US High Court Opens Door To More (And Older) Copyright Suits

Music, movie, and television companies suffered a major defeat yesterday, when the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The ruling will lead to a flood of new copyright infringement suits against these content companies, according to many experts. And content companies may not be the only losers.

Copyright Ruling In US May Impair Free Speech

The 9th Circuit’s recent decision in Garcia v. Google has sparked outrage among many internet businesses, media organisations, civil rights groups, and copyright experts. They assert the ruling significantly alters US law in a manner that will greatly restrict free speech. But a minority of experts say there is nothing to fear.

“Innocence of Muslims” Creates Copyright Controversy In US

When “Innocence of Muslims” first appeared online, the video provoked outrage among millions of Muslims around the world. Now the consternation has spread to many copyright experts, internet firms, news organisations, and entertainment companies, who assert that a recent 9th Circuit decision about the movie makes a major change in US copyright law, with terrible consequences for the internet, media, and free speech. Others state that the ruling makes no change at all in US law.

Novel Legal Attack On Patent Trolls Falters In US

It began last May, when a tiny state in the United States launched a novel legal attack against a notorious patent troll. Other states and the federal government soon followed, all asserting that the troll’s efforts to licence its patents violated consumer protection laws. At first, this new legal strategy produced some significant victories. Many experts and government officials embraced consumer protection law as an important new tool against patent trolls. But a recent court ruling has cast doubt on the future of this once-promising strategy.

Once More, US Supreme Court Will Review Software Patents

When it comes to software-related inventions, US patent law is a confused mess. So it was no surprise that, in early December, the United States Supreme Court announced it would weigh in on the matter. The court granted certiorari in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank in order to decide when software-related inventions are patentable subject matter. But given the complicated technology and the high court’s confusing precedents in this area, many experts fear that the ruling in Alice will bring little clarity to this area of the law.

US Supreme Court Questions America’s Power To Carry Out Treaties

On 5 November, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could undermine America’s ability to carry out its treaty obligations. The case casts a shadow over the country’s power to implement a wide variety of international agreements, including trade and intellectual property agreements.

As US Government Shutdown Continues, Effects On IP System Grow

The US government shutdown is now in its second week, causing more and more of the country’s intellectual property regime to grind to a halt. The shutdown’s effects also are rippling overseas, hindering US efforts to negotiate two major international trade deals containing significant IP provisions.

Study: Patent Trolls In US Use Business Method Patents To Target More Firms

Patent assertion entities in the United States have done well from software patents. These companies, which some call “patent trolls,” have garnered a clear majority of their revenues by licensing software patents and suing those who refuse to purchase licences. But these companies’ reliance on software patents may be coming to an end. In recent years, these companies are increasingly exploiting business method patents, and by doing so are targeting a much larger range of businesses, according to a recently released study.

United States Confounded By Standard-Essential Patents

The United States is in a muddle over standard-essential patents. The nation’s courts and its executive agencies all agree that these patents play vital roles in the economy, but they disagree about what remedies are available when these patents are infringed. A recent decision by the US International Trade Commission has added to the confusion.