People In IP: Shifting Sands In The Global IP Community

Just as the world of international intellectual property law and policy is ever-changing, so are the faces within it. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a new deputy director in Silicon Valley veteran Michelle Lee, who has been acting as director. Many changes occurred at the US Trade Representative’s office, including the naming of a top tech industry lobbyist as deputy USTR, the return to Geneva of a key US figure at the WTO, and the defection of a top IP negotiator to the copyright industry.

Other developments included Canada’s Information & Privacy Commissioner tapping a new Privacy by Design (PbD) Ambassador in a growing program set up to address the growing and systemic effects of Information and Communication Technologies, and of large-scale networked data systems. And there are a number of new delegates in Geneva dealing with IP issues, and many changes on the NGO front, while slews of law firms continue to expand their IP practices to more effectively deal with the ever-changing patent and copyright law landscape.

Below you will find an updated list of the latest people news and IP moves across international organisations, national and regional governments, non-profit organisations, and the private sector.

Year Ahead: Biotech, IP Promise to Create Controversy From Farms To Big Pharma In 2014

The intersection of biotechnology and intellectual property continues to be a hot topic across the globe. From the patenting of certain plant varieties to human genes, to biodiversity and food security, to genetic resources, countries from developing to developed are attempting to navigate often blurred lines in terms of what can and cannot be patented, what should – and shouldn’t – be patented, and protecting innovators from farmers to plant breeders to drug manufacturers.

EPO Appeals Board Upholds Ruling Limiting Stem Cell Patentability

A European Patent Office (EPO) Boards of Appeal this week handed down a verdict in the area of stem cell patenting that could provide further guidance on what is patentable under the European Patent Convention (EPC) when it comes to biotechnology.

Crowdfunding ‘Operation Ninja STAR’ Arms Small Business Against Patent ‘Trolls’

Small businesses form the backbone of the American economy, but many see patent assertion entities (PAEs), or, “patent trolls” and troll lawsuits as serious wrenches thrown into these economic engines of innovation and ideas.

So, Article One Partners (AOP), a global patent research community that crowdsources its research for tech giants and law firms the likes of Microsoft and Google, today launched “Operation Ninja STAR,” a crowdfunding effort to help small businesses defend themselves against PAEs behaving badly.

People In IP: Movers And Shakers In The IP World Jostle For Influence

Just as the world of international intellectual property law and policy is ever-changing, so are the faces within it. There’s a new head of the US Commerce Department who has a bold, IP-friendly agenda coming up, and there’s a hole at the helm of the USPTO. The British Prime Minister named an entertainment industry-friendly IP advisor, while Twitter has formed its own PAC and hired its first lobbyist as the social media platform continues to rise in both use and influence. Law firms in the US are bolstering their IP practices, recognising that it’s these issues that spur action most in Congress. Read the latest edition of the IP-Watch People column for an updated list of the latest people news and IP moves.

Goodlatte Patent Bill Heads To House; Trolls Not So Bad, After All?

As a bill aimed at curbing patent “trolls” and frivolous patent lawsuits makes its way through the United States Congress and states fight their own troll battles in the name of consumer protection, some patent attorneys and stakeholder groups want lawmakers to slow down and take a breath.

Goodlatte Patent Troll Bill Being Marked Up; Patent Lawyers Say Let AIA Work

NEW YORK – Anyone who depends on – and cares about – the American patent system needs to make some noise to their representatives in Congress and protest a potentially “awful” piece of legislation that has wide support, a popular US patent judge said this week.

Big Pharmaceutical Firms Say MDGs Partnerships Are ‘Best-Kept Secret’

NEW YORK – The vast collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry, government and civil society is perhaps “one of the best-kept secrets of our industry,” the head of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) said this week, stressing the need for even more cooperating heading into the post-2015 development agenda at the United Nations.

Standards-Setting Organisations Increasingly Make IPR A Priority

Washington, DC – Standards guide many aspects of our lives. They instruct how telephones talk to each other, how the life sciences community shares information, how electrical devices are charged, and how the internet runs, among other things.

It’s standard-setting organisations (SSOs) that facilitate discussions among stakeholders – including intellectual property owners and users – and produce common, typically voluntary technical standards to address needs and concerns of those using the technology. Companies need to make compatible or interoperable products that comply with these standards in order to compete in the global marketplace. And intellectual property is increasingly coming into play in the development of these standards.

IP And The White House: What Happens With IP Issues After The US Presidential Election?

What would a Mitt Romney White House mean for intellectual property and open internet, and just how would a Vice President Paul Ryan affect those policies? Would a new Republican administration replacing the current Democratic administration mean a new approach to IP? Here is Intellectual Property Watch’s comparison of what IP-related policies may look like under Obama and Romney.