Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

The Federal Circuit Rules on Trademarks Considered Offensive: May Affect Redskins Trademark Dispute

Description: This legal sidebar examines cases involving the revocation of the Washington Redskins' federally-registered trademarks (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse) and the refusal to grant registration for a rock band's name (In re Tam). These cases raise questions about the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946 (conventionally known as the Lanham Act), which denies trademark registration to certain offensive content.
Date: August 8, 2016
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intellectual Property Rights Violations: Federal Civil Remedies and Criminal Penalties Related to Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and Trade Secrets

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs.
Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

What's on Television? The Intersection of Communications and Copyright Policies

Description: This report discusses how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress, and the courts have overseen the rise of the internet by applying a combination of communications and copyright laws to regulate the distribution of television programming.
Date: April 20, 2016
Creator: Scherer, Dana A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gene Patents: A Brief Overview of Intellectual Property Issues

Description: This report is a brief discussion of the ethical, legal, and economic issues of gene patenting. The courts have upheld gene patents that meet the criteria of patentability defined by the Patent Act. However, the practice of awarding patents on genes has come under intense scrutiny by some scientists, legal scholars, politicians, and other experts.
Date: October 3, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pharmaceutical Patent-Antitrust: Reverse Payment Settlements and Product Hopping

Description: This report introduces and analyzes innovation and competition policy issues associated with the pharmaceutical industry. It begins with a review of the Hatch-Waxman Act and its implications upon the availability of generic substitutes for brand-name medications. The report then turns to a basic review of the antitrust law. It then addresses judicial developments with respect to reverse payment settlements and product hopping. The report closes with a summary of congressional issues and possible alternatives.
Date: October 7, 2015
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Innovation and Intellectual Property Issues in Homeland Security

Description: This report examines concerns that patents, trade secrets or other intellectual rights may impede the prompt, widespread and cost-effective distribution of innovations that promote homeland security.
Date: January 17, 2008
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Patents and Drug Importation

Description: This report explores the intellectual property laws and policies concerning the parallel importation of patented pharmaceuticals into the United States.
Date: June 1, 2007
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Law: Statutory Royalty Rates for Webcasters

Description: This report surveys the procedures for and the results of the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel’s (CARP’s) February 20, 2002 Report making recommendations for statutory royalty rates for eligible nonsubscription webcasters.
Date: November 18, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Availability of Injunctive Relief for Standard-Essential Patent Holders

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.
Date: January 10, 2013
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: July 13, 2001
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Patent Reform: Judicial Developments in Areas of Legislative Interest

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.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: March 18, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Plants, Patents, and Seed Innovation in the Agricultural Industry

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.
Date: September 13, 2002
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Settlements: Implications for Competition and Innovation

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.
Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

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.
Date: July 26, 2005
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

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.
Date: December 12, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Term Extension: Estimating the Economic Values

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.
Date: May 11, 1998
Creator: Rappaport, Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

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.
Date: October 10, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

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.
Date: September 12, 2005
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: April 16, 1998
Creator: Dorothy Schrader
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

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.
Date: February 28, 2000
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Term Extension: Eldred v. Ashcroft

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.
Date: February 14, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department