Legislative Review of STRONGER Patents Act of 2019

[Morgan Hartgrove, Contributing Member 2020-2021]

Introduction:

The United States has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship.[1] The ability and incentive to innovate is partially due to the country’s decision to capitalize on the ingenuity of inventors and innovators through strong intellectual property laws.[2] The Constitution of the United States empowers Congress “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”[3] Patents are intended to protect the property right of the inventor and are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).[4] By issuing a patent, the USPTO grants the right “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States.[5] Under this power, Congress has enacted various laws and reforms relating to obtaining, enforcing, and renewing patents.[6]

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How Patents Can Lower Drug Prices: A Policy Review of the Second Look at Drug Patents Act of 2020

[Morgan Hartgrove, Contributing Member 2020-2021]

Introduction

Patent and patent rights incentivize creation and innovation. The Constitution empowers Congress “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”[1] However, these protections expire after a certain period of time.[2] In the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, patent rights play an essential role in incentivizing research, design, and innovation for new drugs.[3] Patents protect a drug manufacturer’s innovation by establishing a period of exclusivity, and sometimes, manufacturers extend this period of exclusivity by filing multiple or additional patents to cover one product.[4] Some argue patents create a way for manufacturers to maximize profits and prevent competition from generic drugs to enter the market. Others believe the option to extend patent protection is necessary to incentivize drug manufacturers to invest the billions of dollars it takes to create new drugs and bring them to market.[5]

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Trump & Twitter Replies: Free Speech in the Social Media Age

[Jeremy Lifter, Contributing Member 2019-2020]

Social media is an evolving form of communication. Take for example Twitter, ever since its founding in 2007 Twitter has grown exponentially.[1] It allows users to publish their thoughts on any topic they wish, users can post photos, videos or text and reply to other users. Twitter itself allows users who are members of the site to post “tweets,” which are statements limited to 280 characters.[2] These “tweets” can range in subject from anything the users wants to post, users can also post video, pictures or other digital mediums.[3] Users can see “tweets” of people they follow and anyone else who makes their “tweets” public, they can also reply to these “tweets” which creates a threat of the original message and the replies from other users.[4]  In addition to its members, the general public has the ability to see others tweets if they choose to make their account public.[5]

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“[Don’t] Take It from Me:” Examining Commodores Entm’t Corp. v. McClary

[Kristen Rollerson, Contributing Member 2018-2019]

The Commodores is a musical group that was formed in 1968.  With the help of Motown Records, original members Thomas McClary, Walter Orange, Lionel Richie, Milan Williams, William King, and Ronald LaPread gained stardom and are still thriving.[1]  The Commodores became a household name with hits like “Take it from Me,” “Brick House” and “Three Times a Lady.”[2]  The group emerged on the Hollywood scene in 1971, and shortly after, released its first album in 1974.  The Commodores have a legacy of over forty released albums, seven number-one singles and topped the charts with multiple hits.  Since its inception, the Commodores toured the globe and continue to share its mark with the world despite the group’s ever-evolving membership.

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Drive My Car: Examining Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc.

[Kristen Rollerson, Contributing Member 2018-2019]

No, this is not an ode to the Beatles’ legendary song Drive My Car, but instead, this blog serves the purpose of examining the misappropriation of trade secrets.  Courts have struggled with adjudicating the misappropriation of trade secrets due to the various jurisdictions which a case can be brought.  For instance, state and federal laws afford civil protection.  Interestingly, these protections largely rest upon the language of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”).  With a multitude of avenues, the complaining party has their choice of law which may tip the scale in its favor in litigation.  Most recently, trade secrets involving self-driving cars have entered the realm of litigation. 

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