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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Microsoft to Drop ‘SkyDrive’ in Trademark Settlement

“The idea that consumers would be confused into thinking that SkyDrive and British Sky Broadcasting were the same thing is ludicrous. ... I think Microsoft simply decided that keeping the name wasn’t worth the additional time and uncertainty of an appeal.” — Mark Lemley, Professor, Stanford Law School

Mark Lemley
Source: The Seattle Times
August 1, 2013

Digital Books Are Under the Control of Distributors Rather than Readers

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.

Jonathan Zittrain
Source: Wired
July 7, 2013

Disney Withdraws Attempt to Trademark the Name of a Holiday

… Disney would probably have had to prove that the phrase “Día de los Muertos” had a specific Pixar-only meaning in order to be successful in applying for a trademark. “We don’t want to give terms too wide a protection if they don’t have any sort of significance for the consumer.” — Marshall Leaffer, Intellectual property law expert, Maurer School of Law

Marshall Leaffer
Source: Time
May 8, 2013

As Pirates Run Rampant, TV Studios Dial Up Pursuit

"It has taken the arrival of high-speed broadband to make that [pirating TV shows] attractive." — James Grimmelmann, Professor, New York University

James Grimmelmann
Source: Wall Street Journal
March 2, 2013

Six strikes, then what? A look into the new Copyright Alert System

The Copyright Alert System is a collaborative effort to curb online piracy and promote the lawful use of digital music, movies and TV shows. Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University, explains aspects of the system.

Jonathan Zittrain
Source: NPR’s Marketplace
February 28, 2013

Piracy Alert System Raises Concerns About Fair Use, Misidentification

This story discusses the new Copyright Alert System; it's a collaborative effort to curb online piracy and promote the lawful use of digital music, movies and TV shows. Professor James Grimmelmann, New York University, explains aspects of the system.

James Grimmelmann
Source: NPR’s All Things Considered
February 26, 2013

Aaron Swartz: Opening Access to Knowledge

"There was a time when access to knowledge was promoted through grants of copyrights to authors who typically transferred them to publishers. Now copyright has become the single most serious impediment to access to knowledge. Academic authors, among others, should use the Internet as a medium through which access to knowledge can be greatly expanded." — Pamela Samuelson, Professor, University of California Berkeley

Pamela Samuelson
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
January 24, 2013

Google Scanning Is Fair Use Says Judge

"That's a big win for everyone looking to digitize books and do unexpected things with them." — James Grimmelmann, Professor of Law, New York University

James Grimmelmann
Source: Publishers Weekly
October 10, 2012

Google Books Deal Bolsters Dream of Universal Bookstore

"The publishers have embraced the digital transition in books; Google is now a player and partner in that ecosystem, rather than a dangerous disruptive presence." — James Grimmelmann, Professor of Law, New York University

James Grimmelmann
Source: Time
October 7, 2012

Publishers Double Down

James Grimmelmann
Source: Inside Higher Ed
September 11, 2012
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TAP Blog

Top Internet Law Developments of 2019

Section 230 and user-generated content are among the issues highlighted in law professor Eric Goldman’s recap of 2019’s Internet law issues.

Eric Goldman

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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.

Featured Article

Questioning Copyright in Standards

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

By: Pamela Samuelson