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Washington & Lee Law School
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  Boston College Intellectual Property and Technology Forum
  2005, September-November
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  • "For Limited Times": The Supreme Court Finds the Copyright Term Extension Act Constitutional in Eldred v. Ashcroft, But When Does It End?
        Sue Ann Mota
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        November 5, 2005 - 2005 B.C. Intell. Prop. & Tech. F. 110501 - While the World Trade Organization's TRIPS agreement sets a minimum copyright term of author's life plus fifty years, both the U.S. and the E.U. have copyright terms longer than the global minimum for the WTO's members. The U.S. Congress in 1998 passed the Copyright Term Extension Act, which lengthened the copyright term by twenty years, to the author's life plus seventy years, or ninety-five years from creation or 125 years from publication, whichever comes first. The Supreme Court upheld this extension in 2003 in Eldred v. Ashcroft, but this author questions if Congress will again extend the copyright term, and if so, when does "for limited times" end?
  • Google's Literary Quest in Peril
        Michael Goldstein
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        November 3, 2005 - 2005 B.C. Intell. Prop. & Tech. F. 110301 - On September 20, 2005, The Author's Guild, an organization that represents over 8,000 writers, filed suit against Google's 'Google Print' project for copyright violation. The Author's Guild alleges violation of its exclusive reproduction, distribution and public display rights in the Google Print project to make books available for search on the internet. This article covers arguments for both sides.
  • Repairing the Bayh-Dole Act: A Proposal for Restoring Non-Profit Access to University Science
        Aaron Miller
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        September 30, 2005 - 2005 B.C. Intell. Prop. & Tech. F. 093001 - The U.S. Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 to allow recipients of federal funds, regardless of their for-profit or non-profit status, to patent their inventions. Universities have proven eager to patent their scientists' discoveries and in some cases have licensed them out for substantial amounts of money. In 2002 the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit held in Madey vs. Duke University that the "experimental use" defense to patent infringement did not apply to most university research. This was partly because universities, having entered the patenting and licensing business, had started to look like commercial actors. With schools patenting their best work, and a near-dead experimental use defense, academic scientists face serious obstacles to building on each other's discoveries for the advancement of science. This article suggests a scheme for restoring non-profit scientists' access to this lost "scientific commons" without hurting the interests of patent holders.