Patents

“TRIP-ing” Backward: Why a Waiver of IP Protections Will Not Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

By: Benjamin Suslavich

One year ago, the Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law addressed the prospect of compulsory licensing under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS Agreement“). The TRIPS Agreement is an international treaty that came into effect in 1995 and sets out minimum standards of intellectual property (“IP”) protection each signatory country must uphold. Continue reading »

Patents & Politics Don’t Mix: Why the Supreme Court’s Decision in Arthrex Fails to Fix an Underlying Problem

By: Benjamin Suslavich

In a split 5-4 decision in Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc, the Supreme Court determined that the structure of Administrative Patent Judge (“APJs”) appointments—or lack thereof—was unconstitutional and took it upon itself to restructure the Patent Office’s chain of command. This case is another example of the Court striving to preserve the inter partes review (IPR) system, which allows anyone to file a petition requesting that the Patent Office cancel another’s patent. Continue reading »

Mandatory Patent Waivers: A Debate Gone Viral

By: Carli Berasi

Vaccine

A conversation regarding patent rights has entered the international pharmaceutical stage as the World Trade Organization has debated requiring a temporary waiver of patent protections granted to companies for their COVID-19 vaccines. Continue reading »

The Legal Implications of 3D Printing in the Fight Against COVID-19

By: Alyssa Valdes

3D Print of a SARS-CoV-2

3D print of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle

 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical equipment and other essentials have run out of supply, paving the way for 3D printing to alleviate these supply shortages. The increased need for certain products, such as masks, face shields, and ventilator valves, has led to a gap in supply and demand. Owners of 3D printing technology have stepped in to produce more of these products and prevent further spread of COVID-19, but their acts of kindness come with some potential risks.

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COVID-19, Compulsory Licensing, and the Battle Between Health and Economy

By: John Stevelinck, Jr.

pixabay.com

At present, there have been over 2.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 100,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States. As a result, efforts to develop a vaccine are in full swing, placing the U.S. Government in a unique situation when it comes to patent rights.

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Inception: The Future of IP in Virtual Reality

 

Picture1By: Aaron Johnston, Summer Blogger

From author Michael Crichton’s forward-thinking novel Disclosure to popular films such as Iron ManMinority Report, and Star Trek – science fiction has been predicting our future adventures in virtual and augmented reality for decades. Technology has advanced to make virtual and augmented realities believable and obtainable. Both virtual and augmented realities are likely to make a significant impact in the coming decade. The question is how will intellectual property law catch up?

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Aurora: The Computer of the Future

By: Samantha Moench

On March 18, 2019, Argonne National Laboratory released more information about Aurora, “America’s next-generation supercomputer.” Intel has teamed up with the Department of Energy (“DOE”) to create the computer at Argonne’s lab facility which is estimated to cost upwards of $500 million. Cray Inc.—known for its 45 years of building the “world’s most advanced supercomputers” will be a sub-contractor on the deal. Together, Cray Inc. and Intel will work to construct “the fastest supercomputer in U.S. history.”  Continue reading »

The Conflict Between 3D Printing and Patent Law

By: Daniel Norton

zmorph-multitool-3d-printer-1221521-unsplashIn the past, science fiction books and television shows toyed with the idea of “replicators” and “matter compilers.” The idea was that people would be able to produce the tools or objects they needed in any given situation from the comforts of their own homes or starships. Mere decades after this idea was considered a fantasy it has become a reality as Americans have increasingly begun using 3D printers to create tools and objects they need from the comfort of their own homes. But the advent of 3D printers has not brought about the utopian freedoms things like Star Trek indicated. Instead, 3D printing technology has created entirely new challenges for the US patent system to grapple with.

The creation of an object using 3D printing is known as additive manufacturing. This process involves a 3D printer applying a given material in thin layers on top of each other to create an object dictated to it by a computer-aided design (CAD) file. While this ability was first created in the 1980s, it has exploded in popularity over the past few years due to the advent of “home” 3D printers. Continue reading »

Veblen, Schumpeter, and employee inventors: lessons from the US and Germany

By: Neal Orkin, Guest Writer*

(This article first appeared in the December 1990 issue of Managing Intellectual Property.  It remains relevant today.)

Why should bright and innovative youngsters want to enter engineering and science when the incentives are so small?

Neal Orkin, inventor of ‘Orkinomics’, looks at this question through the eyes of Veblen and Schumpeter and explains why so many US patents are now being granted to foreigners.

“Competitiveness” is the new buzzword that we Americans use to fend off those damned foreigners who “steal” our technology or trade “unfairly”.  While erudite authors and smug commentators – those Captains of Competitiveness – speak in terms of such euphemisms as better education for workers, labour-management cooperation, and new far­sighted management, we lose sight of one of the basic causes of our competitiveness problem – rewards and recognition for creative engineers and scientists. Continue reading »

Don’t Pay the Tool: Artificial Intelligence is a Creative Tool, Not a Creative Entity

By: Daniel Norton, Summer Blogger

https://pixabay.com/en/anatomy-biology-brain-thought-mind-1751201/In the past decade, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been used to create artistic works as well as news articles. For example, A.I. has created works which can imitate famous artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as generating articles for newspapers like The Washington Post. These recent innovations have led some people to ask whether A.I. should be eligible to receive a copyright for its creations. Current Copyright Law does not classify A.I. works as copyrightable creations, however, A.I. might one day achieve a level of intelligence to warrant such accreditation to be protected under United States Copyright Laws.

Since 1973, it has been the official policy of the United States Copyright Office to deny any copyright claims if the work was not created by a human being. In fact, The Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices states that in order for a work to be eligible for copyright protection, it must be “created by a human being.” In one instance, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seems supported the requirement that a human must be the creator for a work to receive copyright protection. In the case Naruto v. Slader, the court denied the monkey, Naruto, standing to bring an action under the Copyright Act. This holding from one of the primary goalsof Intellectual Property Law: to benefit society by incentivizing innovation by allowing creators and innovators the right to profit from their creations for a set period. Continue reading »