March 4, 2015 – In recent years, individuals and law firms have used U.S. patent and copyright law to make assertions that are not “good fits” with the original purpose, a New York University law professor said in the University of Houston Law Center’s Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law Spring Lecture.
Professor Jeanne Fromer said phenomena such as “revenge porn,” “grey markets” and “patent trolls” are some of the areas in which patent or copyright holders have asserted claims against third parties not to seek protection from harm to their interests in the marketplace, but for other interests such as privacy, reputation, protection of other ancillary markets, or the extraction of rents.
Fromer argued that assertions of rights with “ill-fitting motivations” are worrisome enough -- because of the costs imposed and also because of distortionary effects on intellectual property law as a whole -- that courts should take great thought and care before granting relief.
The Twelfth Annual Spring Lecture, sponsored by Baker Botts L.L.P., was held March 2at the Coronado Club in downtown Houston for an audience of intellectual property lawyers and academics.
The Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law presents top-flight scholars of intellectual property law each year in its Spring and Fall lectures. The Institute is consistently ranked in the nation’s Top 10 programs by U.S. News & World Report in its annual survey.