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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Trademark Functionality Reexamined

Bone, Robert G., Trademark Functionality Reexamined (May 28, 2015). Journal of Legal Analysis, Forthcoming ; U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. E557. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2611636

“The functionality doctrine in trademark law bars protection for some, but not all, source-identifying product features—so-called trade dress—that contribute to a product’s functional performance. Despite the doctrine’s lengthy history, its critical role in promoting intellectual property policies, and the considerable attention devoted to it in recent decades, courts and commentators still disagree about what functionality means, the reasons why functional marks should not be protected, and how far the functionality bar should extend. This confusion is due largely to a lack of clarity and rigor at the normative level. This article seeks to remedy the deficiency. It traces the history of the functionality doctrine, critically analyzes its policy foundations, and outlines an analytical approach for designing optimal functionality rules.”

Freedom to Tinker

Samuelson, Pamela, Freedom to Tinker (May 11, 2015). Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2605195 “People tinker with technologies and other human-made artifacts for a variety of reasons: to have fun, to be playful, to learn how things work, to discern their flaws or vulnerabilities, to build their skills, to becomeContinue Reading

ARL Joins Hague Declaration for Changes to Intellectual Property Law, Equal Access to Knowledge

ARL – “More than 50 organizations around the world—including ARL—have signed the Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age, which calls for immediate changes to intellectual property (IP) law and the removal of other barriers preventing widened and more equal access to data. Improved treatments for diseases, answers to global issues such asContinue Reading

Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative

“The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)  that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. StAR works with developing countries and financial centers to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and to facilitateContinue Reading

World Intellectual Property Day 2015 Events

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – “Every April 26 we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity… WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 188 member states.Continue Reading

Recognizing the Limits of Antitrust: The Roberts Court Versus the Enforcement Agencies

Lambert, Thomas A. and Abbott, Alden F., Recognizing the Limits of Antitrust: The Roberts Court Versus the Enforcement Agencies (April 20, 2015). Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Forthcoming; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-09. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2596660 “As Judge Frank Easterbrook famously explained three decadesContinue Reading

3 Key success factors for Major Programs that Leverage IT

3 Key success factors for Major Programs that Leverage IT — The “7 – S for Success” Framework “Any major program, project, or transformation involving information technology (IT) brings great potential for positive change and benefits, but also risks that the program will not produce the outcomes envisioned. Such risks can be introduced due toContinue Reading

Fair Copyright Reform for Libraries and Archives in Europe

The London Manifesto: “Fair copyright across Europe is essential. Without it we will fail to adequately support research, innovation and growth, and hinder the ambition for a digital single market. With it we will better foster knowledge across borders, meet the needs of disabled people and take full advantage of the digital age. We areContinue Reading

A critical analysis of Facebook’s Revised Policies and Terms

From social media service to advertising network – A critical analysis of Facebook’s Revised Policies and Terms DRAFT 31 March 2015. The authors are part of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT/Centre for Intellectual Property Rights(ICRI/CIR) of KU Leuven (www.icri.be), the department of Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) of the Vrije UniversiteitContinue Reading

Boing Boing’s Doctorow leads campaign to ban digital locks on ebooks, music

James Bridle – UK Guardian: “In my last column I wrote about Tesco’s graceful exit from the ebook business, offloading its customers – and their precious libraries – to Kobo. While applauding the commitment to preserving customers’ purchases, it remains a shame that this sort of transfer is even necessary. Storing books – or anythingContinue Reading

Leaked portion of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – loss of user rights?

EFF – Maira Sutton: “A newly leaked chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement from Wikileaks has confirmed some of our worst fears about the agreement. The latest provisions would enable multinational corporations to undermine public interest rules through an international tribunal process called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Under this process, foreign companies can challengeContinue Reading

EFF – Automakers Say You Don’t Really Own Your Car

News release: “EFF is fighting for vehicle owners’ rights to inspect the code that runs their vehicles and to repair and modify their vehicles, or have a mechanic of their choice do the work. At the moment, the anti-circumvention prohibition in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act arguably restricts vehicle inspection, repair, and modification. If EFFContinue Reading