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Category Archives: Patent and Trademark

CRS – Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage

Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of the Economic Espionage Act, Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law. August 19, 2016.

“Stealing a trade secret is a federal crime when the information relates to a product in interstate or foreign commerce, 18 U.S.C. 1832 (theft of trade secrets), or when the intended beneficiary is a foreign power, 18 U.S.C. 1831 (economic espionage). Section 1832 requires that the thief be aware that the misappropriation will injure the secret’s owner to the benefit of someone else. Section 1831 requires only that the thief intend to benefit a foreign government or one of its instrumentalities. Offenders face lengthy prison terms as well as heavy fines, and they must pay restitution. Moreover, property derived from the offense or used to facilitate its commission is subject to confiscation. The sections reach violations occurring overseas, if the offender is a United States national or if an act in furtherance of the crime is committed within the United States. Depending on the circumstances, misconduct captured in the two sections may be prosecuted under other federal statutes as well. A defendant charged with stealing trade secrets is often indictable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the National Stolen Property Act, and/or the federal wire fraud statute. One indicted on economic espionage charges may often be charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent and on occasion with disclosing classified information or under the general espionage statutes. Finally, by virtue of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (P.L. 114-153), Section 1831 and 1832 are predicate offenses for purposes of the federal racketeering and money laundering statutes. P.L. 114-153 ( S. 1890) dramatically increased EEA civil enforcement options when it authorized private causes of action for the victims of trade secret misappropriation. In addition, the EEA now permits pre-trial seizure orders in some circumstances, counterbalanced with sanctions for erroneous seizures.”

Final Report of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology Patent Damages Workshop

Graham, Stuart J.H. and Menell, Peter S. and Shapiro, Carl and Simcoe, Timothy, Final Report of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology Patent Damages Workshop (August 15, 2016). Texas Intellectual Prfoperty Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2823658 “The determination of patent damages lies at the heart of patent law and policy,… Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Rules on Trademarks Considered Offensive

CRS Reports & Analysis Legal Sidebar – The Federal Circuit Rules on Trademarks Considered Offensive: May Affect Redskins Trademark Dispute. August 4, 2016. “Two separate cases involving the revocation of the Washington Redskins’ federally registered trademarks (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse) and the refusal to grant registration for a rock band’s name (In re Tam) raise… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Patent Office Audits

Intellectual Property: Patent Office Should Define Quality, Reassess Incentives, and Improve Clarity, GAO-16-490: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2016: “GAO found that district court filings of new patent infringement lawsuits increased from about 2,000 in 2007 to more than 5,000 in 2015, while the number of defendants named in these lawsuits increased… Continue Reading

The National Archives of the US Coloring Book of Patents 2016

“The National Archives of the US Coloring Book of Patents 2016 We’ve chosen some of our favorite patents from our holdings for you to color. We’d love to see how you color them in—share them with us on Twitter by using the hashtag #ColorOurCollections and tagging @usnatarchives. These patents came from the Records of the… Continue Reading

CRS Report – Intellectual Property Rights Violations

Via FAS – Intellectual Property Rights Violations: Federal Civil Remedies and Criminal Penalties Related to Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and Trade Secrets. Brian T. Yeh, Legislative Attorney. May 27, 2016. “This report provides information describing the federal civil remedies and criminal penalties that may be available as a consequence of violations of the federal intellectual property… Continue Reading

MailChimp Content Style Guide

MailChimp Content Style Guide – MailChimp 2016. This work is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. [Note – I am a MailChimp customer and am pleased this guide is available.] Continue Reading

NASA Makes Dozens of Patents Available in Public Domain to Benefit US Industry

“NASA has released 56 formerly-patented agency technologies into the public domain, making its government-developed technologies freely available for unrestricted commercial use. In addition to the release of these technologies, a searchable database now is available that catalogs thousands of expired NASA patents already in the public domain. These technologies were developed to advance NASA missions… Continue Reading

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 presented to President Obama

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 – “This bill amends the federal criminal code to create a private civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. Specifically, the bill authorizes a trade secret owner to file a civil action in a U.S. district court seeking relief for trade secret misappropriation related to a product or… Continue Reading

CRS – Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation, Brian T. Yeh, Legislative Attorney. April 22, 2016. “A trade secret is confidential, commercially valuable information that provides a company with a competitive advantage, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information, and chemical formulae. (Well- known examples of trade secrets include… Continue Reading

Project seeks to thwart patent trolls

“All Prior Art is a project attempting to algorithmically create and publicly publish all possible new prior art, thereby making the published concepts not patent-able. The concept is to democratize ideas, provide an impetus for change in the patent system, and to preempt patent trolls. The system works by pulling text from the entire database… Continue Reading

Patent Licensing, Technology Transfer, & Innovation

Lemley, Mark A. and Feldman, Robin, Patent Licensing, Technology Transfer, & Innovation (February 26, 2016). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2738819 “Traditional justifications for patents are all based on direct or indirect contribution to the creation of new products. Patents serve the social interest if they provide not just invention, but innovation the world would… Continue Reading