by Brian Kim, Arther Law’s Industry Insider Blog
16 current and former NFL players recently filed a lawsuit in Florida for being scammed out of $60 million total in player money. However, this lawsuit may also be evidence of an even bigger scam, with the total fallout reaching nearly $100 million USD. Read More…
Most countries require both traditional radio stations and digital stations like Pandora to pay for recorded music and the underlying compositions, but traditional American stations are only legally required to pay for the compositions. However, a newly proposed bill, if passed, would change this by eliminating compulsory licensing for both digital and over-the-air stations altogether.
While rapid technological advances have been leading to greater connectivity and data storage and global growth, they have also been resulting in greater cyberespionage and intellectual property theft, especially trade secrets. Businesses are now more at risk than ever to having their corporate networks breached and having their trade secrets stolen. On average, trade secrets comprise of about two-thirds of the value of firms’ information portfolios, and once they are made public or obtained by a competitor, their value may be substantially or entirely lost.
This phenomenon is occurring globally. General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, stated that U.S. companies lose $250 billon per year due to IP theft. A survey conducted for the European Commission showed that over the past 10 years, approximately one in five respondents experienced at least one attempt or act of misappropriation. South Korea estimates that costs from economic espionage more than tripled between 2004 and 2008. It is also estimated that the largest global organizations could face $35 million in losses over a two-year period from attacks on cryptographic keys and digital certificates.
In an effort to combat increasing cyberespionage, the Obama administration released a “Sttrategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets” in February 2013, and an issuance of Executive Order 13636 on “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” shortly after. The order focuses primarily on protecting critical infrastructure, and there is still room to enact laws to protect intellectual property that may be held more broadly by U.S. businesses.
The strength in trade secret laws has an effect on the level of cyberespionage in each country. Trade protection in the U.S. is relatively more advanced than in most of the rest of the world. Much of the rest of the world has very weak laws and enforcement practices, including the large emerging economies such as China, Brazil, Russia, and India. As supply chains and operations expand globally, weak rule of law and ineffective enforcement in countries will harm companies’ ability to protect their trade secrets.
What can governments and companies do to address these trade secret threats? First, a company should have its own protection program and make investments on strong security technologies and procedures. A study shows that companies that obtained “sufficiently budgeted resources” for security saved around $2.2 million annually. Governments should utilize trade policy tools to raise the importance of trade secrets protection and promote more effective deterrence. U.S. ties through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with 11 other Asian-Pacific nations and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with the European Union give it means to do so. Trade secret protection should also be considered in regional organizations and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The U.S. government should also improve internal coordination among agencies responsible for cybersecurity and protection of trade secrets. Overall, protection from cybersecurity will require a collateral effort from companies and governments worldwide.
by Brian Kim, Arther Law’s Industry Insider
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote recently stated that she might ask the U.S. Department of Justice to weigh in and clarify the terms of a consent decree dating back to 1941 which had clarified the scope of ASCAP’s licensing rights in an antitrust dispute.
The call for potential DOJ involvement came amidst an ongoing dispute between internet radio service provider, Pandora Media Inc. and the American Society of Composers Artists and Publishers (ASCAP). ASCAP licenses music and collects royalties for its members, which include large publishing companies. As an Internet radio company, Pandora is suing ASCAP because it claims it is paying royalties over four times as high as other broadcast companies.
BlackBerry has been struggling for years as other smartphone companies have been pushing it off the market. It is at a point where it is about to be bought off for around a mere $5 billion. However, an upside is that Blackberry’s patents are valued at $2-$3 billion. Chris Marlett, CEO of MDB Capital Group, an intellectual property focused investment bank, says that although there is little value for the company’s actual hardware business, its intellectual property value is substantial. Read More…