Week´s news headlines – Dec. 30th 2015

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Intellectual property rights attorneys slam proposed amendments in patent rules

CHENNAI: A few key proposed amendments in the patent rules, such as limiting adjournments to just three and restricting the right to file patent applications only to patent attorneys and not all regular lawyers, have come in for criticism from an association of IPR attorneys.

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Thai firms warned to protect trademarks

THE INTELLECTUAL Property Department has warned businesses to register their patents, trademarks or copyrights before trading in markets, both local and international, as some Thai products have already been registered abroad and sold without the consent of the real owners.

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Court of Appeals Rules that Prohibition Against Federal Registration of Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional Restriction of Free Speech 

A recent Court of Appeals decision that could have an impact on the Washington Redskins trademark dispute about their team name, is covered in the following article by my law partner, Mitch Stabbe, who specializes in trademark law.  He writes about a case where the Court determined that trademark rule that has lead to the denial or rejection of trademarks deemed ot be disparaging was ruled to be an unconstitutional infringement on Free Speech.  This is the first of what we hope will be many articles on this blog from Mitch and his team of trademark specialists:

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Stranglehold on music copyrights is loosening in Japan

Pop music agency Avex Group Holdings, known for managing artists such as Exile, Namie Amuro and Tokyo Girls’ Style, announced in October that they plan to transfer the copyright administration of up to 100,000 songs from the current holder, JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers), to their affiliate copyright organization, e-License. Then in December, Avex announced that e-License and JRC (Japan Rights Clearance), another copyright mangament company, would be merged into a new organization, NexTone, on Feb. 1, 2016.

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Ten Reasons Authors Aren’t Retaking Their Copyrights: Guest Post

Section 203 of the Copyright Act of 1976 grants to authors a termination right, which is now daily vesting in new authors the ability to regain control of their works. We are now more than 12 years into the window in which Section 203 recapture termination notices could have been served/recorded. While the number of recorded recapture termination notices to date is more than 10,000, the number of authors is far lower — fewer than 500, in fact (several prolific authors have filed multiple notices).

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Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘Who’s On First’ Doesn’t Get Past First Base

Earlier this year, we wrote about (yet another) ridiculous copyright lawsuit where the heirs of famous people think they must own something just because everything must be “owned.” In this case, it was the heirs of Abbott & Costello, claiming copyright infringement because a Broadway play, Hand of God, uses a bit of the famed “Who’s On First?” routine in the play. You probably know “Who’s On First?” already, right?

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