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How do you read a patent and what subject matter is patentable? What is the purpose of a patent? Who is an inventor on the patent if work is done by many people on the project? What is the process of obtaining a patent in my country and globally? Read this chapter to see how you could lose commercialization rights to your own invention. When exactly does an invention or idea become patentable? Once you own a patent, how can you make money from it? What is the process of licensing and the key terms that should be negotiated in such a license agreement? What is the use of a copyright or a trade secret in biotech? What exactly constitutes patent infringement ? These questions and many others are addressed in this chapter on intellectual property.
Design patents protect the way a product looks whereas utility patents protect the way a product is used. The law suggests a great disparity between the artistic creation relevant to design patents and the scientific creation relevant to utility patents. The design process is believed to be so personal and subjective that judges refuse to consider any part of a design more important than another. This stands in sharp contrast to the law’s assumptions about scientific invention, which permits objective and focused evaluation of the invention and its prior art. This art/science double standard does not jibe with evidence that the same neural phenomena are at work in all kinds of creative tasks. For scientists as well as designers, both sides of the brain must be engaged in the same process: coming up with an idea, then building on that idea so that it is useful. To earn design patent protection, a claimed design must be “nonobvious” to “the ordinary designer.” To the extent judges refuse to rigorously compare claimed designs against earlier works to determine nonobviousness, they are straying from the way designers actually generate innovative design.
The Introduction sets out the central premise of the book: a sea change in our understanding of the human brain has deep, unexamined implications for intellectual property law. The Introduction begins to build the case for this argument by providing a brief description of the techniques used to detect the biological mechanisms attendant to different thought processes. It connects these techniques to the relevant actors whose perspectives structure the book’s three main parts: artists, audiences, and judges. Neuroscientific lessons for intellectual property law should be approached with a mixture of hope and caution. The hope comes from replacing some of the mistaken hunches about artists and audiences that have shaped intellectual property law for decades. The caution comes from a need to avoid junk science and neuroscientific theories that could do damage to the underlying aims of copyright, patent, and trademark law.
Design patents are meant to promote designs that are “pleasing,” “attractive,” and “beautiful.” Yet judges fret that they will inject their own prejudices into such aesthetic determinations and have adopted a permissive nonobviousness standard that only rejects designs when they are exact copies of what came before. Neuroscience sheds light on the mechanics of design perception and appreciation. Visual processing is arguably the best understood mental process in modern neuroscience. Recent studies show that aesthetic preference is strongly tied to the ease with which an observer can mentally process a particular design. Although a limited amount of innovation may be needed to gain the observer’s attention, consumers insist on simplicity, familiarity, and congruence in designs. Rather than correlating with what an audience considers pleasing, innovation in design, after rapidly reaching an optimal level, begins to trigger aesthetic distaste. I use a variety of examples from popular products and actual cases—like Herman Miller’s Aeron chair and Lego blocks—to illustrate this audience preference for designs in the “aesthetic middle.”
Although legal scholars have begun to explore the implications of neuroscientific research for criminal law, the field has yet to assess the potential of such research for intellectual property law – a legal regime governing over one-third of the US economy. Intellectual Property and the Brain addresses this gap by showing how tools meant to improve our understanding of human behavior inevitably shape the balance of power between artists and copyists, businesses and consumers. This first of its kind book demonstrates how neuroscience can improve our flawed approach to regulating creative conduct and commercial communications when applied with careful attention to the reasons that our system of intellectual property law exists. With a host of real-life examples of art, design, and advertising, the book charts a path forward for legal actors seeking reforms that will unlock artistic innovation, elevate economic productivity, and promote consumer welfare.
Chapter 14 covers legal issues arising in the context of academic research and technology transfer. A brief history of university technology development and the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 are given, followed by a discussion of various issues that have arisen under the Act. The Act’s effect on ownership of IP is discussed with reference to Stanford v. Roche (2011). Its requirements for royalty sharing and US manufacturing are discussed. The area of march-in rights is illustrated through the dispute over Fabryzyme. Next focus shifts to the role of university technology transfer offices (TTOs) and ways that universities have attempted to shape university technology transfer over the years, including through the 2007 Nine Points document and the highlighting of issues such as reserved rights, limits on exclusivity, socially-responsible licensing and price controls. Next, other forms of university technology development agreement are discussed, including sponsored research and materials transfer agreements. The chapter concludes with a discussion of university policies relating to copyright.
Chapter 2 covers issues surrounding the assignment of IP (i.e., fixing its ownership as a prerequisite to transacting in it), and contrasts ownership with licensing of IP. It specifically covers the assignment of rights in patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, including within the employment context (i.e., shop rights , individuals hired to invent and works made for hire). The Supreme Court decision in Stanford v. Roche is considered at length. The chapter concludes with a thorough discussion of the issues presented by joint ownership of IP.
Chapter 4 addresses a range of legal mechanisms by which IP licenses are implied either in fact or in law, notwithstanding the requirements of the Statute of Frauds. Specific cases cover pitches and idea submissions in industries such as toy design and creative works (Nadel v. Play by Play and Wrench v. Taco Bell), commissioned works (IAE v. Shaver), and implied licenses arising from conduct (McCoy v. Mitsuboshi Cutlery).
Intellectual property transactions underlie large segments of the global economy, from pharmaceuticals to computing, entertainment to digital content. This first-of-its-kind resource combines practical contract drafting and negotiation skills with substantive legal doctrine in the rapidly growing area of intellectual property transactions and licensing. Though primarily designed for classroom use, it is also a must-have legal reference work for every lawyer involved in the technology, biopharma, entertainment, media or financial services industries. It includes practical drafting models and explanations of key contractual provisions such as field of use, exclusivity, milestones, royalties, termination, indemnification and liability, and combines these with discussion of the latest cases interpreting these provisions. Numerous legal doctrines that affect the enforcement of IP agreements are also covered. An instructor's manual for this book is currently being developed. If you are interested in receiving updates about the availability of this resource, please contact the author directly. This book is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
This chapter describes how device makers try to leverage intellectual property (IP) rights to restrict repair and why those assertions are, as a general rule, inconsistent with a proper understanding of the law. IP—in the form of copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets—offers manufacturers an arsenal of weapons in the war on repair. From a practical perspective, IP law allows firms to credibly threaten to enjoin, silence, and ultimately bankrupt anyone with the audacity to repair a product without permission. That’s true despite the fact that IP claims against consumers and repair providers rest on questionable legal foundations.
In the twenty-first century, it has become easy to break IP law accidentally. The challenges presented by orphan works, independent invention or IP trolls are merely examples of a much more fundamental problem: IP accidents. This book argues that IP law ought to govern accidental infringement much like tort law governs other types of accidents. In particular, the accidental infringer ought to be liable in IP law only when their conduct was negligent. The current strict liability approach to IP infringement was appropriate in the nineteenth century, when IP accidents were far less frequent. But in the Information Age, where accidents are increasingly common, efficiency, equity, and fairness support the reform of IP to a negligence regime. Patrick R. Goold provides the most coherent explanation of how property and tort interact within the field of IP, contributing to a clearer understanding of property and tort law and private law generally.
This article uses the advancements in artificial intelligence as the starting point for consideration of the role of human inventorship in European patent law. It argues that human inventorship is a necessary condition for the existence of an invention and inventive step, with the result that only products of human inventorship merit European patents. It identifies failings of European authorities to reflect this adequately in their approaches to determining patentability. Finally, it recommends recognising human inventorship as an implicit patentability requirement being an aspect of the statutory requirements for an invention and inventive step and extending applicant's disclosure duties correspondingly.
For more than sixty years, “obviousness” has set the bar for patentability. Under this standard, if a hypothetical “person having ordinary skill in the art” would find an invention obvious in light of existing relevant information, then the invention cannot be patented. This skilled person is defined as a non-innovative worker with a limited knowledge-base. The more creative and informed the skilled person, the more likely an invention will be considered obvious. The standard has evolved since its introduction, and it is now on the verge of an evolutionary leap: inventive algorithms are increasingly being used in research, and once the use of such algorithms becomes standard, the person skilled in the art should be a person augmented by algorithm, or just an inventive algorithm. Unlike the skilled person, the inventive algorithm is capable of innovation and considering the entire universe of prior art. As inventive algorithms continue to improve, this will increasingly raise the bar to patentability, eventually rendering innovative activities obvious. The end of obviousness means the end of patents, at least as they are now.
As artificial intelligence (AI) systems become more sophisticated and play a larger role in society, arguments that they should have some form of legal personality gain credence. The arguments are typically framed in instrumental terms, with comparisons to juridical persons such as corporations. Implicit in those arguments, or explicit in their illustrations and examples, is the idea that as AI systems approach the point of indistinguishability from humans they should be entitled to a status comparable to natural persons. This article contends that although most legal systems could create a novel category of legal persons, such arguments are insufficient to show that they should.
The expansion in subject matter of copyright, design and trade marks has made cumulation of protection a more common occurrence, even if the problem has long been recognised as a challenge for intellectual property law. EU law has no consistent approach to overlapping subject matter. In some cases, cumulation is permitted (and perhaps even mandatory). In others, it is looked upon with disfavour. However, it is clear that when regimes clash and cumulation rejected, trade mark law appears the one most likely to be regarded as pre-empted. This chapter considers reasons why this might be so, and finds most possible reasons wanting. However, this analysis does offer some important insights into the nature and challenges of trade mark law in Europe.
To the elemental question of what is the nature of intellectual property, the conventional answer is that it is ‘intangible’ and hence has no physical existence. This is because, it is said, there is a fundamental dichotomy between the immaterial subject matter that is protected by an IP right and its embodiment in some material object. This chapter revisits the elemental question and comes to the conclusion that the conventional view mis-states the position. In particular, while it is true that IP laws recognise something like the tangible/intangible duality, properly understood the rights granted by those laws do not attach to the immaterial subject matter; rather, they attach to the material object in which the subject matter is embodied. More specifically, while the class of things in respect of which IP protection may be granted includes intangibles, it also includes tangibles. Moreover, the things in that class are material – in that they are perceptible by a human sense.
This chapter both provides a condensed case for why the analysis of intellectual property (IP) through differing regimes of power is a fruitful one, and details a couple of its implications. One is that we need to be attentive to the way IP law creates certain kinds of subjects, and to be willing to critique it on those lines. The other takes the form of a brief discussion of alternatives proposed to IP, in such areas as “low IP” zones and in creative commons-style proposals. I conclude that the degree to which these alternatives fundamentally challenge the neoliberalization of IP and its move away from public biopower, is essential in assessing the extent to which they actually are alternatives. The goal is not to be strongly prescriptive, but, in the manner of Foucault, to help figure out what are the right questions to ask.
As a central part of the regulation of contemporary economies, intellectual property (IP) is central to all aspects of our lives. It matters for the works we create, the brands we identify and the medicines we consume. But if IP is power, what kind of power is it, and what does it do? Building on the work of Michel Foucault, Gordon Hull examines different ways of understanding power in copyright, trademark and patent policy: as law, as promotion of public welfare, and as promotion of neoliberal privatization. He argues that intellectual property policy is moving toward neoliberalism, even as that move is broadly contested in everything from resistance movements to Supreme Court decisions. This work should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the struggle to conceptualize IP matters.
An important, contemporary controversy is how the policy balance of incentives that provides the basic rationale for intellectual property (IP) protections should be assessed in the context of protection for genetic sequences. After summarizing this general rationale and the state of the law in the US concerning the protection of genetic sequences, the chapter consider the issues from the perspective of Jewish law. While the classic texts of Jewish law for the most part preceded the rise of IP law by centuries, we argue that a distinctly halakhic theory of IP can nonetheless be derived from the application of Talmudic unfair-competition principles to IP questions by halakhic authorities beginning in the Early Modern period. We further contend that because this Talmudic doctrine is equitable in nature and operates to protect broad social interests, it provided halakhic authorities with a more flexible, context-sensitive model for IP law than does the personal-property basis undergirding much of secular, contemporary patent and copyright law. Finally, we suggest that if contemporary courts were to adopt such a model for IP, halakha could offer various insights regarding policy considerations and value judgments pertinent to determining patent eligibility for genetic inventions.