As temperatures have started to drop across the U.S., IP matters remain heated. Below is a recap of key highlights in U.S. intellectual property.
United States Patent and Trademark Office
New Director of USPTO nominated
Michelle K. Lee was formally nominated as the next Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; she has been serving as Deputy Director since January 2014. She will be the first woman to be permanent director of the USPTO.
Michelle Lee’s first public speech post-nomination was as the opening speaker for the AIPLA (American Intellectual Property Law Association) Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. A recap of this speech is provided by the IAM blog. Of interest is her assertion of continued support for congressional patent reform agenda.
New Informational Resources
The USPTO has made available new informational resources, called “toolkits”, in regards to common questions on trademark and patent litigation. This webpage is especially important for small businesses and sole properties that receive cease and desist letters and are unclear on next steps. To view this information, go to the USPTO website.
Copyrights in the Spotlight
While patents continue to draw high profile coverage in major newspapers and magazines, copyright took the spotlight in a New Yorker article that asked, “Are copyright laws too strict?” This article takes a deep look at the myriad of copyright issues as well as the history of copyright in the U.S. A key point made by the author, Louis Menand, is that “The problem is that the judicial record is inconsistent” and “Judicial unpredictability makes for legal anxiety.” Read the full article on The New Yorker website. Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, @Dennemeyer.
Trans-Pacific Partnership, IP Chapter
On October 16, 2014, WikiLeaks released a second leaked draft version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. Since the first leaked version, there has been numerous discussions and analysis on these agreements and their negative global ramifications. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “The TPP still contains text on DRM, ISP liability, copyright term lengths, and criminal enforcement measures, and introduces new provisions on trade secrets that have us worried.”
The Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been generally in support of the TPP clauses that have been released. They have released a “Top 10 Myths About the IP Chapter” of the TPP, available on the GIPC website.
Intellectual Property Watch released a fairly comprehensive article, detailing the views and issues brought forth by the critics of the TPP draft. From the article, “One of the most revealing aspects of the document is that it shows which countries take which positions – and shows the United States and Japan to be on the extreme when it comes to intellectual property protection and trimming of exceptions, sources say.”
Do you have an opinion on the leaked draft TPP documents? Let us know on Twitter, @Dennemeyer.