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France: Law on Digital Exploitation of Unavailable Books

(Mar. 26, 2012) France's Law 2012-287, of March 1, 2012, on the Digital Exploitation of 20th Century Unavailable Books, was published in France's official gazette of March 2, 2012. (LOI n° 2012-287 du 1er mars 2012 relative à l'exploitation numérique des livres indisponibles du xxe siècle, LEGIFRANCE.) This Law adds a new chapter to the […]

European Union: ACTA Signed in Tokyo

(Feb. 7, 2012) On January 26, 2012, the European Union and 22 of its member countries signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a controversial pact designed to tighten international controls on violations of copyright and other intellectual property laws. A signing ceremony was held in Tokyo, hosted by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Signing Ceremony […]

China; European Union: Agreement to Use Chinese-English Machine Translations for Patents

(Dec. 20, 2011) It was reported on December 1, 2011, that China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and the European Union's European Patent Office (EPO) had signed an agreement on the use of Chinese-English machine-translations for patents, “in an unprecedented move to eliminate linguistic barriers in public access to patent information.” (EPO and SIPO Sign […]

European Union: Court Bans Patents When Human Embryos Destroyed

(Nov. 7, 2011) On October 18, 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) adopted a landmark decision in the case of Oliver Brüstle v. Greenpeace e.V. and held that a process that involves the removal of a stem cell from a human embryo, resulting in the destruction of the embryo, cannot be patented. The ECJ […]

New Zealand: Law Targeting Illegal Online File-Sharing Passed

(Apr. 18, 2011) On April 14, 2011, the New Zealand parliament passed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, New Regime for Section 92a Copyright Infringements (Apr. 14, 2011) [Press Release 1]; see also Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, New Zealand Legislation website (last visited Apr. 14, 2011).) The […]

United States: USTR Issues “Notorious Markets” List

(Mar. 3, 2011) On February 28, 2011, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a list of over 30 “notorious” Internet and physical sites that violate intellectual property rights. The “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets” list was formerly part of the USTR's annual “Special 301 Report” (due at the end of April), […]

China: Law on Intangible Cultural Heritage Adopted

(Mar. 2, 2011) On February 25, 2011, China's National People's Congress Standing Committee adopted a law on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) designed to preserve traditions considered to have historic, literary, artistic, or scientific value, including those traditions of the various minority ethnic groups in the country. It also extends protection to material objects and physical […]

Japan: Streaming and Transfer of Recorded TV Programs Services Abroad Found Illegal

(Feb. 9, 2011) The Supreme Court of Japan decided in two recent cases that two kinds of services that enabled overseas Japanese to watch TV programs broadcast in Japan were illegal, because they infringed on the copyright of broadcasters and TV program producers. The lower court, the Intellectual Property High Court, had taken the side […]

Israel: Replacement of Paper Publication of Patent Announcements with Online Publication

(Jan. 19, 2011) On January 3, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed an amendment to the Patent Law 5727-1967. Prior to its amendment, the Law required the publication of various announcements, including patent registration requests and approvals, in the official publication YOMAN HAPATENTIM (Patent Registry, Part “Rashumot,” OFFICIAL GAZETTE). The replacement of the paper publication […]