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The Intellectual Property Blog of IPI
November 13, 2013

IPI Submits Comments to USPTO on Commerce Dept. Green Paper

Today, IPI submitted comments to the USPTO regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.

Responding to whether and how the government can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing system, IPI president Tom Giovanetti states in the comments:

Our conclusion is that there is nothing additional that the federal government needs to do to facilitate a robust online licensing environment other than to fully engage in its existing obligation to protect copyright and to ensure an environment where rule-of-law prevails and where rights holders can be assured of justice and enforcement of their rights. 

Specifically and most often this means 1) not allowing the proliferation of sources that offer illegal access to protected works, and 2) not succumbing to activist pressure to weaken copyright protection. 


Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

November 11, 2013

This is what passes for discussion with the CopyLeft

Apparently the folks over at Engadget sponsored a conference in New York this past Sunday, and of course they did a panel on copyright policy. Of course they did.

But balance wasn’t apparently high on the agenda. In fact, hearing from people who actually create, own, and market creative goods—the main stakeholders in copyright—apparently wasn’t on the agenda at all. Here was the makeup of the panel: Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

November 11, 2013

On Friday's Global IP Summit, patent trolls, and lousy numbers

On Friday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) held its 2013 Global IP Summit at its headquarters in Washington, DC. The event was very well attended, at least through its highlight, the luncheon panel on patent litigation reform.

One highlight for me came early in the program when former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez made it clear that attacks on intellectual property rights are attacks on capitalism. You might could tell that this is a pet theme of mine from this recent blog entry.

During the patent litigation reform panel, it was clear that there is some subset of Rep. Goodlatte’s proposed legislation that pretty much everyone could agree upon, though of course such a subset of solutions would not please those who are fond of very broad definitions of patent “trolls,” and who would like to see it made much more difficult to uphold a broad array of patents. As Manus Cooney put it, “to the degree to which you make patent enforcement more difficult, you make patent trolling less risky.” Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

October 15, 2013

Missing the Point on Piracy Data

Our libertarian friends over at the Mercatus Center have set up a website that bashes the movie industry because it doesn’t release movies according to the schedule that the Mercatus Center thinks it should.

At least, that is the clear implication of the site.

What they do at the site is compare the most pirated movies for a particular week with the legal streaming availability of those same movies. Which isn’t even relevant, despite what Tim Lee thinks.

It IS interesting that TorrentFreak brazenly publishes a list of the most pirated movies. That’s pretty in-your-face behavior, considering that piracy is illegal. As you might guess, the most pirated movies are the most recent successful movies.

But it is utterly irrelevant whether or not a pirated movie is available for streaming. That’s because the release schedule and business plan for the movie is entirely the business of whoever owns the movie, and not anyone else. That’s an implication of property rights that libertarians ought to understand. You and your pirate friends do not get to decide what happens to my property. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

October 11, 2013

The London School of Economics Wets Itself

LSE smMy favorite tie is the London School of Economics tie. It’s purple, and my wife likes purple. Plus it’s got black in it, and I like black. No, I didn’t attend the school, but their tie is cool and I wear it.

I know it probably offends LSE grads that someone who didn’t attend the school wears the tie, but I’m about to offend LSE grads with this blog post far more than I do when I wear their tie.

That’s because the LSE dropped a big plop of barbecue sauce on their ties recently. Or, as I put it more colorfully in the title, they wet themselves.

If an institution wants a reputation for credibility and serious analysis, they shouldn’t put out a report like the LSE did in a week or so ago, “Copyright & Creation: A Case for Promoting Inclusive Online Sharing” [PDF].

The paper is yet another iteration in an effort by academics and others not involved in the music industry to define how the music industry should operate in the digital age, which most commonly and most emphatically involves not enforcing copyright. And, lately, in a more focused theme, that graduated response mechanisms should not be implemented. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

September 30, 2013

Factories Wanted To Be Free, Too: Resisting the Marxist Impulse in Intellectual Property Criticism

The most fundamental question in economics is not about math: It’s about philosophy and morality. And how you answer the question takes you down a path that is not only economic, but also philosophical and moral.

(Please bear with this brief economics discussion)

So what is this question? Whether the general public benefits from private ownership (and control) of capital.

Marx, of course, famously answered this “No” —the public does NOT benefit from private ownership of capital.  In fact Marx, who coined the term “capitalism,” said that private ownership of capital leads to abuse of the public because capitalists use control of their capital to enrich themselves at the expense of the public.  In this worldview, if private ownership of capital harms the public, it’s private ownership that is immoral, and theft becomes a moral, even heroic act. So Marxism does away with private ownership and control of capital and turns it over to the general public, in the assumption that the general public will better deploy capital in its own best interests. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

September 30, 2013

One-In-Three Jobs in the EU Dependent on IP-Intensive Industries

According to a study released today by the European Patent Office (EPO), one-in-three jobs in the EU is dependent on the IP-intensive industries.

It’s a 144-page study, available here as a PDF. The press release is available here.

Carried out jointly by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) acting through the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the European Patent Office (EPO), the study finds that about 40% of total economic activity in the EU (some €4.7 trillion annually) is generated by IPR-intensive industries, and approximately 35% of all employment in the EU (77 million jobs) stems from such industries that have a higher than average use of IP rights. The report also finds that average remuneration in IPR-intensive industries is more than 40% higher than in other industries. 

Of course, this is no great surprise to those of us who understand that the modern, knowledge-based economies of the developed nations are very much dependent on their ability to imagine, create, and innovate, and then crucially to monetize those creations into economic activity.

And it’s completely consistent with what has been found by others who did similar such research with an honest look at the data, as opposed to those who set out intentionally to argue against IP protection.

Now, of course, we await the study by CCIA that claims that twelve-in-three jobs in the EU are dependent on fair use. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

September 13, 2013, Selling Pirated Books

Admit it, we’ve all done it—This morning I was doing a web search on my own name. Normally there are no surprises, but that’s kinda why we do it, right? To see if there are any surprises? And when you have a last name like mine, odds are when you do a web search on your name, it’s you that comes up, not 500 other people with the same name.

Anyway, a surprise came up, and it was an unpleasant one: I found that a website called is selling pirated copies of a book I wrote some years ago. You can buy copies of all sorts of pirated books on DocStoc, it seems. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

September 12, 2013

International Property Rights Index Ranks U.S. #2 for IP, #17 Overall

This year’s International Property Rights Index, a project of the Property Rights Alliance, ranks the U.S. #17 for the protection of both physical and intellectual property.

The US score is thanks in part to its strong intellectual property protection system, and ranked second only to Finland’s IPR structure (which is also #1 on the overall property rights list.) Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

September 10, 2013

About that "graduated response doesn't work" paper

So this morning I see news of a release of a paper from a law professor in Australia who finds that graduated response enforcement, such as “three strikes” policies, doesn’t work.

And that’s as far as almost anyone goes these days in our information overload society. You see a subject line in an email that says graduated response doesn’t work according to a new study, and you tuck that little detail away in your mind. “I remember reading somewhere that graduated response doesn’t work” the little voice in your head will say 18 months from now when the topic comes up in a discussion somewhere.

And then Mike Masnick over at TechDirt and Tim Lee over at the Washington Post will gleefully blog that, according to this new study, graduated response doesn’t work. The echo chamber does it’s work. And that’s that.

So I decided to actually go to the trouble of reading the study. And not only that, but also reading a few other things the author has written, look into some of the author’s affiliations and assumptions, etc.  It takes time, of course. But I do these things as a service to you. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

September 3, 2013

Sequestration cuts deny Silicon Valley a patent office

Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza writes how a promised satellite patent office for tech giant Silicon Valley—the top region in the world producing patents—is being denied thanks to sequestration cuts, despite the fact that patent offices are funded through patent fees, not taxpayer dollars. Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

August 27, 2013

The logical fallacies of Mike Masnick-2

It’s time once again for us to delve into the logical fallacies of Mike Masnick. Previously, we dealt with Mike committing the bifurcation fallacy. In today’s installment, it’s Mike committing the logical fallacy of begging the question.

Mike has often broadly asserted that one of the many sins of copyright is that it is used to facilitate censorship. So anytime any proponent of copyright points out how copyright facilitates the creation and distribution of speech, and thus is a friend of free speech and the First Amendment, Mike is quick to retort something like “How can anyone claim with a straight face that copyright supports the First Amendment when it is so often used for censorship!”

Like he did here, for instance.

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

August 27, 2013

Canadian Courts' Arbitrary Patent Standard Jeopardizing Drug Innovation

Perhaps no other area of innovation is more critical to protect than pharmaceuticals and medical technology. But a piece today in Forbes by Eli Lilly's CEO discusses how a trend in Canadian courts may be threatening drug innovation by invalidating therapies and medicines already in use by patients on a wide scale.

Lechleiter writes:

“Canadian courts have arbitrarily created – and retroactively applied – a standard for what is ‘useful’ under Canadian law. Applying the ‘Promise of the Patent Doctrine,’ the courts have set a standard found in no other developed country, and one that is more or less impossible for an innovative pharmaceutical company to consistently meet.”


Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

August 20, 2013

Intellectual Ventures invents things

Not going to do a full dissertation on the topic, but the term "patent troll" is being thrown around quite a bit too broadly these days. For many, ANY non-practicing entity is, by their definition, a patent troll.

We think this is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with an entity simply being in the patent business. Whether or not some entity is a "patent troll" should be determined by their behavior, not simply by their business model.

What brings this to mind? Noticed a patent application published by USPTO on July 25th, filed by Intellectual Ventures. If you're in the business of inventing things and filing patent applications, you are not a patent troll.

Why did I happen to notice? Well, the application has some very prominent names listed as inventors, including Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold. Those are names that stand out. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

August 20, 2013

The logical fallacies of Mike Masnick: A series

I'm probably going to regret the title of this blog post, not because I'm afraid to say that Mike Masnick committed a logical fallacy, but because he commits logical fallacies so often that I should reserve this title for a SERIES of blog posts . . . 

[Note: Title edited]

Anyway, a few weeks ago I did a blog post on the House IP Subcommittee's second hearing of the new copyright review process, this one themed copyright and innovation.

My main point was that there was actually very little criticism of the copyright status quo during the hearing, but you can read that blog entry for yourself.

My blog post aroused the ire of Mike Masnick over at TechDirt, which they often do (and which frankly isn't hard to do). But the nature of Masnick's complaint about my post was truly amazing, as Masnick made really obvious logical fallacies in supposedly rebutting my points. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments


Total Records: 119


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