Week’s news headlines – Aug. 14th 2015

What’s the deal with joke copyrights?

In a move that we can only hope will lead to the elimination of social media scourges like celebrity “parody” accounts, Twitter has started removing tweets that include stolen jokes on copyright grounds.

An article by The Verge shows an original joke tweeted by freelance writer Olga Lexell (“saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side”) along with pictures of copies of the joke posted by spam accounts that had been removed by the social media service, “withheld in response to a response from the copyright holder.”

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Why you should register your copyrights: the benefits of registration under the Copyright Act

A copyright is automatically created upon the completion of an original work of authorship that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. While an automatic copyright protects that work, a formal registration of copyrighted materials within three months of release to the general public provides extra benefits that can prove extremely valuable to the owner.

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October digs in on intellectual property draft

THE Department of Trade and Industry is not going to pander to any side when it comes to its intellectual property policy, director-general Lionel October said on Thursday.

The American Chamber of Commerce in SA (AmCham) has urged the US trade representative to use its review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) to pressure SA’s government to change the draft policy in favour of US companies.

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The Importance of Intellectual Property in the Device Lifecycle

Intellectual property considerations need to be made at every stage of a medical device product lifecycyle to ensure strong protection and increases chances of commercial success.

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BMW looks at whether Google’s Alphabet infringes trademark rights

Aug 11 BMW on Tuesday said it was looking into whether Google infringed any trademark rights after the Silicon Valley-based group set up a new company called Alphabet, which is also the name of a BMW subsidiary.

“We are examining whether there are any implications over trademarks,” a BMW spokeswoman said on Tuesday. The spokeswoman said there were currently no plans to take legal steps against Google.

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FTC seeks flexibility on unfair competition cases

Washington • The Federal Trade Commission adopted principles for challenging unfair competition that allow the agency to keep a flexible approach after critics called its review standards vague and a hindrance to legitimate business practices.

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FTC tries to define “unfair competition”

A new statement of principles was adopted without public input, critics note

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EFF to Court: Expanding Copyrights In Old Music Recordings Will Squelch Competition In New Music Services

Are you a radio listener? A fan of classic rock or jazz? Do you tune in to Sirius XM’s “60s on 6” channel or seed your Pandora stream with the Rolling Stones? A case in federal appeals court in New York (and a similar case in California) could shake up music broadcasting,

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More IP rights for students sought

If a student comes up with a patentable idea while working on a university project — say, the next great social media network — how much claim does that institution have to the intellectual property rights? That’s a question many universities — which are increasingly eager to foster an environment friendly to student entrepreneurs — are trying to answer.

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Asean’s fight for intellectual property rights

Patents, trademarks, copyrights – these are some the words used to describe an intangible form of branding culminated from the imaginative minds of people.

Enter the world of intellectual property, whereby one values an idea, brand or concept as a method of selling their goods and services.

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Under Armour files for trademarks on Jordan Spieth logo

While Under Armour has garnered plenty of exposure from its head-to-toe sponsorship of Masters and U.S. Open winner Jordan Spieth , the company has yet to cash in on Spieth gear itself, which has not yet hit the market.

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Don’t Be Like Mike: Register Trademarks In CHINESE

As we noted last week, Michael Jordan has lost – again – in his ongoing effort to combat alleged trademark infringement in China.

Our first post on this topic reiterated a point that must be familiar to even the most casual reader of this blog: register your trademark now, before someone else does it for you.

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Hey lawmakers, patents and innovation aren’t the same – here’s a reminder

Lobbyists can make it hard to tell who is right in the patent reform debate. The Economist just blew away much of the rhetoric.

Patents mean more innovation, right? Sadly, that’s not the case as The Economist makes clear. In a terrific piece of writing in the August 8th issue, the UK magazine explains in clear language what has gone so wrong:

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Startups cast wary eye on IBM patent sales pitches

Startups were puzzled by the emailed sales offers, but IBM says this is all just business as usual.

Over the past week, several startups have received e-mailed pitches from IBM IBM 1.28% , offering patents for sale in their areas of expertise. That raised eyebrows among the recipient companies, who said the cold-calling aspect of the pitches was out of the ordinary for IBM, although it is not at all unusual for any large patent holder to sell off patents that are not key to its businesses.

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Time to fix patents

Ideas fuel the economy. Today’s patent systems are a rotten way of rewarding them
IN 1970 the United States recognised the potential of crop science by broadening the scope of patents in agriculture. Patents are supposed to reward inventiveness, so that should have galvanised progress. Yet, despite providing extra protection, that change and a further broadening of the regime in the 1980s led neither to more private research into wheat nor to an increase in yields. Overall, the productivity of American agriculture continued its gentle upward climb, much as it had before.
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