When a company desires to develop technology, it has two options: develop the technology in-house by its employees, or contract with a third-party developer to develop the technology. Any time a company contracts with a third party to develop technology for the company, one of the key issues in the agreement should be allocation of intellectual property ownership.
NEWS FOR LAWYERS AND SOURCING PROFESSIONALS
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released a report titled “Public Views on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy,” which addresses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on various intellectual property (IP) regimes. Per the USPTO’s press release announcing the report, the report “represents the agency’s firm commitment to keeping pace with this rapidly changing and critical technology.”
Justice Marcus Smith dismissed the appeal brought by physicist Stephen Thaler, who claimed that his artificially intelligent (AI) creation, DABUS, had produced inventions on its own initiative. The dismissal follows a chain of disappointment for Dr. Thaler; the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), European Patent Office (EPO) and US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) all denied his initial patent applications in 2018 and 2019.
On 7 September 2020, the UK government published a call for views on the future relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property (IP). Though the government called for views on all areas of intellectual property law, this article shall focus on patent law.
In a prior series of posts, we discussed issues relating to intellectual property indemnification, including some exceptions, remedies, and allocation of liability. Given that these provisions often involve taxing negotiations and that many technologies have become intertwined, below we explore some nuanced—and frequently sticky—issues regarding third-party products and how they can be resolved.
With more than 40 webinars total, the annual Morgan Lewis Technology May-rathon continues. We thought these particular webinars were especially timely with regard to topics we follow in Tech & Sourcing @ Morgan Lewis:
- AI and Copyright: Who’s That Author Behind the Computer?: Tuesday, May 26 at 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT
- Global Privacy Issues: Thursday, May 28, at 11:00 am ET/8:00 PT
When responding to requests for proposals (RFPs), vendors should be conscious that they might be disclosing highly confidential or commercially sensitive material to the potential customer, with no guarantee of securing the proposed contract. Such information could, without any restrictions, be used by the potential customer to assist the vendor’s competitors or to develop solutions in-house.
In light of this, prudent vendors should carefully consider what legal protections they include in their RFP responses alongside operational and commercial details. We have set out some key considerations below.
The US–China trade deal signed on January 15 aims to strengthen intellectual property protection for US intellectual property holders.
The deal increases the scope of actors liable for trade secret misappropriation to include all natural persons, groups of persons, and legal persons. The deal also enumerates additional acts constituting trade secret misappropriation, such as electronic intrusions and a breach or inducement of a breach of duty not to disclose information that is secret or intended to be kept secret. To further strengthen the protection of trade secrets, the deal provides that “China shall prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of undisclosed information, trade secrets, or confidential business information by government personnel or third party experts or advisors in any criminal, civil, administrative, or regulatory proceedings conducted at either the central or sub-central levels of government in which such information is submitted.”
The terms “reseller” and “distributor” are often used interchangeably to describe entities that purchase goods or services from a manufacturer and then distribute or resell such goods or services to retailers and consumers. However, there are some key differences between a distributor and a reseller and important issues to consider in agreements with resellers and distributors.
The Clearing House (the oldest banking association and payments company in the United States) recently released a model agreement as a voluntary starting point to facilitate data sharing between financial institutions and fintech companies.
The model agreement is intended to provide a standardized foundation that speeds up data access agreement negotiations; as the Clearing House notes, “[L]egal agreements between banks and fintechs have sometimes taken 12 months or more to be developed and finalized and have become a significant bottleneck to API adoption.” Additionally, the model agreement is designed to reflect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer protection principles on data sharing and aggregation, providing confidence to the contracting parties that the terms address key regulatory issues.