IP News Roundup

A summary of IP and patent news around the world.

US No. 1 in Patent Filings at the European Patent Office

Patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) hit a new record in 2013, with applications coming from the United States growing by 2.8% (2012: +5.1%). Last year U.S. companies deposited 64,967, or 24.5%, of all European patent filings (2012: 63,198), which confirms the United States as the No. 1 among all countries at the EPO, ahead of Japan (52,437; +1.2%) and Germany (32,022, -5.4%). It is the highest number of patents ever filed by U.S. companies within one year at the EPO. Read more…

If You Can’t Beat Them Join Them: Getty’s Vast Collection of Pictures Now Free 

Faced with insurmountable piracy of its product, one of the world’s foremost image repositories is trying a radical new way to convert pirates into licensees. Getty Images recently launched a new program that allows anyone to embed a wide variety of the stock photo agency’s images into their websites for the low, low price of absolutely free. Read more… 

Francis Gurry Nominated for Second Term as WIPO Director General

The Coordination Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) nominated by consensus Mr. Francis Gurry for a second term as director general of WIPO. The WIPO General Assembly will meet in an extraordinary session on May 8-9, 2014 to confirm the nomination. Read more…

California Man Guilty of Stealing DuPont Trade Secrets

The convictions of Liew and an ex-DuPont engineer are a victory for the U.S. Justice Department, which has charged about 20 people in recent years with stealing U.S. technology for China. The Obama administration has said Chinese spy agencies are involved in a far-reaching industrial espionage campaign targeting biotechnology, telecommunications, clean energy and nanotechnology industries. This case marks the first federal jury conviction on charges brought under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, federal prosecutors said. Read more…

Hollywood Patents: Inventions from 12 Celebrity Inventors

With all the hype about the Academy Awards we thought it might be interesting to see just how many Hollywood celebrities were inventors. Below is our list of the most interesting inventions from a number of well-known actors and directors. Read more…

Interesting IP: Colorado Pot Shops Keep Mum About Their Banks’ Identities

Owners of marijuana shops in Colorado that have bank accounts are refusing to share the names of those institutions with competitors, saying such information constitutes a trade secret, the Denver Post reported. This is leaving many recreational marijuana shops unable to conduct anything but an all-cash business, according to the newspaper. While recent changes in federal guidelines have made it slightly easier for banks to do business with marijuana-oriented businesses, many are still leery of these types of customers or the unwanted publicity they might bring, the Post said. Read more…