The United States Supreme Court has come out with a controversial patent decision on February 22, 2017, limiting the scope of protection for U.S. patents. Life Technologies Corporation v. Promega Corporation, dealt with an international intersection supply chain and a patent. The science behind the patent is extremely complicated, but essentially the issue of the case was whether a single enzyme that was supplied to a facility in the U.K., which was a component that made up the DNA test kit, infringed the patent. The majority opinion, which was given by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, stated that shipping a single component that makes up a patent is not enough to constitute infringement. Continue reading “Summary of Life Technologies Corporation v. Promega Corporation”
My last article for this blog focused on the decision of the Designers Guild case and the function of the substantial part test to copyright law in cases which deal with the “altered copying” of an artistic work. My reflections on this case attempted to highlight the need for a de minimis threshold before it is concluded that a substantial part of a work has been infringed. Continue reading “De Minimis and the Meltwater Case”
The current US circuits split on non-literal copyright in musical composition cases are thoroughly murky; many are not even holdings on what is copyrightable. Although this may seem tedious, it is important to implement expert testimony especially when sometimes our visceral reaction may be “this song is copied” and, in reality, it is not. The courts thus far have only been chipping at the surface of musical copyright protection by only looking at the lyrics and melody but there are other aspects of music including rhythm, tempo and the pattern, which should be protected and it is important that the courts address it in their holdings. Continue reading “Blurred Lines: Circuit Split in Copyright Infringement of Musical Compositions”
When does copyright law permit an artist to be inspired by a predecessor? And to what extent can that at artist be allowed to study and copy elements of his predecessor’s work? Can he copy certain techniques or motifs, structural composition and lighting or relief effects?
These were the questions before the House of Lord in the landmark case of Designers Guild v Williams, the go to legal authority on the function of copyright’s ‘inference of copying’, ‘idea/expression dichotomy’ and ‘substantial part’ tests in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the judgement is unclear without a close and rigours reading. Many of the finer points are given little elaboration by the Law Lord and, on other points, the judgements are contradictory. This short piece attempts to breathe a sense of cohesion into the logic of the judgement. Continue reading “On the Designers Guild case, the importance of the ‘independent creation’ defence, and the proper placement and function of the idea/expression dichotomy in UK copyright”
A patent is a property right wherein a set of exclusive rights are granted for a limited time. Intellectual Property laws are generally domestic, thus, anyone who files a patent within their country is not protected across national boundaries. In order to resolve this issue and to protect their nationals, several international treaties have been adopted to protect inventors most notably: the Paris Convention, Patent Co-operation Treaty, Patent Law Treaty, and the European Patent Convention. Continue reading “Introduction to European Patents and European Patents with Unitary Effect”