Tag Archives: intellectual property

New Zealand: Eminem’s publisher turns IP troll, knocks down $400k in “damages”

Source: Billboard

“A New Zealand judge said Eminem’s lyrics ‘You own it, you better never let it go’ turned out to be prophetic after ruling a political party breached copyright by using a song similar to Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ in its campaign ads. High Court Judge Helen Cull on Wednesday ordered the conservative National Party to pay the Detroit rapper’s publisher 600,000 New Zealand dollars ($415,000) plus interest. The case earlier featured odd moments such as gowned lawyers listening studiously to profanity-laced rap and Eminem collaborator Jeff Bass flying in from Detroit to play the song’s distinctive opening riff, which he wrote.” (10/25/17)


Markets for secrets?

Source: Notes on Liberty
by Ash Navabi

“In a world without intellectual property, would it be possible to buy and sell secrets? I suggest the answer is yes. In this post, I provide both a theoretical framework for such markets, as well as pointing to real life examples of such markets already existing.” (10/12/17)


A troubling new tactic to keep bad patents from being tossed out

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri

“On September 8, 2017, the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company Allergan announced that it ‘sold’ its patents relating to its eye drops ‘Restasis’ to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. But this was not a usual ‘sale.’ The Tribe doesn’t appear to have paid anything in exchange for becoming the legal owner of Allergan’s patents. Instead, Allergan paid the Tribe $13.75 million, and also agreed to pay the Tribe up to $15 million more each year in exclusive licensing fees. In other words, Allergan just paid out millions to give its patents away, and will pay millions more to license them back. Why would a company pay a Native American tribe to take ownership of patents? Simple: to make those patents harder to invalidate. … As Allergan explicitly highlights in the press release announcing the ‘sale,’ the Tribe has ‘sovereign immunity.’ The company hopes that the Tribe’s sovereign immunity will allow it to prevent IPR proceedings.” (10/03/17)


Key document unsealed in Waymo’s trade secrets case against Uber

Source: New York Times

“Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, has been fighting in the courts for months to gain access to a key document in a trade secrets case that it has waged against Uber. That document became public late Monday, adding to the intrigue of whether Uber may have known it was getting stolen [sic] information for its autonomous vehicles operation. The document that became public was a due diligence report that Uber commissioned last year before buying an autonomous truck start-up, Ottomotto, for $680 million. The start-up was founded by Anthony Levandowski, a star engineer who had worked at Google’s self-driving unit before it became Waymo. Mr. Levandowski left Google six months before Uber’s acquisition of Ottomotto, and has been at the center of accusations that he stole [sic] information about Google’s self-driving technology and used it at Uber.” [editor’s note: While Lewandowski may have accepted a contractual obligation not to share or use certain information, and might himself be liable for breach of said contractual obligation, information was not stolen (copying isn’t stealing) – TLK] (10/03/17)


The war on general-purpose computing turns on the streaming media box community

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm & Mitch Stoltz

“For most of the lifetime of Kodi since its release as XMBC in 2002, it was an obscure piece of free software that geeks used to manage their home media collections. But in the past few years, the sale of pre-configured Kodi boxes, and the availability of a range of plugins providing access to streaming media, has seen the software’s popularity balloon — and made it the latest target of Hollywood’s copyright enforcement juggernaut.” (09/29/17)


Yes, stealing intellectual property is stealing

Source: Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

“One of the ongoing ridiculous myths that exists on the Left — and, even more maddeningly, with some on the alleged Right — is that stealing intellectual property (IP) is … not stealing.” [editor’s note: Motley is particularly reliable among supporters of the “intellectual property” scam when it comes to failing either to make a compelling argument for his side (beyond “but IP is property because I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaant it to be property”) or to honestly present, let alone take on, the arguments of the other side. You could damn near set your watch by him, if the process of setting your watch by him wasn’t presumably covered by some troll’s patent claims – TLK] (09/07/17)


Kaspersky Lab turns the tables, forces patent troll to pay cash to end case

Source: Ars Technica

“In October, Kaspersky Labs found itself in a situation familiar to many tech companies: it was sued by a do-nothing patent holder in East Texas who demanded a cash settlement before it would go away. The patent-licensing company, Wetro Lan LLC, owned US Patent No. 6,795,918, which essentially claimed an Internet firewall. The patent was filed in 2000 despite the fact that computer network firewalls date to the 1980s. … Wetro Lan’s settlement demands kept dropping, down from its initial ‘amicable’ demand of $60,000. Eventually, the demands reached $10,000 — an amount that’s extremely low in the world of patent litigation. [Kaspersky attorney Casey] Kniser tried to explain that it didn’t matter how far the company dropped the demand. ‘Kaspersky won’t pay these people even if it’s a nickel,’ he said. Then Kniser took a new tack. ‘We said, actually, $10,000 is fine,’ said Kniser. ‘Why don’t you pay us $10,000?’ After some back-and-forth, Wetro Lan’s lawyer agreed to pay Kaspersky $5,000 to end the litigation.” (08/31/17)


Lions of Liberty, episode 310

Lions of Liberty

Source: Lions of Liberty

“Austin Meyer created a revolutionary flight simulator software known as ‘X-Plane,’ which found him on the receiving end of a patent infringement lawsuit. Not for his software, but for using the Google Play store to distribute it! In response, Meyer spent two years travelling the country in his custom built airplane to interview other small business owners who had similar stories, and the result is the eye opening The Patent Scam Documentary.” [various formats] (08/28/17)


Yes, China steals [sic] IP; no, that doesn’t mean trade with China is a bad thing

Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“As the U.S. gets ready to square off with China over its unfair trade practices, a new study by a group of economists suggests that China has had a major beneficial impact on both U.S. inflation and its standard of living. Will a trade war with China undo those benefits? Everyone is angry at China right now, and perhaps with good reason. China’s regime often bends trade rules to its own needs, and breaks them or ignores them when it’s convenient. This is one of the big reasons why Donald Trump is pursuing an investigation into China’s routine and often blatant theft of U.S. intellectual property and patents. By granting U.S. firms conditional access to its markets, China extorts or simply steals U.S. companies’ technology and trade secrets.” (08/21/17)


How I changed my mind on intellectual property

Source: Everything Voluntary
by Isaac Morehouse

“I’d been solidly libertarian for many years the first time I gave thought to ‘intellectual property’ (copyrights and patents) at all. Someone mentioned the protection of property, including intellectual property, as the root of prosperity and freedom. I agreed without hesitation. It just seemed to make sense. Now and then I would read or hear someone reiterate this position and it always seemed right to me. I had spent a lot of time working through the arguments in favor of private property — both philosophical and economic — and I didn’t think IP required any special arguments to augment what I already believed about other forms of property. Then a quote by Thomas Jefferson caught my eye …” (07/17/17)