In the Spotlight

Free Legal Advice Sessions and Q&A Discussion for D.C. Area Authors

D.C. Area Authors: Join us at George Mason Law School on February 16th to receive free legal advice on copyright and publishing matters from George Mason Law School’s Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic. Authors Guild General Counsel Jan Constantine and George Mason Professor Sandra Aistars will host an evening event at George Mason University School of Law where authors can meet with Mason Law’s clinic students, advised by experienced copyright practitioners, to obtain advice and guidance on copyright issues they are facing.

UPDATE: We have added a Skype option so that AG members who live outside the DC metro area can participate.

For more information, please click here.

CPIP Releases New Issue Paper Debunking the Royalty Stacking Theory in the Mobile Wireless Industry

On January 20, 2016, CPIP released a new issue paper, Debunking the Royalty Stacking Theory: Real-World Evidence from the Mobile Wireless Industry, by Devlin Hartline & Matthew Barblan.

The royalty stacking theory predicts that the price of products comprised of numerous patented inventions, like smartphones, should rise as each patent owner demands an excessive royalty for its component part. Looking at real-world data from the mobile wireless industry, the authors show that the competitive harms predicted by the royalty stacking theory simply have not come to fruition.

To read the full issue paper, please click here.

CPIP Senior Scholars File Amicus Brief in Pharmaceutical Case Testing Patent-Antitrust Boundary

On December 21, 2015, CPIP Senior Scholars Adam Mossoff and Kristen Osenga joined Professor Gregory Dolin in filing an amicus brief urging the Third Circuit to preserve the careful balance that Congress has struck between patent law and antitrust law.

In Mylan Pharmaceuticals v. Warner Chilcott, the Third Circuit will consider whether antitrust law prohibits a pharmaceutical company from reformulating its drugs. The amici ask the appellate court to affirm the district court’s decision that it does not, pointing out that the imposition of antitrust liability for drug reformulations would threaten innovation in the pharmaceutical industries to the detriment of consumers.

To read the full amicus brief, please click here.

CPIP’s Adam Mossoff Files Amicus Brief in Halo v. Pulse Discussing History of Patent Licensing and Litigation

On December 16, 2015, Professor Adam Mossoff filed an amicus brief in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., a case currently before the Supreme Court concerning the proper test for enhancing patent infringement damages.

Prof. Mossoff offers the Court historical insights to counter the argument made by some that enhanced damages should not be available to those who merely license their patented innovations. First, he explains how “patent licensing has played a significant and important role in the patent system since the early nineteenth century” that drives “America’s innovation economy.” Second, he demonstrates that “patent litigation rates are within historical norms and, in fact, are lower than patent litigation rates seen for decades in the Antebellum Era.”

To read the full amicus brief, please click here.

CPIP Releases New White Paper on Copyright Principles and Priorities for Congress

On December 2, 2015, CPIP released a new white paper, Copyright Principles and Priorities to Foster a Creative Digital Marketplace, by Sandra Aistars, Devlin Hartline, and Mark Schultz.

As Congress continues its comprehensive review of the Copyright Act, the authors suggest how the law and the institution responsible for its administration–the U.S. Copyright Office–might be updated and restructured to better support a thriving, creative digital marketplace. They offer several organizing principles, as well as several areas to prioritize for action, for Congress to consider as it revises the copyright law.

The authors also give a brief overview of the constitutional origins of copyright protection, explaining how the premise of our copyright system–that authors’ rights and the public good are complementary–comports with the dominant natural rights philosophy in the early American Republic. They then examine several ways in which the copyright system fulfills its purpose, as envisioned by the Founders, by driving innovation in the creative industries.

To read the full white paper, please click here.

CPIP Releases New Issue Paper on How IP-Fueled Innovations in Biotechnology Have Led to the Gene Revolution

On November 30, 2015, CPIP released a new issue paper, The Gene Revolution, by Amanda Maxham, a research associate and writer at the Ayn Rand Institute.

Dr. Maxham explores how innovations in biotechnology, enabled by the intellectual property rights that protect them, have led to the “Gene Revolution,” where scientists use genetic engineering to dramatically improve human life. In order to combat widespread misinformation about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), she traces mankind’s long history of improving plants, animals, and microorganisms to better serve our needs.

In particular, Dr. Maxham looks at twenty-nine different GMOs, including insulin, flu vaccines, cheese-making enzymes, apples, cotton seeds, and pet fish, as examples of the endless possibilities the “Gene Revolution” holds for the betterment of humanity–if we can overcome the groundless mistrust and strive to protect the future of scientific innovation.

To read the full issue paper, please click here.

CPIP Releases Paper Debunking Myths About Trade Secret “Trolls”

On November 17, 2015, CPIP released a draft paper, The Myth of the Trade Secret Troll: Why We Need a Federal Civil Claim for Trade Secret Misappropriation, by James Pooley, the nation’s preeminent expert on trade secret law.

Mr. Pooley explains the arguments in favor of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (DTSA), which would create a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. The DTSA is currently being considered by Congress. The paper will be published in a forthcoming issue of the George Mason Law Review.

To read the full paper, please click here.

CPIP Releases New Policy Brief on Harmonizing the Remedies for Criminal Copyright Infringement

On October 27, 2015, CPIP released a new policy brief, Protecting Authors and Artists by Closing the Streaming Loophole, by Devlin Hartline & Matthew Barblan.

They argue that in order to protect authors and artists from having their works repeatedly stolen on the internet, it is long past time to harmonize the remedies for criminal copyright infringement to reflect the ways that copyrighted works are commonly misappropriated these days.

To read the full policy brief, please click here.

CPIP’s Adam Mossoff & Devlin Hartline on State Patent Demand Letter Abuse Laws

On October 16, 2015, Morning Consult published an op-ed by CPIP Senior Scholar Adam Mossoff and CPIP Assistant Director Devlin Hartline on the various state laws that have been enacted since 2013 aimed at curbing patent demand letter abuse. They argue that “this fractured patchwork of legislation threatens the certainty and consistency required for inventors and businesspersons to bring to market new patented innovations.”

Pointing out that many patent owners “legitimately rely on demand letters to communicate with potential licensees and to resolve infringement disputes without going to court,” Mossoff and Hartline note that this fractured system of varying state laws “directly undermines the reason the Framers placed in the Constitution the power in Congress to secure patent rights under federal law.” They conclude: “We should not let individual states jeopardize our nationwide patent system, which for more than two centuries has formed the bedrock of our innovation economy.”

To read the full op-ed on Morning Consult, please click here.

CPIP Hosts Copyright Policy Network Meeting

On October 15, 2015, CPIP hosted a Copyright Policy Network Meeting at George Mason University School of Law. The meeting included representatives from government, academia, and industry who participated in discussions on copyright law and policy.

CPIP Releases New Policy Brief on Smartphone Patent Licensing Myths

On October 7, 2015, CPIP released a new policy brief, Busting Smartphone Patent Licensing Myths, by Keith Mallinson, Founder of WiseHarbor. Mr. Mallinson is an expert with 25 years of experience in the wired and wireless telecommunications, media, and entertainment markets.

Mr. Mallinson discusses several common myths concerning smartphone patent licensing and argues that antitrust interventions and SSO policy changes based on these myths may have the unintended consequence of pushing patent owners away from open and collaborative patent licensing. He concludes that depriving patentees of licensing income based on these myths will remove incentives to invest and take risks in developing new technologies.

To read the full policy brief, please click here.

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