A special judge

“Ginsburg was not afraid of upsetting the apple cart.”

This issue includes analysis of Booking.com, the controversial US Supreme Court trademark decision presided over by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg, whose death in September has been the topic of many heart-felt obituaries, was not afraid of upsetting the apple cart.

A civil rights advocate, she is celebrated for her impact on women’s rights in particular, but her patent decisions, including Microsoft Corp v AT&T, and involvement in other copyright cases, such as Eldred v Ashcroft and Georgia v Public.Resource.Org (dissenting), put her at the centre of some of IP’s most important decisions.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote of his colleague: “Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature.” IP was lucky to have her.

Seminal moment for SEPs?

How owners of 5G standard-essential patents (SEPs) can license their inventions is the subject of fierce arguments in and outside courts from the US to Germany and the UK.

The system we end with up will, at the least, affect how much connected device manufacturers will have to pay to launch their products. Whether this cost will be passed to consumers remains to be seen.

This year will be marked as significant, thanks to a decision by the US Department of Justice to give a badge of approval to patent pool operator Avanci’s licensing model.

As WIPR’s Rory O’Neill explains in his excellent analysis, patent owners have good reason to celebrate. Enjoy the issue.

Tom Phillips is the editor of WIPR

Image: shutterstock.com / 5 second Studio

Issue 3, 2020

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