Intellectual Property

In Penhallurick v MD5 Ltd [2021] EWHC 293 (IPEC) the Court held that the copyright in various literary works relating to software Mr. Penhallurick created during his tenure with former employer MD5 belonged to MD5. The Court found that the works were created in the course of Mr. Penhallurick’s employment with the result that MD5 was deemed the owner of the works (under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988), despite the fact that some of the work was done from Mr. Penhallurick’s home, outside normal office hours and using his own computer.
Continue Reading UK Court Rules on Copyright over Software Developed Whilst Working at Home

On October 6, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a report titled Public Views on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy. The report summarizes the nearly 200 comments received in response to patent-related questions regarding AI set forth in a request for comments (RFC) issued by the USPTO in August 2019 and non-patent IP questions set forth in an October 2019 RFC.

This post focuses on Part I of the report, which summarizes the comments received in response to the first RFC. Part II of the report pertains to the second RFC.Continue Reading Covington Artificial Intelligence Update: USPTO Releases Report on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy

The World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) recently announced a public consultation process on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy. As part of the consultation process, WIPO concurrently published and has requested feedback on a wide-ranging draft IP Policy and AI Issues Paper that is intended to help define the most pressing AI-related questions likely to face IP policy makers in the areas of patents, copyright, and data.

The Issues Paper follows other recent WIPO activity pertaining to AI-related IP issues. In January 2019 WIPO issued a publication that surveyed the landscape of AI innovation since the field first developed in the 1950s, and in September 2019 WIPO held a Conversation on IP and AI.

Recognizing the significance and potential implications of the intersection of AI and intellectual property, two of the leading patent offices have now requested public comment. As discussed in a previous blog, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a “Request for Comments on Patenting Artificial Intelligence Inventions” on August 27, 2019. The USPTO subsequently issued a “Request for Comments on Intellectual Property Protection for Artificial Intelligence Innovation” on October 30, 2019, in which it seeks comments on the copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property rights issues that may be impacted by AI.
Continue Reading AI Update: WIPO Begins Public Consultation Process on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held its Artificial Intelligence: Intellectual Property Policy Considerations conference on January 31, 2019. The conference featured six panels of speakers, including policy makers, academics, and practitioners from Canada, China, Europe, Japan, and the United States. As stated by USPTO Director Iancu during his introductory remarks, the purpose of the conference is to begin discussions about the implications that artificial intelligence (“AI”) may have on intellectual property law and policy. In this post, we provide an overview of Director Iancu’s Introductory Remarks and of three of the conference panels that addressed several current and forward-looking issues that will impact patent law and society at large.

Opening Remarks by Director Iancu

The Director noted that governments around the world are adopting long-term comprehensive strategies to promote and provide leadership for technological advances of the future, and that America’s national security and economic prosperity depend on the United States’ ability to maintain a leadership role in AI and other emerging technologies.

The USPTO is using AI technology to increase the efficiency of patent examination. For example, the USPTO has developed and is exploring a new cognitive assistant called Unity which is intended to allow patent examiners to search across patents, publications, non-patent literature, and images with a single click. The Director concluded by stating that one of his top priorities is ensuring that the U.S. continues its leadership when it comes to innovation, particularly in the emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning.
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence and the Patent Landscape – Views from the USPTO AI Intellectual Property Policy Considerations Conference

City leaders across the globe are predicted to spend upwards of $41 trillion by 2020 to deploy smart city technologies within their locales. From Toronto to Tokyo, cities are vying to harness the benefits of the Internet of Things (“IOT”) in order to help make their streets safer, transportation more efficient, and their environments greener. While exciting, there are a number of challenges facing cities on their quest to get smart. Resources are scarce, building the required infrastructure is expensive and obtaining the necessary consensus and cooperation amongst municipal stakeholders can be downright impossible. For vendors looking to capitalize on this momentum, learning from successful smart city projects and planning around the common conflicts that tend to arise is crucial. Below are a number of best practices gleaned from the strategies and progress of a number of cities who have found success in implementing smart city solutions.
Continue Reading Covington IoT Update: Best Practices for Outsmarting Common Pitfalls in Smart City Projects

By Dan Cooper and Oliver Grazebrook

On 20 June 2103, the Court of Rome in Italy ruled that the Wikimedia Foundation (the charitable organisation that operates Wikipedia) could not be liable for defamatory content posted by users on its site.  The court deemed that Wikimedia fell within the exemptions in the Italian transposition of Articles

On March 29, the American Chamber of Commerce in China (“AmCham China”) released its 15th annual Business Climate Survey.  This year, AmCham China polled 325 of its members, most of which are U.S. companies operating in China.  According to AmCham China’s Chairman, this year’s results reflect “expectations for growth” tempered with “a more conservative

by Morag Peberdy and Christina Helden

On 19 March 2013 the India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) released its written judgment upholding the Controller of the Indian Patent Office’s decision to grant Natco Pharma Ltd a compulsory licence under Bayer A.G.’s patent for its anti-cancer drug Nexavar.  Section 84(1)(a)–(c) of the Indian Patents Act 1970 sets out three conditions for the grant of a compulsory licence.  The IPAB confirmed that although any one of these is sufficient, all three requirements were in fact met in this case, namely Bayer had not: (a) satisfied the reasonable requirements of the public; (b) made the patented invention available at a reasonably affordable price; or (c) worked the patented invention in India.

Although the IPAB was not as rigid in its views on local working as the Controller, this aspect of the judgment is most likely to raise concern internationally, and has implications across all industry sectors.  The Controller took the stance that for a patent to be worked locally, product must be manufactured in India.  The IPAB held that the local working requirement needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis.  However, if product is merely imported, the onus is on the patentee to show why its product could not be manufactured locally.  As Bayer did not manufacture Nexavar in India nor provide evidence as to why it could not manufacture this particular drug in India, it failed the local working requirement.  The IPAB considered WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPs) but found no inconsistency.  Others are likely to disagree, and to view the IPAB’s interpretation of s84(1)(c) as being protectionist and incompatible with the fundamental principle of non-discrimination that underpins TRIPs. 
Continue Reading India Upholds its First Compulsory Licence

The World Trade Organization issued approval on Monday for Antigua and Barbuda to impose sanctions on the United States that would authorize the suspension of  “certain concessions and obligations” that Antigua has “under international law to the United States in respect of intellectual property rights.”  The authorization would apply to obligations imposed on Antigua by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS Agreement”).

This authorization is the latest development in a long-running dispute between Antigua and the United States concerning the U.S. ban on online gambling, which, according to the Financial Minister of Antigua, has “devastated” the Antiguan economy.  After the online gambling ban was instituted, Antigua sought recourse with the WTO, who ruled in Antigua’s favor in 2004.  This latest decision is based on the WTO’s finding that the United States has failed to comply with the judgments issued against it and that Antigua is therefore permitted to sanction the United States.
Continue Reading WTO Authorizes Antigua and Barbuda to Suspend United States Intellectual Property Rights Over Internet Gambling Dispute

On 29 October 2012, the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group published a report examining the Government’s role in promoting and protecting intellectual property (IP).  According to the report, which is based on the written submissions of almost 60 interested bodies, Government departments often fail to understand the importance of IP to the growth of UK’s economy. The report also criticizes the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for having lost the confidence of a large number of its main stakeholders in its IP policy-making and recommends that greater ministerial leadership will be exercised over the IPO’s activities.  While the report welcomes the IPO’s increased investment in research, the Office is critiqued for failing to view IP as a property right and promoting the creation and development of new IP.
Continue Reading UK Government Urged to Champion Intellectual Property Rights