Article by Timothy K. Armstrong
On February 15, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a ruling on a patent dispute about a genome-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9. The Regents of the University of California, University of Vienna, and a scientist named Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively “UC”) initiated this legal proceeding, called an interference, against the Broad Institute, Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and President and Fellows of Harvard College (collectively “Broad”). The three-judge panel unanimously sided with Broad concluding, although temporarily, a legal battle closely watched by scientists, legal professionals and the biotechnology industry. On April 12, 2017, UC filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.read more
Last month when Amazon announced its newest offering, Amazon Key, people were skeptical. Responses ranged from confused, to excited, to, naturally, cautious But now that it has officially arrived people are…still skeptical. And not without good reason.read more
Hashtags are additions to social media posts that contain meta-data. For example, a couple may create a hashtag for their wedding. This allows people using social network websites, like Twitter, to easily upload and find posts and photos about the wedding.
One interesting question is whether hashtags can be trademarks.read more
Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind recently succeeded at designing a program capable of defeating some of the world’s best players of Chinese strategy game Go. While this may not appear groundbreaking, the real triumph comes from the fact that while the programmers laid the ground rules, it was the program itself, AlphaGo, that taught itself to play.read more
On January 11, 2017, the term “fake news” entered the mainstream discourse when Donald Trump, during his first press conference as President-elect, refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta and told him, “You are fake news.” The source of that outburst can apparently be traced to a 35-page unverified document based primarily on memos complied by a former British intelligence operative that CNN had publicized. President-elect Trump immediately blasted the report through his favorite medium of communication, tweeting, “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”read more
There’s a worrying trend occurring in the world of patents. As Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Daniel Nazer points out, more and more patents are being filed for the application of relatively “fundamental machine-learning techniques” to new areas, such as food consumption.read more