The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act: Concerning the Originality of “Cookie-Cutter” Homes

[Emily Feeley, Contributing Member 2020-2021, Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal]

           It should come as no surprise that architectural structures can receive copyright protection, but that has not always been the case. Prior to 1990, there were relatively few protections for architectural works.[1] It was only with the passing of the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (“AWCPA”) that copyright protection extended to protect architectural structures.[2] Presently, architectural works are one of the eight categories of works that are subject to copyright protection under 17 U.S.C.A. § 102(a).[3] Are these protections enough, or is there a need to expand their protection? This blog will look at what types of architectural works are subject to copyright protection, how architectural copyrights are registered, and the feasibility of enforcing the copyright. 

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Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Return of College Football Video Games and the Impact of O’Bannon v. NCAA

[Jacob Conners, Contributing Member 2020-2021, Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal]

Introduction:

            “EA Sports. It’s in the game.”[1] The famous words in the title sequence of every EA Sports video game have proven untrue for college football players since July 2013, the release date of NCAA Football 14.[2] College football players have not been “in the game” since EA Sports discontinued the video game on September 26, 2013.[3] Cam Weber, the General Manager of American Football at EA Sports, released a statement announcing the discontinuation citing that EA Sports was “stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football.”[4] Mr. Weber also distinctly pointed out that EA Sports had always followed the rules set forth by the NCAA while also complying with the law.[5] The disputes culminated in the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision of O’Bannon v. NCAA.[6] Many blamed Ed O’Bannon and the O’Bannon lawsuit for ending the video game, while others put all the blame on the NCAA.[7] No matter who they blamed, college football and video games fans were thrilled and relieved following the announcement that EA Sports would be bringing back the well-known college football game in early February 2021.[8] The video game’s return will show how name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) lawsuits have changed the outlook of collegiate athletics. Furthermore, the ever-growing fraction of intellectual property law in NIL becomes more relevant each year with the continual increase in NCAA sports television coverage.[9] Massive television deals have been signed for up to twelve years into the future and have become even more crucial with the lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic.[10]

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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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