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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Availability of Injunctive Relief for Standard-Essential Patent Holders

Availability of Injunctive Relief for Standard-Essential Patent Holders

Date: January 10, 2013
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report provides an overview of the current debate over whether a holder of a patent essential to an industry standard, who has promised to license such patented technology on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, may nevertheless obtain an injunction from a federal court or an exclusion order from the International Trade Commission against infringing products that implement the industry standard. The report first summarizes several fundamental principles of patent law, then discusses the relationship between standard-setting organizations and FRAND licensing.
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New York Times Co. v. Tasini: The U.S. Supreme Court Affirms “Authorial” Rights in Copyright

New York Times Co. v. Tasini: The U.S. Supreme Court Affirms “Authorial” Rights in Copyright

Date: July 13, 2001
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: This report examines the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in New York Times Co. v. Tasini. This case considers whether, under the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 201(c), publishers are “privileged” to include the copyrighted articles of freelance authors in an electronic database.
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The Copyright Doctrine of Fair Use and the Internet: Caselaw

The Copyright Doctrine of Fair Use and the Internet: Caselaw

Date: March 30, 2000
Creator: Weimer, Douglas R.
Description: This report examines the evolving copyright doctrine of fair use within the context of copyrighted works published or placed on the Internet. American courts have been examining the various property rights of copyright owners concurrently with the unauthorized use of these copyrighted materials by Web site operators, Internet consumers, access providers, and other interested parties. This report analyzes the early fair use copyright cases concerning Internet use, as well as the most recent judicial interpretations.
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Copyright Term Extension: Eldred v. Ashcroft

Copyright Term Extension: Eldred v. Ashcroft

Date: February 14, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: This report examines the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Eldred v. Ashcroft. Plaintiffs/Petitioners challenged the constitutionality under the Copyright Clause of a law adding 20 years to the terms of existing and future copyrights. The law was upheld by both the U.S. district court and the court of appeals considering it. Among the questions before the Supreme Court was whether Congress may retrospectively extend the term of copyright for existing copyrights; and, what role and impact, if any, does the First Amendment have in determining the validity of a congressional extension of copyright terms.
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Patent Reform: Judicial Developments in Areas of Legislative Interest

Patent Reform: Judicial Developments in Areas of Legislative Interest

Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Description: This report reviews the relationship between Congress and the courts in patent reform. It begins by offering a summary of the patent system. The report then discusses a number of topics that have been the subject of both judicial and legislative consideration. The current state of the law is then contrasted with legislative reform proposals before previous Congresses. The report closes with observations concerning the subtle interaction between legislative, administrative, and judicial actors within the patent system and their impact upon the U.S. innovation environment.
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Exporting Software and the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law: Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp.

Exporting Software and the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law: Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp.

Date: May 31, 2007
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: Generally speaking, United States patent law does not have extraterritorial effect. The exception, however, is § 271(f) of the Patent Act, which makes it an act of patent infringement to manufacture within the United States the components of a patented invention and then export those disassembled parts for combination abroad into an end product. This report discusses Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp. (550 U.S. ___ , No. 05-1056, decided April 30, 2007), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that software companies are not liable for patent infringement under § 271(f) when they export software that has been embodied in machine-readable, physical form (a CD-ROM, for example), with the intent that such software be copied abroad for installation onto foreign-manufactured computers.
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Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report describes streaming technology, explains the disparity in criminal penalties for different forms of infringement committed by electronic means, analyzes legislation in the 112th Congress that would harmonize penalties for illegal streaming with those available for other forms of online copyright infringement, and summarizes arguments for and against such a legislative change.
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The Copyright Registration Requirement and Federal Court Jurisdiction: A Legal Analysis of Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick

The Copyright Registration Requirement and Federal Court Jurisdiction: A Legal Analysis of Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick

Date: March 18, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: In New York Times Co. v. Tasini, six freelance authors who had contributed articles to several publications, including The New York Times, Newsday, and Time, sued when the publishers licensed rights to copy and sell the articles to electronic databases such as Lexis/Nexis. Shortly after the Court decided Tasini, three preexisting class action infringement suits, which had been suspended pending the decision, were activated and consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A fourth, nearly identical action was coordinated with that consolidated action. Together, these claims comprise the litigation discussed in this report.
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American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

Date: February 28, 2000
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Description: After several years of consideration, on Friday, November 19, 1999, Congress gave final approval to a bill which makes major changes to the patent laws. On this day the Senate passed the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 as part of the Intellectual Property and Communications Omnibus Reform Act of 1999, attached by reference to the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000. This report summarizes major provisions of the patent reform bill.
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Copyright Protection for Fashion Design: A Legal Analysis of the Design Piracy Prohibition Act (H.R. 2196)

Copyright Protection for Fashion Design: A Legal Analysis of the Design Piracy Prohibition Act (H.R. 2196)

Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: Fashion design does not currently receive explicit protection under U.S. copyright law. This report analyzes the amendments that the Design Piracy Prohibition Act would make to the Copyright Act to provide for fashion design protection. It also summarizes arguments both in favor of and against extending such protection.
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Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses

Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th and 108th Congresses. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Date: August 2, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
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Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Date: December 18, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Plants, Patents, and Seed Innovation in the Agricultural Industry

Plants, Patents, and Seed Innovation in the Agricultural Industry

Date: September 13, 2002
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Description: This report offers an overview of the availability of intellectual property rights for plants, focusing upon the seed industry. It initially offers an introduction to seed innovation. The report then reviews the three intellectual property regimes applicable to plant innovation: utility patents, plant patents and plant variety protection certificates. It then details a 2001 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, J.E.M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., which held that sexually reproducing plants may be subject to utility patents.
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Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Date: July 26, 2005
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
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Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Date: December 12, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention the 110th Congress are summarized.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Date: October 10, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Date: September 12, 2005
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Settlements: Implications for Competition and Innovation

Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Settlements: Implications for Competition and Innovation

Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Description: This report introduces and analyzes innovation policy issues concerning pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements, including pharmaceutical patent litigation procedures under the Hatch-Waxman Act, the concept of reverse payment settlements, the status of reverse payment settlements under the antitrust laws, and congressional issues and alternatives.
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Online Copyright Infringement and Counterfeiting: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Online Copyright Infringement and Counterfeiting: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Date: December 5, 2011
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: The global nature of the Internet offers expanded commercial opportunities for intellectual property (IP) rights holders but also increases the potential for copyright and trademark infringement. This report discusses legislation regarding this topic: the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP Act) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
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Copyright Term Extension: Estimating the Economic Values

Copyright Term Extension: Estimating the Economic Values

Date: May 11, 1998
Creator: Rappaport, Edward
Description: This report considers proposals to extend the duration of copyrights by 20 years (as in H.R. 2589 and other bills) and related proposals to charge a fee to the owners in order to receive the extension. The method of analysis is economic rather than legal. The report reviews the basic economic principals involved in copyright law and gives rough estimates of the value of copyrights on books, music, and movies produced in the 1920s and 1930s — those that would be most immediately affected by an extension of copyright terms.
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Influenza Antiviral Drugs and Patent Law Issues

Influenza Antiviral Drugs and Patent Law Issues

Date: August 16, 2007
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report examines the role that intellectual property rights play in affecting the availability of a patented drug such as Tamiflu during public health crises. The report also explains one legal mechanism for increasing a patented drug’s production without the patent holder’s consent: governments may abrogate a pharmaceutical company’s patent rights by issuing compulsory licenses to other drug companies to manufacture generic versions of the drug.
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Patent Reform: Overview and Comparison of S. 507 and H.R. 400

Patent Reform: Overview and Comparison of S. 507 and H.R. 400

Date: April 16, 1998
Creator: Dorothy Schrader
Description: H.R. 400 and S. 507 are similar but different omnibus patent reform proposals. Both bills generally transform the Patent and Trademark Office into a government corporation; require publication of patent applications 18 months after filing, subject to certain exceptions that differ in these bills; and extend the patent term for certain delays in patent issuance. S. 507 also contains provisions on patent reexamination reform. This report summarizes and compares the bills and reviews arguments for and against the proposals.
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Still Fair Use for Google Books: Second Circuit Ruling in Authors Guild v. Google

Still Fair Use for Google Books: Second Circuit Ruling in Authors Guild v. Google

Date: November 30, 2015
Creator: unknown
Description: This legal sidebar discusses the decision in Authors Guild v. Google case, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court's ruling and held that Google's copying and distribution of books as part of its Google Books Project qualifies as fair use under the Copyright Act, and thus Google is not liable for infringement of the authors' copyright in these books.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department