Berkeley Patent Survey finds first-mover advantage trumps patents for some.
Researchers Pamela Samuelson and Stuart J. H. Graham discuss key results from the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey, including how software startups perceive, use and are affected by the patent system. Of particular note, startups find that first-mover advantage and complementary assets are more important than patents.
In the fall of 2005, the Authors Guild, which then had about 8000 members, and five publishers sued Google for copyright infringement. Many copyright professionals expected the Authors Guild v. Google case to be the most important fair use case of the 21st century. This column argues that the proposed settlement of this lawsuit is a privately negotiated compulsory license primarily designed to monetize millions of orphan works. It will benefit Google and certain authors and publishers, but it is questionable whether the authors of most books in the corpus (the “dead souls” to which the title refers) would agree that the settling authors and publishers will truly represent their interests when setting terms for access to the Book Search corpus.