“Bite (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.
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This week in Other Barks & Bites: A California district court dismisses a copyright infringement lawsuit against musicians Sam Smith and Nomani; the U.S. Copyright Office denies an award-winning artist copyright registration on an AI-generated piece of art; and a Delaware district judge reveres a jury ruling that awarded $15.1 million to a company that accused Google of patent infringement.
District Court Dismisses Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Sam Smith
On Wednesday, September 6, a California district judge dismissed a copyright infringement case that was filed against musicians Sam Smith and Normani. The songwriters of the 2015 song “Dancing with a Stranger” accused the star duo of copying their song when they released a 2019 song with the same name. In addition to the song title, the complaint argued the duo copied elements of the chorus and composition of their copyright-protected song. However, the California district judge found that these claimed similarities were not protected by copyright.
Google Wins Patent Case Before District Court Reversing $15 Million Ruling
On Tuesday, September 5, a Delaware district judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence for a jury to find that Google directly infringed on a patent holding company’s audio technology patents. In June, a Delaware jury found Google had infringed on two patents from Personal Audio and awarded $15.1 million in damages. Personal Audio accused Google of infringing on the patents through its playlist technology on its music streaming service Google Play Music. However, the district judge found that Personal Audio’s arguments did not cite relevant precedent and failed to produce sufficient evidence of patent infringement.
ITIF Offers Rebuttal to British Medical Journal Article Criticizing High Drug Prices
On Tuesday, September 5, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a report in response to a recent article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that argued high drug prices are not necessary to sustain biopharmaceutical innovation. ITIF claims the BMJ article “misrepresents and misinterprets the facts.” The BMJ article wrote that U.S. drug prices are precipitously rising, but the ITIF argues net manufacturer prices have remained unchanged in the last year. The BMJ article’s authors advocate for a lowering of profits for pharmaceutical companies by reducing executive’s salaries and stock buybacks, among other strategies. But, the ITIF wrote, “any meaningful discussion of drug pricing must address the crucial underlying dynamics that shape the biopharmaceutical landscape, such as the increasing capture of drug expenditures by non-innovation-producing intermediaries, lower returns on R&D investment, and the need for payment mechanisms for a growing pipeline of high-value, high-cost precision medicines to ensure Americans can access them affordably.”
Two Fitness Companies Announce Settlement of Patent Infringement Lawsuit
On Wednesday, September 6, Zwift released a statement on the amicable settlement of their patent infringement case with Wahoo that began 11 months ago. The two fitness technology companies came to an agreement last week in a case that began as a disagreement over technology found in Zwift shoes. “The agreement will see both parties embark on a renewed approach to collaboration, with a view to growing the indoor fitness category,” said Zwift in its statement. As part of the agreement, Wahoo granted Zwift a license to use its patents.
Copyright Office Denies Claim to Award-Winning AI-Generated Art Piece
On Tuesday, September 5, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) issued a final decision stating that a Colorado artist’s award-winning AI art is not eligible to be copyrighted. Similar to other recent AI-generated art cases, the USCO ruled the artist, Jason M. Allen did not author all elements of the work. Allen argued that he used the AI-generating art platform Midjourney as a tool and wrote hundreds of different text prompts before Midjourney produced his desired result.
USPTO Introduces New Webpage for Patent Owners and Applicants
On Tuesday, September 5, the USPTO released a new webpage to offer an improved service to patent owners and applicants seeking agency action. The new Patents Petitions webpage is part of the agency’s larger strategy to refine and improve the USPTO website. The webpage includes information about e-petitions, petition timeliness, and answers frequently asked questions.
This Week on Wall Street
European Commission Hits 6 Tech Giants with “Gatekeeper” Designation
On Wednesday, September 6, the European Commission designated six large tech companies as “gatekeepers” and gave the companies six months to ensure full compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The six companies, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft, own and control 22 platforms that the European Commission determined play a key role in providing services between businesses and consumers. The tech companies have a full list of do’s and don’ts that if not followed can result in heavy fines.
New York City Imposes Heavy Restrictions on Airbnb
On Tuesday, September 5, New York City’s new Local Law 18 came into effect, heavily restricting short-term rentals including Airbnb. Now, all short-term rental hosts must register with the city, and properties can only be rented out if the host lives in them and is present while the guests are staying. The new rule is part of a crackdown on short-term rental platforms in an attempt to address rising rental prices and the housing crisis found in many U.S. metropolitan areas.
Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2022 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2022 rank in parentheses):
- Monday: Oracle (55)
- Tuesday: None
- Wednesday: None
- Thursday: Adobe (102)
- Friday: None
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