The Music Modernization Act: A Copyright Update for a Digital Age

The United States Congress has passed the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act of 2018 ("MMA"), which now heads to President Trump for his signature. The U.S. Senate renamed the bill in honor of retiring Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, the bill's sponsor and also a fellow songwriter. The bill includes a previous version of the MMA passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act ("CLASSICS Act"). In particular, the CLASSICS Act extends copyright protection to pre-1972 sound recordings. The MMA also includes the Allocation for Music Producers Act ("AMP Act") that codifies various practices allowing artists to share royalties with producers and other creative participants that worked on a sound recording.
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New French Provisions Impacting National Intellectual Property Rights 

New legislative provisions affecting French intellectual property (IP) rights are under discussion. In particular, these provisions are contained in a proposed law known as "Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation" (in French: PACTE) currently examined by the parliament and in a decree the government intends to issue shortly. Once the bill is finalized and passed and the decree is issued, the new provisions will enter into force, likely in the first few months of 2019.

A Trademark within a Copyright: 9th Circuit Clarified Trademark Rights in Expressive Works

In Gordon v. Drape Creative Inc., No. 16-56715 (9th Cir. July 30, 2018), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit provides a valuable reminder that lines can sometimes blur between different types of intellectual property. Using the First Amendment, courts had barred previous attempts at applying the Lanham Act to find trademark infringement in expressive works, such as video games and literary novels. In Gordon, however, the court found that a jury might find pasting a popular trademarked meme into a copyrightable greeting card could constitute trademark infringement, because it added no expressive value protected by the First Amendment.
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Powerful Technique Promises to Revolutionize Biotechnology

A powerful technique promises to revolutionize biotechnology.  With the clumsy name of CRISPR-Cas9, this method enables rapid and convenient editing of genes with potential applications for medicine, agriculture, and other technologies.  The Federal Circuit recently resolved a dispute over patent rights to this gene-editing method.  The competing parties were a group in Boston (The Broad Institute, MIT, and Harvard) and the University of California at Berkeley and others.
Not Simply Renamed: "SIPO" becomes "CNIPA"

On September 3, 2018, the State Intellectual Property Office of China announced on its website that the English name of the Chinese governmental body has changed from the "State Intellectual Property Office" ("SIPO") to the "China National Intellectual Property Administration" ("CNIPA").  Accordingly, the agency's English abbreviation of the bureau has changed from "SIPO" to "CNIPA" as well.  The website domain has also been changed to

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