellectual Property, Patent

Daraprim and the Pharmaceutical Pricing Paradox: A Broken System?

Abstract: On August 10, 2015, at a cost of $55 million, Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the exclusive U.S. marketing rights to Daraprim, a drug that treats toxoplasmosis (a life-threatening parasitic infection), from Impax Laboratories. Just a few weeks after the acquisition, Turing announced that, effective immediately, the price of Daraprim would be raised from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet, an increase of over 5,500 percent. The overnight price spike has generated considerable censure from healthcare professionals, politicians and the general public. Yet, Turing Pharmaceuticals is not the only company in recent months to substantially increase the price of one of its brand-name drugs.  Just nine days after Turing’s acquisition of Daraprim, Rodelis Therapeutics announced its acquisition of Cycloserine, a drug used to treat tuberculosis, and subsequently raised the price for 30 capsules of the drug from $500 to $10,800. While public pressure has since forced the price of Cycloserine to be scaled back to $1,050, Turing and Rodelis have shown that pharmaceutical companies can realize substantial upside by targeting old, neglected drugs (often for rare diseases) and refashioning them into high-priced specialty drugs.

In a recent study by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the average prices for brand-name prescription drugs were found to have increased by an average of 13 percent in 2013, compared to the inflation rate the year of just 1.5 percent. The Daraprim and Cycloserine cases, while extreme illustrations, depict a broader trend of increasing U.S. drug and health care costs to patients. The two manufacturers’ pricing decisions illustrate a longstanding tension in the pharmaceutical industry between the need for firms to recoup the high costs associated with bringing drugs to market and keeping drugs affordable for consumers.  To date, neither Turing nor Rodelis faces any lawsuits tied to their pricing decisions for Daraprim and Cycloserine respectively.  However, given what has transpired with Daraprim and Cycloserine, and the need to keep drug and health care costs down, perhaps action should be taken to deter future price spikes on brand-name drugs.  That is, under these circumstances, should the government intervene to curb the considerable price-making power that pharmaceutical companies possess in order to better serve the patients who rely on their brand-name drugs and society at large?

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