U.S. patent office shortfall worsens: official | Politics | Reuters .
Awww…poor babies. They’re collecting “just” $5.9 million per day (yep, you read right) in fee-based revenue and they’re not happy.
Damn. Let’s do the math. $5.9 million/day times 365 days/year … that’s $2,153,500,000 per year. Not bad. Of course, they’re down from $6.9 million per day … same equation, substitute that number and you get $2,518,500,000. Well, heck, they’re still above $2 billion dollars in fee-based revenue. Of course, it’s $365,000,000 less now than they were collecting in fee-based revenue before the recession (if that’s what we’re in) hit….
Still, I have no sympathy. This agency has more than $2 billion dollars per year in fee-based revenue; I could balance that budget with little difficulty. So suck it up, USPTO, and live within your means, just like the rest of us have to do.
Woman fined to tune of $1.9 million for illegal downloads – CNN.com.
Hey, those RIAA copyright suits are still out there … and copyright still has TEETH.
$1.9 million for a few $0.99 songs.
And It Can Happen To You….
Ain’t No Plagiarism in Harry Potter Says Publisher – Yahoo News.
Hmm. Copyright infringement and plagiarism seems to be coming out of my ears these days. Here the plagiarism, if found, would be for the general plot line. Harry Potter fought in the Triwizard Tournament and rode the Hogwarts Express (a train); the claimant’s wizard was a hostage and rode a train. The claimant’s book is The Adventures of Willy the Wizard No. 1, Livid Land.
The grounds for copyright infringement in the US are: (1) a valid copyright, which the estate of Adrian Jacobs may indeed have; and (2) a SUBSTANTIALLY similar work, which is where I think the estate falls flat. Lots of characters are held hostage and ride on trains. Not so many characters are wizards, but surely a wizard riding on a train and getting into a hostage situation … plagiarism?? Harry does many, many things besides ride on the train and get into a hostage situation.
The Hogwarts Express entered the Harry Potter lexicon with the first book. So did Voldemort … and Voldemort took a hostage in the second book (a witch named Ginny Weasley). The fourth book, which all the hoopla is about, was published in July, 2000. I will point out that it’s now 2009; the book has been around for awhile. Why the wait to sue, Plaintiff?
Seems to me that this is one of the more stupid lawsuits. Best wishes to Rowling defending this one; it shouldn’t be too tough to do.
Justice Dept. Seeks Details On Google Deal – washingtonpost.com.
After several years of fighting a large copyright issue, the GOOGLE v. Publishers and Authors suit settled out for about $125 million. The deal they struck is that GOOGLE gets to continue putting together its online library and the publishers and authors go away compensated for their copyright interests.
It turns out that it’s not that easy. In comes the US Justice Department. The DOJ is investigating the GOOGLE/publishers-and-authors deal with an eye toward finding an antitrust violation hidden somewhere in that deal.
It is true that the deal would make GOOGLE the leading online source of books — after all, it ain’t Yahoo scanning in those millions of titles from the large repositories. However, there is nothing that I know of in the deal to prevent Yahoo, or anyone else, from also reaching a deal with the authors and publishers and scanning in the works to compete with GOOGLE; GOOGLE just happens to be the first kid on the block to come up with this notion. This is a deal that was reached between these particular litigants to allow a project that could be of significant benefit to the whole world to go forward.
Now, I’m sure there’s something here that I don’t know about, but antitrust? Where’s the restraint of trade?
New top-level domains could cause .trademark chaos | Media | guardian.co.uk .
ICANN is planning to do something very strange next year.
We’re all used to .com, .net, .info and the rest of the top-level domains (“TLD”) by now. Well, watch out, world — here come the branded TLDs!! We’ll soon see .ibm, .3m, .delain-law-office. All you need is the $185,000 (a bit more than spare change to a small business person) to purchase the TLD name (which is why you WON’T see .delain-law-office).
As a trademark lawyer who spends time extracting clients from unintended second-level domain name infringements, I can see the trademark knots coming down the pike. Not only will second-level domains get squatted; TLDs will get squatted and sold for $millions.
Amazing. And utterly confusing. Not a good move, ICANN.