IP Enforcement Roundup

UK Government-Commissioned Report Finds IP Framework a Barrier to Innovative Industries, Recommends Changes

A “Review of Intellectual Property and Growth” by Cardiff University Professor Ian Hargreaves, commissioned by UK Prime Minster Cameron in 2010, finds that “copyright law has started to act as a regulatory barrier to the creation of certain kinds of new, innovative businesses.”  The laws were largely crafted before the emergence of digital technologies, which have driven large amounts of investment and growth in the economy over the last two decades, but which are most susceptible to the negative effects of inflexible IP laws.  An improved system would incentivize licensing and lower associated transactions costs.  Hargreaves’ recommendations include the establishment of a Digital Rights Exchange, greater use of limitations and exceptions to copyright within the EU framework, and a new exception “designed to build into the EU framework adaptability to new technologies.” Click here for more.

28 Senators Write Obama Urging Strong IP Provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership

A group of 28 Senators has written President Obama urging his administration to include “the highest level of IP protections” in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The Senators ask the administration to base the TPP intellectual property provisions on the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement and U.S. law.  They argue that establishing strong intellectual property norms in the agreement is “particularly important because the current participants intend it to be expanded in the future to incorporate new members in Asia and beyond with markets that are absolutely critical for U.S. exporters.”  Click here for more.

Civil Society Platform on IP in the TPP

Eight civil society groups have released a platform on the IP and Health content of the TPP.  It calls ex-officio border measures “inappropriate,” rejects a “one size fits all” regime for patent validity, and warns against using the suggested retail price or rightholder-submitted measurements of value in the determination of damages for IP infringement.  It also calls for greater transparency in the TPP than other recent trade negotiations, strong public health safeguards on the patent and data exclusivity provisions, and the exclusion of provisions on pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement.  Click here for more.

California Legislation to Allow Search and Seizure in Optical Disk Plants without Warrant

California State Senator Alex Padilla has introduced legislation that would authorize law enforcement to search optical disk plants “without providing prior notice or obtaining a warrant.” The police may seize disks and any manufacturing equipment used to make illegal disks on a commercial scale.  The L.A. Times reports that the bill “has sailed through two state Senate committees, one unanimously and one by a 5-2 vote,” but that Sen. Ron Calderon voted against it, citing “constitutional concerns.” Click here for more.

Operation of Homeland Security Seizes More Domain Names

DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized more domain names under Operation In Our Sites.  TorrentFreak has been tracking the takedowns, and it reports that “Among the new targets are two sites that linked to copyrighted films hosted on third party streaming sites.”  Click here for more.