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June 2019 Archives

2019 National Hall of Fame Inventors inducted

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) recently inducted 19 of the country’s greatest inventors (nine of which are still living) into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The gala event, held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., spotlighted the transformative role of innovation in our society and reminded us all of the importance of protecting our own innovations.

A refresher on fair use

Fair use is often cited, but many may not have a clear idea of what it is. In short, fair use is a pragmatic doctrine that allows the use of portions of a copyrighted work without approval from the copyright owner or creator. Typically, this use is done with a good faith assertion. Many may not understand the scope of its application, but fair use is a part of our everyday life.

Iron Maiden screams trademark infringement over video game

For many, being portrayed in a video game would be the ultimate sign of "making it." But if you have enjoyed tremendous success already, and someone attempts to profit from your success by putting you - or a likeness of you - in a video game without your consent, that may be more infuriating than flattering.

Photographers win two recent copyright appeals

Photographers face many challenges in the digital era, none more significant than having their works copied and repurposed without approval. In the two cases discussed below, the photographers took their infringement cases to court and initially lost. According to photography rights advocates, the lower courts have generally not been supportive in protecting the arts, which has led to a wave of rulings like these. Such rulings negatively impact the fees available for stock images, which is a significant revenue stream for many photographers.

White House calls for crackdown on counterfeit goods

The White House issued a memorandum on April 3 warning consumers about counterfeit and pirated goods. It focused on third party web sites, marketplaces and intermediaries that traffic in counterfeit and pirated goods. These include sites such as Alibaba, eBay and Amazon, which announced a Project Zero plan in February to utilize machine learning to detect fake or counterfeit products and allow brands to remove listings themselves.

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