5 IP Issues to Watch in 2014

How to get a better handle on the issues that will shape the intellectual property landscape in the coming year? Read what experts are writing on JD Supra:

1. Patent trolls:

The debate over patent trolls – non-practicing entities that file lawsuits in an attempt to collect licensing fees on technologies that they themselves do not exploit – dominated the IP landscape last year. That will continue in 2014. Read:

2. Trade secrets:

Unlike patents, trademarks, and copyrights, trade secrets are often so confidential that the mere act of obtaining formal protection – or even filing a lawsuit claiming trade secret theft – can put rights holders at a competitive disadvantage. The good news: countries around the world are putting additional protections into place. The bad news: technology advances make it easier than ever to steal trade secrets. Read:

3. Gene-related patents:

The US Supreme Court ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics was clear: isolated human DNA is not eligible for patent protection because it is a product of nature. But the fight over the use of gene-related patents – a critical part of personalized medicine – is only just beginning. Read:

4. Generic top-level domains

The Internet as you know is changing. Over the next two years, more than 1000 generic Top-Level Domains – like .bike, .voyages, .公益, .みんな, .شبكة, and .онлайн – will be rolled out, creating a variety of new infringement and security risks (and costs) for brand owners. Read:

5. Fair use:

There’s a fine line between copyright infringement and fair use, as recent lawsuits and legal rulings attest. The ease with which digital copies are made and shared, coupled with the lack of clear judicial guidelines on what is and is not fair use, almost guarantees that disputes will continue throughout 2014. Read:

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