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Accenture upsets blockchain believers with patent filing

Consulting giant Accenture has rattled the cage of the fintech community by filing a patent for an “editable” blockchain that would allow a central administrator to edit or delete information stored in a permissioned blockchain system. Business Insider cites a Financial Times report that states a permissioned system is governed by a central administrator using agreed upon […]

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EU copyright reform – A leap forward or step back?

Reforms to copyright law proposed last week by the European Commission would put the burden on Internet companies like Google, Facebook and YouTube to prevent online piracy and compensate content providers, like music companies and news providers.  In a shift in policy the proposals issued by the European Commission would require websites that host video […]

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Post-election “Patent Law & Policy” conference to be held in Washington

Many businesses are wondering what the patent terrain will look like after the U.S. elections in November. Will further reforms will be forthcoming, or will there be a move toward stronger patents and greater certainty? On November 15, the Tuesday following election day, at Washington DC’s Reagan Conference Center, those attending the 2016 Patent Law and Policy […]

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Will blockchain technology fuel a new patent war or prevent one?

The race is on to gain control of a new technology that has the power to reinvent banking and make transactions and other agreements between parties cheaper, safer and easier to complete. Like disruptive inventions that preceded it, blockchain has businesses, large and small, jockeying for leadership. This means that patents are likely to play a […]

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No Monkey Business: Animal selfie raises serious questions about copyright ownership

Who is the legitimate owner of a selfie taken by a monkey, but positioned by a nature photographer? Is it the intellectual property of the animal or the photog? A novel law suit filed recently by PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), the animal rights advocates, asserts that a macaque monkey, Naruto, should be […]

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Reporter: Patent system failed heart valve inventor

One of the biggest obstacle to inventors today may the system created to protect them. Research cardiologist Tory Norred thinks so.   In a recent post on IP Watchdog, excerpted below, I summarize how investigative reporter Scott Eden skewers the U.S. patent system in the July-August Popular Mechanics article, “How the U.S. Patent System Got So Screwed […]

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Raymond P. Niro, pioneering patent litigator, is dead at 73

Raymond Niro, a highly successful patent litigator who represented primarily inventors and other plaintiffs, passed away on August 9 at the age of 73. It was reported that he was in ill-health and died of heart failure while vacationing in Italy. IP Law 360 described him as a “pioneering intellectual property attorney and who often […]

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Four timely events kick-off September IP conference season

September is back-to-school for kids. For IP rights followers it is back to keeping up with the myriad changes in law and value. At least Four conferences – in New York, Silicon Valley and Tokyo – are worthy of serious consideration. Two of them are offer IP CloseUp readers a discount on registration. On September […]

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Taylor Swift assists recording artists, Apple Music, and (even) herself

Taylor Swift, a pop star with sufficient power to move mountains, succeeded in moving an equally resolute object last year: Apple Music’s position on paying royalties to recording artists.  A year later it is unclear if was the musicians, Apple, or Swift who benefited the most. A Wall Street Journal op-ed last week reminded us that there are […]

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Patents are rights, not privileges; Jefferson story is “historical myth”

Is it any wonder why patents are widely despised and holders mistrusted? Patents and other IP rights have been caught in the perfect storm of anger towards the government, the entitled, and ideas too complex to fathom on Instagram. Patents are difficult to explain and uncertain in nature. To many people they represent inscrutable and insurmountable barriers […]

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Shares of patent licensing cos were off in 2Q after a torrid start to year

After a record-breaking first quarter, public IP company shares (PIPCOs) under-performed most stocks versus the S&P 500 index in the second quarter. Following a five-year leading return of 13.1%, vs. 0.8% for the S&P 500, the PIPX IP Sector Index of 13 patent licensing stocks fell in the second quarter -4.4% vs. a 1.9% gain […]

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A record number of major holders were granted far fewer US patents

Many significant tech companies experienced dramatic declines in US patent grants, fueling speculation about the reasons why.  While total patent grants were virtually flat, according to USPTO data, down just 53 patents from 326,032 to 325,979, and utility patent grants and applications were up, many top US holders received significantly fewer US patent grants in 2015. […]

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