Intellectual Property

Copyright and Trademark

Copyrights and trademark are both types of intellectual property (IP). Copyright is a legal term describing rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works. A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment.

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TAP Blog

Last month, the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology gathered together scholars, policymakers, and interested stakeholders to consider what changes would make the next copyright act truly great. Consensus has been building that the Copyright Act of 1976 needs an overhaul to better resolve the challenges posed by emergent technologies. A recap of “The Next Great Copyright Act” symposium is provided by Patrick Goold.
Professor Joshua Gans, Rotman School of Management, discusses the rise of the game 2048 very closely on the heels of a similar game called, Threes. He examines the desire by Threes’ creators for acknowledgment of their app development by those who follow with imitations.
Professor James Grimmelmann, University of Maryland, explains why he wrote an amicus brief (with David Post) arguing that Aereo should win its Supreme Court case. Aereo is a startup that lets users stream or record live broadcast TV content.
In their article “The Nature and Incidence of Software Piracy: Evidence from Windows,” Professors Susan Athey (Stanford) and Scott Stern (MIT) explore how consumers most commonly pirate software. The authors also looked into the impact of enforcement actions against popular pirating websites. This post summarizes their findings.
Law professor Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University, examines Judge Chin’s dismissal of the Authors Guild lawsuit against Google which claimed that the Googles Books project violates the copyright fair-use doctrine.
To commemorate the twenty-first anniversary of the landmark decision on copyright protection for software, Computer Associates v Altai, the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology hosted a day long roundtable discussion. “Altai @ 21: Software Copyrights Revisited” gathered leading academics and practitioners to discuss the decision’s legacy and the upcoming appellate decision in Oracle v Google.
Due to the growing importance of mobile devices, app stores are among the most powerful intermediaries in the Internet ecosystem. Last week, in an unprecedented ruling, a federal court held that an app store wasn’t liable for the third party apps it distributed. This highlights the significant restrictions facing the pro-regulatory folks who want to turn app store operators into Internet cops.
In his article for Wired magazine, Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain examines issues of censorship, content altering, and access restrictions that are unique to books in electronic formats.
TAP recently spoke with Professor Mike Ananny about his academic expertise in networked journalism. He discussed how technology intertwines with journalism, his work creating technological toys for language acquisition, and the topic of his next book.
Professor Polk Wagner participated in a conversation about the Prenda lawsuits on Penn Law’s “This Week in Law” podcast. The discussion covered online copyright infringement, copyright trolls, and the specifics of the Prenda lawsuit.
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Fact Sheets

Piracy and IP Enforcement

In the context of technology, “piracy” is a colloquial term for the illegal copying of copyrighted works. The related problem of counterfeiting is the illegal reproduction of patented or trademarked products.


In Michigan, A Highway Sign Is at Center of an Unusual Trademark Dispute

"But there's at least a question, as far as I can tell, as to whether a road sign of this type would be deemed an official insignia of a state. I think that might be a little bit hard for the state to prove here." — Mark Janis, Professor of Law, Indiana University

Mark Janis
National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition
November 1, 2016

Featured Article

Questioning Copyright in Standards

This article asks if the systematic collection of data can be protected by copyright.

By: Pamela Samuelson