Since 1996, the annual spending on drugs per capita in the U.S. has been the highest among all the developed countries. In 2017, the number reached $1220 per person in the U.S., making the U.S. pharmaceutical industry a $400 billion market. One of the fastest growing segments of the pharmaceutical industry is biologic drugs, accounting for almost 40% of the U.S. prescription drug spending in 2015.
Blockchain, cryptocurrency, smart contracts—these obscure terms began flooding the news a few years ago and for good reason. These are technologies with the potential to fundamentally change the way in which society performs its business transactions.
This spring, JIPEL is proud to present our readers with five cutting edge pieces. From ongoing litigation challenging our intellectual property laws, to cutting edge technology doing the same, our Spring Edition covers both the forefront of the law and the forefront of human innovation challenging.
The Lanham Act sets forth which trademarks may be registered at the Patent and Trademark Office. It contains a number of limitations on registrability. Section 2(a) prohibits among other things the registration of a mark that “[c]onsists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” This provision originally came into force in 1946 with the enactment of the Lanham Act, but the prohibitions it sets forth have been in effect since the late nineteenth century, when the federal government first began to register trademarks.
Two recent decisions from the Federal Circuit in the long-running litigation between Oracle and Google have upended the scope of copyright protection afforded to software. In both decisions, the court weighed in heavily on the side of strong copyright protection, even protecting the relatively functional code comprising application programming interfaces (APIs).
Artificial intelligence (AI) has often been viewed as either an ally or an adversary—a powerful analytical system to be harnessed or a source of risk to be managed. In copyright law, AI has been treated much the same way, with academic debates focused primarily on whether AI-generated works should be owned by the AI itself, the human programmer who created the AI, or the end user. However, little attention has been paid to how the use of AI in the creative process can affect the validity of ownership claims asserted by any of these human actors in computer-generated works—a question that may have a far greater impact on creative industries.
Despite the commonly shared belief that Americans have an undeniable right to freedom of speech, private-sector employees receive no constitutional protection for employer regulations of or reactions to their speech and federal and state statutes provide extremely limited protections.
The recent rise of virtual reality, augmented reality, and other related technologies has created vast amounts of virtual space. Within this space, novel forms of trademark infringement and expressive use may arise. This note categorizes the above-mentioned technologies under the umbrella term of “ virtual realism” and examines trademark infringement in relation to such virtual realism technologies.
Legal journals are sometimes criticized as disconnected from the real world or labeled sounding chambers for academics. Like many of our favorite publications, our fall issue stands in stark contrast to this characterization. In what follows, you will find four discussions of real, pressing legal issues and practical legal solutions.
There is a latent conflict between the law of employee invention assignment contracts and the Copyright Act’s work for hire doctrine. Countless employees sign contracts specifying that, in most cases, the employer will own trade secrets and patentable inventions, as well as copyrightable works. When employees create in the workplace, these rules are largely uncontroversial. But when employees create something outside the workplace for a new venture, there can be a conflict between these two areas of intellectual property law.