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Public Performance Rights In The Digital Age: Fixing The Licensing Problem, G. S. Hans Dec 2012

Public Performance Rights In The Digital Age: Fixing The Licensing Problem, G. S. Hans

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Recent technological advances have allowed consumers to reinvent the mixtape. Instead of being confined to two sides of an audiocassette, people can now create playlists that stretch for hours and days on their computers, tablets, mobile devices, and MP3 players. This, in turn, has affected how people consume and listen to music, both in isolation and in groups. As individuals and business owners in the United States use devices to store, organize, and listen to music, they inevitably run up against the boundaries of U.S. copyright law. In general, these laws affect businesses more often than private individuals, who ...


The Case Against Combating Bittorrent Piracy Through Mass John Doe Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, Sean B. Karunaratne Nov 2012

The Case Against Combating Bittorrent Piracy Through Mass John Doe Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, Sean B. Karunaratne

Michigan Law Review

Today, the most popular peer-to-peer file-sharing medium is the BitTorrent protocol. While BitTorrent itself is not illegal, many of its users unlawfully distribute copyrighted works. Some copyright holders enforce their rights by suing numerous infringing BitTorrent users in a single mass lawsuit. Because the copyright holder initially knows the putative defendants only by their IP addresses, it identifies the defendants anonymously in the complaint as John Does. The copyright holder then seeks a federal court's permission to engage in early discovery for the purpose of learning the identities behind the IP addresses. Once the plaintiff knows the identities of ...


Patents And Regulatory Exclusivity, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Apr 2012

Patents And Regulatory Exclusivity, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Book Chapters

This article reexamines the sources of exclusivity for drugs, considers their limitations, and evaluates exclusivity under the new biologics legislation in light of these limitations. The current overlapping legal protections for exclusivity in the pharmaceutical marketplace reflect a series of political compromises, repeatedly renegotiated to correct for unintended consequences in the previous version of the rules. Patents and patent challenges play a central role in this system of protection, and many of the patents at stake are ultimately held invalid in litigation. It is not easy to untangle a complex legal regime that allocates billions of dollars of profits. But ...


Rebalancing Trips, Molly Land Apr 2012

Rebalancing Trips, Molly Land

Michigan Journal of International Law

Application of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) dispute resolution procedures to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement) has provoked a variety of reactions over time. At its inception, the decision to enforce the treaty through the WTO's dispute resolution process was widely viewed as a loss for developing countries. Many feared it would lead to an explosion of litigation against developing countries and cause distortions in domestic intellectual property (IP) policy making. More recent scholarship, however, has argued that these fears were unfounded. Few disputes before WTO panels have involved violations of the TRIPS ...


The Myth Of The Sole Inventor, Mark A. Lemley Mar 2012

The Myth Of The Sole Inventor, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

The theory of patent law is based on the idea that a lone genius can solve problems that stump the experts, and that the lone genius will do so only if properly incented. But the canonical story of the lone genius inventor is largely a myth. Surveys of hundreds of significant new technologies show that almost all of them are invented simultaneously or nearly simultaneously by two or more teams working independently of each other. Invention appears in significant part to be a social, not an individual, phenomenon. The result is a real problem for classic theories of patent law ...


Antitrust Rulemaking As A Solution To Abuse On The Standard-Setting Process, Adam Speegle Mar 2012

Antitrust Rulemaking As A Solution To Abuse On The Standard-Setting Process, Adam Speegle

Michigan Law Review

While many recognize the critical role that technology plays in modern life, few appreciate the role that standards play in contributing to its success. Devices as prevalent as the modern laptop computer for example, may be governed by over 500 interoperability standards, regulating everything from the USB drive to the memory chip. To facilitate adoption of such standards, firms are increasingly turning to standard-setting organizations. These organizations consist of members of an industry who agree to abide by the organization's bylaws, which typically regard topics such as patent disclosure and reasonable licensing. Problems arise, however, when members violate these ...


Copyright And The Vagueness Doctrine, Bradley E. Abruzzi Feb 2012

Copyright And The Vagueness Doctrine, Bradley E. Abruzzi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Constitution's void-for-vagueness doctrine is itself vaguely stated. The doctrine does little to describe at what point vague laws-other than those that are entirely standardless-become unconstitutionally vague. Rather than explore this territory, the Supreme Court has identified three collateral factors that affect its inclination to invalidate a law for vagueness: (1) whether the law burdens the exercise of constitutional rights, (2) whether the law is punitive in nature, and (3) whether the law overlays a defendant-protective scienter requirement. Measured against these factors, copyright law does not meet the vagueness doctrine's minimum requirement of fair notice to the public ...


Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca Sue Eisenberg Jan 2012

Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca Sue Eisenberg

Law & Economics Working Papers

For a quarter century following the landmark 1980 decision of the Supreme Court in Diamond v. Chakrabarty, inventions and discoveries in biotechnology research appeared to be eligible for patent protection, assuming they meet the statutory standards for patent protection. The Supreme Court reopened the issue of patentable subject matter in 2005 when it granted certiorari in Laboratory Corporation v. Metabolite on the question of whether a method of diagnosing vitamin deficiency by observing a biomarker was unpatentable as a “basic scientific relationship.” Although the Court later dismissed the case without reaching a decision on the merits, since that time the ...


Improving Patent Notice And Remedies: A Critique Of The Ftc's 2011 Report, Alan Devlin Jan 2012

Improving Patent Notice And Remedies: A Critique Of The Ftc's 2011 Report, Alan Devlin

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

2011 was an eventful year for those interested in patent law. In March, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") released a report that urges the Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") and courts to remedy perceived inadequacies underlying the U.S. patent system. The FTC observes that people of skill in the art routinely encounter difficulty in determining the meaning, and hence exclusive scope, of a patent's claims. Not only does this failure of notice stymie the efficient dispersion of technology throughout the economy, the FTC argues, but the judicial process can aggravate the problem by granting inappropriate remedies in patent-infringement ...


Student Intellectual Property Issues On The Entrepreneurial Campus, Bryce C. Pilz Jan 2012

Student Intellectual Property Issues On The Entrepreneurial Campus, Bryce C. Pilz

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This article examines issues that are more frequently arising for universities concerning intellectual property in student inventions. It seeks to identify the issue, explain the underlying law, identify actual and proposed solutions to these issues, and explain the legal ramifications of these potential solutions.


Res Or Rules - Patents And The (Uncertain) Rules Of The Game, Emily Michiko Morris Jan 2012

Res Or Rules - Patents And The (Uncertain) Rules Of The Game, Emily Michiko Morris

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The Article proceeds as follows. Part I reviews the basics of patent claiming, the traditional view of claims as real property deeds, and why uncertainty as to the boundaries of those deeds is considered undesirable. Part II critiques the analogy between real property deeds and patent claims, highlighting in particular the requisite novelty and conceptual nature of the patent res, the differences between the purposes of the patent system and real property regimes, and the effect of these different purposes on the expected predictability of patent boundaries. Part III then changes the analogy from patent claims as property deeds to ...


Property As Control: The Case Of Information, Jane B. Baron Jan 2012

Property As Control: The Case Of Information, Jane B. Baron

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

If heath policy makers' wishes come true, by the end of the current decade the paper charts in which most of our medical information is currently recorded will be replaced by networked electronic health records ("EHRs").[...] Like all computerized records, networked EHRs are difficult to secure, and the information in EHRs is both particularly sensitive and particularly valuable for commercial purposes. Sadly, the existing federal statute meant to address this problem, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"), is probably inadequate to the task.[...] Health law, privacy, and intellectual property scholars have all suggested that the river ...


Patents V. Statutory Exclusivities In Biological Pharmaceuticals - Do We Really Need Both, Yaniv Heled Jan 2012

Patents V. Statutory Exclusivities In Biological Pharmaceuticals - Do We Really Need Both, Yaniv Heled

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Over the past decade or so, the United States has been the arena of a boisterous debate regarding the creation of a new regulatory framework for the approval of generic versions of biologics-based pharmaceutical products (also known as "biological products" and "biologics")--an important and increasingly growing class of drugs. The basic purpose of such a framework is to create a fast and less-costly route to FDA approval for biologics that would be similar or identical to already-approved biological products--typically ones that are sold on the market at monopoly rates--thereby allowing cheaper versions of such medicines to enter the market ...


Fighting The First Sale Doctrine: Strategies For A Struggling Film Industry, Sage Vanden Heuvel Jan 2012

Fighting The First Sale Doctrine: Strategies For A Struggling Film Industry, Sage Vanden Heuvel

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The first sale doctrine, codified at 17 U.S.C. § 109, grants the owners of a copy of a copyrighted work the right to sell, rent, or lease that copy without permission from the copyright owner. This doctrine, first endorsed by the Supreme Court in Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus, was established at a time when the owner of a good necessarily had to forego possession in order to sell or lease the item to another.[...] The changes in technology and industry over the past two decades threaten to upend this balance. In today's digital world, an owner of a ...


Patent Infringement As Criminal Conduct, Jacob S. Sherkow Jan 2012

Patent Infringement As Criminal Conduct, Jacob S. Sherkow

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Criminal and civil law differ greatly in their use of the element of intent. The purposes of intent in each legal system are tailored to effectuate very different goals. The Supreme Court's recent decision in Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 131 S. Ct. 2060 (2011), however, imported a criminal concept of intent--willful blindness--into the statute for patent infringement, a civil offense. This importation of a criminal law concept of intent into the patent statute is novel and calls for examination. This Article compares the purposes behind intent in criminal law with the purposes behind intent in patent ...


Burying, Robert Brendan Taylor Jan 2012

Burying, Robert Brendan Taylor

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

When applying for a patent, applicants must provide the examiner with all known material prior art. Those who fail to do so can be charged with inequitable conduct. But applicants can still effectively hide material prior art references by submitting them along with large quantities of immaterial prior art to the examiner. This deceptive practice, known as "burying," is generally not considered inequitable conduct. This Essay summarizes the current legal landscape concerning burying, discusses the costs associated with the practice, and suggests ways to deter and punish those who do it.


An Explicit Policy Lever For Patent Scope, Anna B. Laakmann Jan 2012

An Explicit Policy Lever For Patent Scope, Anna B. Laakmann

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Since its inception in 1982, the Federal Circuit has declined to take an overt role in setting patent policy. Dan Burk and Mark Lemley have observed that the court instead implicitly engineers patent policy through selective application of its patentability rules, which operate as "policy levers." Recent decisions on the patentability of diagnostic and therapeutic methods illustrate a significant problem with this approach. By maintaining a façade of adjudicative rule formalism while tacitly manipulating its rules to approximate policy goals, the court perpetuates empirical uncertainty about the patent law's practical effects. This Article proposes that the Federal Circuit use ...


Argh, Matey! The Faux-Pas Of The Sopa (Stop Online Piracy Act), Anna S. Han Jan 2012

Argh, Matey! The Faux-Pas Of The Sopa (Stop Online Piracy Act), Anna S. Han

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Earlier, I posted about a network neutrality case, Verizon v. FCC, which could have far-reaching consequences for the Internet industry. Another concerted attempt to regulate the Internet, disguised in the form of a piracy protection bill, recently came before the House Judiciary Committee and garnered widespread disapproval. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of twelve co-sponsors introduced the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (“SOPA”) on October 26, 2011, which punishes websites that are accused of facilitating copyright infringement. Although touted by its supporters as a weapon against foreign sites that steal and sell American inventions, SOPA is problematic because ...


Antibiotic Resistance, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2012

Antibiotic Resistance, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Ten years ago, when I wrote War Stories,' copyright lawyers were fighting over the question whether unlicensed personal, noncommercial copying, performance or display would be deemed copyright infringement. I described three strategies that lawyers for book publishers, record labels, and movie studios had deployed to try to assure that the question was answered the way they wanted it to be. First, copyright owners were labeling all unlicensed uses as "piracy" on the ground that any unlicensed use might undermine copyright owners' control. That epithet helped to obscure the difference between unlicensed uses that invaded defined statutory exclusive rights and other ...


Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2012

Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In 1980, the Supreme Court gave a reassuring signal to the then-nascent biotechnology industry about the availability of patent protection for the fruits of its research when it upheld the patentability of a genetically modified living organism in Diamond v. Chakrabarty. Twenty-five years later, the Court seemed poised to reexamine the limits of patentable subject matter for advances in the life sciences when it granted certiorari in Laboratory Corporation v. Metabolite. But the Federal Circuit had not addressed the patentable subject matter issue in Laboratory Corporation, and the Court ultimately dismissed the certiorari p etition as improvidently granted. Five years ...