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Full-Text Articles in Law

What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman Nov 2018

What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman

Articles

For all of the rhetoric about the central place of authors in the copyright scheme, our copyright laws in fact give them little power and less money. Intermediaries own the copyrights, and are able to structure licenses so as to maximise their own revenue while shrinking their pay-outs to authors. Copyright scholars have tended to treat this point superficially, because – as lawyers – we take for granted that copyrights are property; property rights are freely alienable; and the grantee of a property right stands in the shoes of the original holder. I compare the 1710 Statute of Anne, which …


Universities: The Fallen Angels Of Bayh-Dole?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Robert Cook-Deegan Oct 2018

Universities: The Fallen Angels Of Bayh-Dole?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Robert Cook-Deegan

Articles

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 established a new default rule that allowed nonprofit organizations and small businesses to own, as a routine matter, patents on inventions resulting from research sponsored by the federal government. Although universities helped get the Bayh-Dole Act through Congress, the primary goal, as reflected in the recitals at the beginning of the new statute, was not to benefit universities but to promote the commercial development and utilization of federally funded inventions. In the years since the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, universities seem to have lost sight of this distinction. Their behavior as patent seekers, patent …


Certiorari, Universality, And A Patent Puzzle, Tejas N. Narechania Jun 2018

Certiorari, Universality, And A Patent Puzzle, Tejas N. Narechania

Michigan Law Review

The most important determinant of a case’s chances for Supreme Court review is a circuit split: If two courts of appeals have decided the same issue differently, review is substantially more likely. But practically every appeal in a patent case makes its way to a single court—the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. How, then, does the Supreme Court decide whether to grant certiorari in a patent case?

The petitions for certiorari in the Court’s patent docket suggest an answer: The Supreme Court looks for splits anyway. These splits, however, are of a different sort. Rather than consider whether …


What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman May 2018

What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman

Law & Economics Working Papers

It is becoming increasingly clear that the supposed copyright wars that copyright scholars believed we were fighting – nominally pitting the interests of authors and creators against the interests of readers and other members of the audience – were never really about that at all. Instead the real conflict has been between the publishers, record labels, movie studios, and other intermediaries who rose to market dominance in the 20th century, and the digital services and platforms that have become increasingly powerful copyright players in the 21st. In this essay, adapted from the 13th annual University of Cambridge Center for Intellectual …


Symbols, Systems, And Software As Intellectual Property: Time For Contu, Part Ii?, Timothy K. Armstrong May 2018

Symbols, Systems, And Software As Intellectual Property: Time For Contu, Part Ii?, Timothy K. Armstrong

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The functional nature of computer software underlies two propositions that were, until recently, fairly well settled in intellectual property law: first, that software, like other utilitarian articles, may qualify for patent protection; and second, that the scope of copyright protection for software is comparatively limited. Both propositions have become considerably shakier as a result of recent court decisions. Following Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the lower courts have invalidated many software patents as unprotectable subject matter. Meanwhile, Oracle America v. Google Inc., 750 F.3d 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2014) extended far more expansive copyright protection …


Why The Copyright Act Expressly Preempts State-Level Public Performance Rights In Pre-1972 Recordings, James Fahringer May 2018

Why The Copyright Act Expressly Preempts State-Level Public Performance Rights In Pre-1972 Recordings, James Fahringer

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Over the past several years, two former bandmates in the 1960s rock group, The Turtles, have initiated several lawsuits against the popular music streaming services, Pandora and Sirius XM, arguing that the band owns common law copyrights in the sound recordings of its songs, and that these state-level copyrights grant the band an exclusive public performance right in its sound recordings. If accepted, this argument has the potential to significantly distort federal copyright policy because states would not be constrained by any of the balancing features of the Copyright Act, including Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors for Internet …


The "Broadest Reasonable Interpretation" And Applying Issue Preclusion To Administrative Patent Claim Construction, Jonathan I. Tietz Jan 2018

The "Broadest Reasonable Interpretation" And Applying Issue Preclusion To Administrative Patent Claim Construction, Jonathan I. Tietz

Michigan Law Review

Inventions are tangible. Yet patents comprise words, and words are imprecise. Thus, disputes over patents involve a process known as “claim construction,” which formally clarifies the meaning of a patent claim’s words and, therefore, the scope of the underlying property right. Adversarial claim construction commonly occurs in various Article III and Article I settings, such as district courts or the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). When these proceedings ignore each other’s claim constructions, a patent’s scope can become inconsistent and unpredictable. The doctrine of issue preclusion could help with this problem. The Supreme Court recently reemphasized in B & …


Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown Jan 2018

Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown

Law Librarian Scholarship

Copyright protection attaches automatically to original works you create, whether a poem, photograph, painting, song, video, or essay. Copyright limits what others can do with your creative work and protects your original work from, for example, being compiled or reused and sold for profit. If you hold the copyright—and didn’t, say, create the original work in an employment context where it may be subject to being a work for hire—you may want to allow others to use your work for particular purposes. You could individually negotiate a license granting rights to each person, which would undoubtedly take more and more …


Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown Jan 2018

Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown

Law Librarian Scholarship

Copyright protection attaches automatically to original works you create, whether a poem, photograph, painting, song, video, or essay. Copyright limits what others can do with your creative work and protects your original work from, for example, being compiled or reused and sold for profit. If you hold the copyright—and didn’t, say, create the original work in an employment context where it may be subject to being a work for hire—you may want to allow others to use your work for particular purposes. You could individually negotiate a license granting rights to each person, which would undoubtedly take more and more …


Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder Jan 2018

Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder

Michigan Law Review

In today’s economy, consumers demand experiences. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, fans do not just want to watch or read about their favorite characters— they want to be them. They don the robes of Gryffindor, flick their wands, and drink the butterbeer. The owners of fantasy properties understand this, expanding their offerings from light sabers to the Galaxy’s Edge®, the new Disney Star Wars immersive theme park opening in 2019.Since Star Wars, Congress and the courts have abetted what is now a $262 billion-a-year industry in merchandising, fashioning “merchandising rights” appurtenant to copyrights and trademarks that give fantasy owners …


The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs Jan 2018

The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs

Michigan Law Review

A central tenet of patent law scholarship holds that if any scientific field truly needs patents to stimulate progress, it is pharmaceuticals. Patents are thought to be critical in encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop and commercialize new therapies, due to the high costs of researching diseases, developing treatments, and bringing drugs through the complex, expensive approval process. Scholars and policymakers often point to patent law’s apparent success in the pharmaceutical industry to justify broader calls for more expansive patent rights.

This Article challenges this conventional wisdom about the centrality of patents to drug development by presenting a case study of …