WHAT, IN THE NAME OF GOD, …?: Intellectual Property Rights In Holy Names, Sacred Words, & Other Aspects of Creation

The title of this piece tracks a common “phrase of exasperation used to emphasize a question or statement.”  If that be the case, and I think it is, then the subtitle implies the question this piece will address.  That question is “how have various countries’ intellectual property laws addressed efforts to copyright, trademark, or patent holy names, sacred words, or outputs of creation?”  The title, of course, also is a bit of play on words, as it asks the question more directly “what intellectual property rights are out there that people can acquire ‘in the name of God’?” That can mean rights to the name (or one of the names) itself.  It can also mean as the proxy or substitute holder of rights here on earth because no spiritual being will receive a copyright certificate, trademark registrations, or letters patent.  So a lot is implied in, or possible from, the title (as is often my intent on this blog). Continue Reading

Can Patent Claims be Held Indefinite for Failing to Disclose an Algorithm?

Suppose that you want to obtain a patent for an invention and, in your claims of the patent application, you recite terms as a structure with functional language or means-plus-function language.  What if this language requires an algorithm to carry out the function and you fail to disclose the algorithm in your patent application?  Can the patent claims be held indefinite for failing to disclose the algorithm?  The answer may be YES! Continue Reading

INTERNET MEMES IN RUSSIAN PRACTICE: IP PROTECTION AND PERSONALITY RIGHTS ISSUES

When we say “meme”, we usually mean an internet meme. An Internet meme is an idea (and some content embodying this idea) spread via the Internet.

Memes are usually created in the internet community for humorous purposes. However, memes in practice may raise issues associated with copyright, registration of trademarks, or even with personal data protection.

This article is an overview of curious cases discussed in the Russian legal community and related to internet memes. Continue Reading

Expanding a Brand into Canada: Trademark Registrations- The Basics

When a corporation expands its business into Canada, consideration should be given to whether it can register its brand as a trademark in this new market. While a corporation may operate in this market without registered trademarks, many statutory frameworks, like the Canadian regime, offer additional benefits to companies[1] that have registered marks.

If a corporation plans to expand its operations into Canada, it should be aware that there are certain nuances to this trademark registration regime. Below is a discussion of some basic points applicable to filing a trademark application directly in Canada. Continue Reading

.AU DOMAIN NAMES MUST HAVE A PRESENCE IN AUSTRALIA

Foreign entities looking to register Australian domain names need to be aware that the eligibility requirements have changed and the threshold is now much higher. If a foreign entity is relying on a registered Australia trademark to meet the Australia presence requirement, they must ensure that their domain is an exact match to that trademark.

On 12 April 2021, a new set of rules relating to the licensing of the .au country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) came into effect in Australia. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrows Definition of Autodialer in Facebook Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court released its eagerly anticipated decision in Facebook Inc. v. Duguid yesterday, narrowly construing the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system, or autodialer, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and resolving the uncertainty that had led to a long-standing split in the circuit courts.

Autodialer Definition and Interpretations
A circuit split regarding how broadly to define the types of automated technology regulated under the TCPA led to this case.

Under the TCPA, autodialers are defined as “equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and to dial such numbers.” Continue Reading

Rights in audiovisual works under Copyright Law

Authors’ rights

According to the Copyright Law, authors of audiovisual works have various rights, including:

  • producing fixations or reproductions of the work;
  • making the work available to the public (eg, by publishing it on an on-demand video service);
  • broadcasting the work on TV or the radio; and
  • communicating the work to the public.

Continue Reading

Entitled To Copyright Erasure?: A Fair Use Search For A Derived Yet Transformational Work

The title is the first thing the reader sees or hears …—and getting it right is the single most important … decision you’ll make. The title forms the basis of the reader’s judgment ….” Tucker Max

For those of you who may read my past ILN posts, you will not be surprised that I subscribe to the Tucker Max approach:  Make the title attention-grabbing, memorable and searchable, informative, easy and not embarrassing to say, and short.  OK, maybe not the last prong so much, but I nonetheless have one regular reader who has noted that he thinks that I have “a real knack for catchy titles!” I will not debate the merits of that opinion right now. Continue Reading

Infringers Beware – The U.S. is Emphasizing Copyright Enforcement

The United States received two major copyright updates in the middle of the pandemic.  Copyright owners should breathe a sigh of relief.  On December 27, 2020, as part of the major COVID-19 Relief bill, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (the “CASE Act”) and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 (the PLSA”) were signed into law.

The Problem:

Streaming is the thing—whether with music, television, movies, audiobooks, or videogames.  Like with streaming, however, their illegal infringement is also everywhere and accounts for a nearly $30 billion loss to the U.S. economy per year.[i]  The constant, pervasive nature of copyright infringement has historically made enforcement difficult.  The CASE Act and PLSA provide copyright holders relief.    Continue Reading

The Eurasian Patent Office has launched the Pharmaceutical Register

Since 1 March 2021, the Pharmaceutical Register of the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) is available on the official website of the Eurasian Patent Office. The Register contains information on Eurasian patents protecting active substances of drugs.

The EAPO specifically indicates that the Pharmaceutical Register shall relate to the patents protecting pharmacologically active products (chemical compounds, including those described by the same structural formula, biotechnological products, compositions, combinations), production methods and medicinal use of the products.
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