Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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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 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

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

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 B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deferred Examination of Patent Applications: Implications for Innovation Policy

Description: This report provides an overview of deferred patent examination. It begins by offering a brief review of patent acquisition proceedings as well as challenges faced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The report then introduces the concept of deferred examination. The potential positive and negative consequences of deferred examination upon the environment for innovation within the United States are then explored. The report closes by identifying salient design parameters for deferred examination systems and reviewing congressional options.
Date: May 27, 2010
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Digital Rights" and Fair Use in Copyright Law

Description: This report examines judicial case law which has considered the doctrine of fair use in relation to the First Amendment, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and as a means of protecting private, noncommercial use of digital music and film by consumers. It concludes that when the potential to infringe is great, as it almost always will be in a digital environment, the courts have not been willing to expand fair use to encompass subsidiary uses such as time shifting, space shifting, or personal noncommercial use.
Date: March 24, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Examination of the Issues Surrounding Biotechnology Patenting and Its Effect Upon Entrepreneurial Companies

Description: The biotechnology industry is notable both for its heavy concentration of small businesses and its weighty research and development (R&D) expenditures. Given the small size and heavy expenses of many biotechnology firms, their ability to raise venture capital may be of some consequence. The patent law has been identified as a facilitator of these R&D financing efforts. Congress may choose to exercise oversight on these issues. Such consideration would likely include examination of U.S. commitments in international agreements along with other factors.
Date: August 31, 2000
Creator: Thomas, John R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: May 31, 2007
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

False Patent Marking: Litigation and Legislation

Description: This report will describe and analyze the Federal Circuit's 2009 decision that requires a per-article penalty for false marking, as well as two subsequent Federal Circuit decisions in 2010 that answer several questions that have arisen during the recent false patent marking litigation. It also identifies and discusses legislation in the 111th Congress that would amend § 292 in order to retroactively end qui tam false marking suits and with the intent of reducing the number of false marking suits filed in the future.
Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

False Patent Marking: Litigation and Legislation

Description: This report will describe and analyze the Federal Circuit's 2009 decision that requires a per-article penalty for false marking, as well as two subsequent Federal Circuit decisions in 2010 that answer several questions that have arisen during the recent false patent marking litigation. It also identifies and discusses legislation in the 111th Congress that would amend § 292 in order to retroactively end qui tam false marking suits and with the intent of reducing the number of false marking suits filed in the future.
Date: October 20, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Follow-On Biologics: Intellectual Property and Innovation Issues

Description: This report reviews doctrinal and policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics. The report first introduces the application of federal food and drug legislation to follow-on biologics. It next turns to the patent implications of marketing follow-on biologics. Following this review of substantive law, the remainder of the report introduces innovation policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics.
Date: October 31, 2008
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H. & Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Follow-On Biologics: Intellectual Property and Innovation Issues

Description: This report reviews doctrinal and policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics. The report first introduces the application of federal food and drug legislation to follow-on biologics. It next turns to the patent implications of marketing follow-on biologics. Following this review of substantive law, the remainder of the report introduces innovation policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics.
Date: August 3, 2009
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H. & Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Follow-On Biologics: The Law and Intellectual Property Issues

Description: This report reviews the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), within the context of intellectual property and innovation issues. It provides an introduction to the biologics industry, introduces the regulatory and intellectual property provisions of the BPCIA, considers the potential market for biosimilars and possible industry responses that may arise in the wake of this legislation, and closes with concluding observations.
Date: January 15, 2014
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The GATT and the WTO: An Overview

Description: The Uruguay Round Agreement reduced tariffs, brought services, intellectual property, and agriculture under the discipline of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and established the World Trade Organization. Multilateral trade issues for the future include continuing services negotiations, the relationship of the environment and labor standards to trade, and investment and competition policy.
Date: March 27, 1995
Creator: Wilson, Arlene
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

Genetically Engineered Soybeans: Acceptance and Intellectual Property Rights Issues in South America

Description: This report discusses issues regarding genetically engineered soybeans in South America. U.S. soybean growers and trade officials charge that Argentina and Brazil–the United States’ two major export competitors in international soybean markets–gain an unfair trade advantage by routinely saving genetically-engineered (GE), Roundup Ready (RR) soybean seeds from the previous harvest (a practice prohibited in the United States) for planting in subsequent years.
Date: October 17, 2003
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geographical Indications and WTO Negotiations

Description: This report discusses the issue of expanding intellectual property protections for geographical indications for wines, spirits, and agricultural products is being debated in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Date: July 14, 2003
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Google Book Search Project: Is Online Indexing a Fair Use Under Copyright Law?

Description: This report provides background on the pending litigation. Google, Inc. is digitally scanning the collections of several prominent libraries in order to create a vast searchable database of literary works. Copyright holders who have not authorized and object to the digitization have filed suit against the company.
Date: December 28, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?

Description: In December 2004, Google announced its Library Project, which was to entail digitizing, indexing, and displaying "snippets" of print books in the collections of five major libraries, among other things. The Library Project was not limited to books in the public domain (e.g., books whose terms of copyright protection had expired), and Google did not seek the permission of copyright holders, in part, because it asserted that its proposed uses were fair uses. Many authors, publishers, and other rights holders disagreed. This report provides background on the Library Project, legal issues raised by digitization and indexing projects, and the status of the litigation over the Library Project.
Date: May 5, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?

Description: In December 2004, Google announced its Library Project, which was to entail digitizing, indexing, and displaying "snippets" of print books in the collections of five major libraries, among other things. The Library Project was not limited to books in the public domain (e.g., books whose terms of copyright protection had expired), and Google did not seek the permission of copyright holders, in part, because it asserted that its proposed uses were fair uses. Many authors, publishers, and other rights holders disagreed. This report provides background on the Library Project, legal issues raised by digitization and indexing projects, and the status of the litigation over the Library Project.
Date: November 27, 2009
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?

Description: The Google Book Search Library Project, announced in December 2004, raised important questions about infringing reproduction and fair use under copyright law. Google planned to digitize, index, and display "snippets" of print books in the collections of five major libraries without the permission of the books' copyright holders, if any. Google's proposed reproduction and display of copyrighted books was not authorized by the rights holders, who alleged that the Google Library Project infringed their copyrights. This report provides background on the Library Project, legal issues raised by digitization and indexing projects, and the proposed settlement.
Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department