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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

You Can’t Stop Pirate Libraries

Reason – “Where there’s demand for books, the internet will supply them. Shadow libraries exist in the space where intellectual property rights collide with the free-flowing exchange of knowledge and ideas. In some cases, these repositories of pirated books and journal articles serve as a blow against censorship, allowing those under repressive regimes to access otherwise verboten works. At other times, shadow libraries—a.k.a pirate libraries—function as a peer-to-peer lending economy, providing e-books and PDFs of research papers to people who can’t or won’t pay for access, as well as to people who might otherwise be paying customers. Are the proprietors of these pirate libraries freedom fighters? Digital Robin Hoods? Criminals? That depends on your perspective, and it may also differ depending on the platform in question. But one thing is certain: These platforms are nearly impossible to eradicate. Even a greatly enhanced crackdown on them would be little more than a waste of time and resources. Some of the biggest digital-age shadow libraries—including Library Genesis (or Libgen) and Aleph—have roots in Russia, where a culture of illicit book sharing arose under communism. “Russian academic and research institutions…had to somehow deal with the frustrating lack of access to up-to-date and affordable western works to be used in education and research,” the legal researcher Balázs Bodó wrote in the 2015 paper “Libraries in the Post-Scarcity Era.” “This may explain why the first batch of shadow libraries started in a number of academic/research institutions such as the Department of Mechanics and Mathematics…at Moscow State University.”

OCLC Files Suit Against Clarivate for Using Its WorldCat Cataloging for a New Service

Information Today NewsBreaks:  “On June 13, 2022, OCLC filed suit against Clarivate PLC and its subsidiaries, Clarivate Analytics (US) LLP, Ex Libris, and ProQuest in the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio. Claims in the suit include tortious interference with contracts and prospective business relationships and conspiracy to interfere with contracts and business… Continue Reading

The Seizure of Jewish Intellectual Property Ahead of World War II

Library of Congress – Copyright Creativity at Work: “The following is a guest post by Marilyn Creswell, information resources assistant at the University of Michigan Law School. She served as Librarian-in-Residence at the U.S. Copyright Office from July 2020 to April 2021. [h/t Mary Whisner] As the United States enters the Days of Remembrance of… Continue Reading

Russia says its businesses can steal patents from anyone in ‘unfriendly’ countries

Washington Post: “Russia has effectively legalized patent theft from anyone affiliated with countries “unfriendly” to it, declaring that unauthorized use will not be compensated. The decree, issued this week, illustrates the economic war waged around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the West levies sanctions and pulls away from Russia’s huge oil and gas industry. Russian… Continue Reading

Publicizing Corporate Secrets for Public Good

Morten, Christopher, Publicizing Corporate Secrets for Public Good (February 13, 2022). University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 171, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract= “Federal regulatory agencies in the United States hold a treasure trove of valuable information essential to a functional society. Yet little of this immense and nominally “public” resource is accessible to the public.… Continue Reading

The Grammarly tradeoff: Is better writing worth exposing business data?

Protocol: “Writing tools including Grammarly use data from users to train their AI. Some businesses, especially those making products or software, worry it puts their intellectual property at risk. People using writing assistants at work might love sending polished emails to colleagues or crafting smarter company social media posts. Their company’s IT and legal teams… Continue Reading

A Cheese by Any Other Name: The Legal Challenge over “Gruyere”

In Custodia Legis: “On December 15, 2021, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia upheld an administrative decision finding that, in the United States, “gruyere” is a generic term for a type of cheese, and therefore ineligible for legal protection through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Gruyère is a geographic… Continue Reading

USPTO launches new Patent Public Search tool and webpage

“The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new Patent Public Search tool that provides more convenient, remote, and robust full-text searching of all U.S. patents and published patent applications. Based on the advanced Patents End-to-End (PE2E) search tool USPTO examiners use to identify prior art, this free, cloud-based platform combines the capabilities of… Continue Reading

Legal Matters: The Legal Context of Health Informatics in Global Pandemics

Kaplan, Bonnie, Legal Matters: The Legal Context of Health Informatics in Global Pandemics (November 12, 2021). Kaplan, B. Legal Matters: The Legal Context of Health Informatics in Global Pandemics, Context Sensitive Health Informatics: The Role of Informatics in Global Pandemics, eds. R Marcilly, L Dusseljee-Peute, CE Kuziemsky, X Zhu, P Elkin, Am- sterdam: IOS Press,… Continue Reading

Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age: 2021 – Chapters 1 and 2

Menell, Peter S. and Lemley, Mark A. and Merges, Robert P. and Balganesh, Shyamkrishna, Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age: 2021 – Chapters 1 and 2 (July 11, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3884159 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3884159 “Rapid advances in digital and life sciences technology continue to spur the evolution of intellectual property law. As professors… Continue Reading

What Happened to Amazon’s Bookstore?

The New York Times – “A 2011 thriller was supposed to cost $15. One merchant listed it at $987, with a 17th-century publication date. That’s what happens in a marketplace where third-party sellers run wild. John C. Boland was poking around the Amazon bookstore when he saw the science thriller “Hominid” for sale at dizzying… Continue Reading