Week’s news headlines – Aug. 7th 2015

Fibria’s and Eldorado’s eucalyptus breeds are 99% similar, Brazilian court rules
A Brazilian court has confirmed that a eucalyptus breed produced by biotechnology company Eldorado Brasil Celulose is genetically identical to pulp producer Fibria Celulose’s own cultivar product VTO2.
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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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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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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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Disparaging trademarks and the constitutionality of refusing registration under the Lanham Act

Disparaging trademarks have been the subject of vocal debate for over twenty years, but this debate has come to a head recently over the cancellation of the registration of the infamous “Redskins” trademarks belonging to the Washington Redskins professional football team.  The legal issue so hotly contested is whether prohibiting registration of trademarks based on their potentially disparaging nature, i.e., their content and any viewpoints espoused thereby, violates the freedom of expression granted by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

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