Weekly IP Buzz for week ending in September 21, 2018
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending September 21, 2018.
U.S. Appeals Court Rules on CRISPR Gene Editing Patent Challenges
Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley have been at odds over gene-editing patent technology. The patent dispute concerns who owns the rights to Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (“CRISPR”) technology, which allows scientists to specifically target genes and cut parts of the gene out or even the entire gene itself. The CRISPR gene technology revolves around an enzyme found in bacteria that naturally occurs as a response to virus threats. Specifically, the CRISPR-Cas9 protein is the one at issue in this dispute, though other CRISPR proteins appear to be coming to market soon.
In regards to the dispute at hand, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had originally ruled that Harvard University’s affiliated Broad Institute may keep its technology on gene-editing patents regarding CRISPR. Previously, Harvard had been locked in a dispute with Berkeley over intellectual property rights that include attribution, reputational credit, and financial profits that would result from the gene-editing patent technique. Read more about the ruling.
Will the Internet of Things be the Next Digital Nightmare for America?
Lately, the buzz on the next big stage of the Internet has been the emergence of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is the interconnection of devices, allowing for constant upload and download of data, via the Internet. Everyday gadgets (e.g., coffee makers, refrigerators, laundry machines, etc.) that were previously considered “dumb,” or unable to connect to the Internet, will have wireless capability that allows them to connect to the Internet.
Most news about the forthcoming Internet of Things in healthcare has been positive. Proponents often discuss how the Internet of Things will improve healthcare by allowing devices such as wheelchairs or pacemakers to provide real-time data to caretakers. The headlining news about the Internet of Things is often about how it will inevitably improve the average citizen’s life.
Two U.S. senators, however, disagree by citing hacking incidents, specifically an incident last year where hackers were able to use the burgeoning Internet of Things to conduct a denial-of-service attack, which denied access to popular websites such as Twitter and Spotify through “newly” smart devices like fitness trackers and thermostats. Read more about IoT.
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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.
Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.