Hot off the presses, this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News (4/15/2018)

By Professor Tonya M. Evans

Welcome to this week’s CryptoSmartEsq News, my carefully curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto. 

If you’re new to this exciting, fast-developing space, check out the introductory video in the first CryptoSmartEsq news post. Follow me on Twitter at @CryptoSmartEsq (my blockchain and crypto-focused feed) and @IPProfEvans (my intellectual property-focused feed) and #EvansontheBlock for daily legal bits & bytes.

Tweet me your news items.

Top Story

Copyright Rebooted? Blockchain tech poised to disrupt Copyright law by Tonya M. Evans (Darts-IP.com)

Contrary to the national copyright law regime, public blockchains are borderless and censorship resistant. So, for example, someone in the United States could complete a transaction with someone in Switzerland without any centralized private or public intermediary. Given the ability of creators to deal directly with content consumers and licensees in this way, the power and promise of leveraging copyrighted works via blockchains becomes immediately apparent. More […]

Intellectual Property

Blockchain to Enhance Online Copyright Protection in Iran (Financial Tribune)

Iran is set to transform its online copyright protection system by application of blockchain technology, head of digital media department at the Ministry of Culture announced.

‘China’s Google’ Baidu Launches Blockchain-Based Image Rights Protection Platform (Cointelegraph)

Chinese internet search giant Baidu has launched a digital image property rights management platform based on Blockchain, the company announced Wednesday, April 11. The service, called Totem, timestamps each submitted original image with a real-time identity and other user data, storing it on a traceable and immutable Blockchain.

Po.et (POE): A Blockchain Project that’s Actually Useful Already (theUSACommerce.com)

Po.et (POE) is a cryptocurrency that began trading back in August of 2017. This coin is all about creative work, and how publishers and creators online monetize what they craft – so that can reclaim the value of their creations in a transparent way. They do this through blockchain technology. It’s essentially a platform where you can timestamp your creations, then issue content licenses to consumers.

Law & Government

9 Reasons Blockchain Projects Need a General Counsel: Expert Take (Cointelegraph)

Imagine that your ICO raised $50 mln and your cryptocurrency is trading at 100x from where you launched. Everyone loves your project, your friends and family are impressed, and you’re the darling of Blockchain. Congratulations and welcome to the big leagues! You now have a significant enterprise to protect, demanding stakeholders to satisfy, and a challenging product roadmap to deliver on. Besides talented engineers and marketers, you need a in-house lawyer on your team. Here are some reasons why.

Cases

Morrison Cohen LLP, a law firm based in New York, has developed a crypto litigation platform called the “Moco Cryptocurrency Litigation Tracker. The firm’s system provides information about pending crypto cases in United States courts.

Education

Blockchain 101: Law Schools Tackle the New Frontier (Law.com)

New digital academy a first for Hogan Lovells and legal sector (Logan Hovells)

Hogan Lovells pushes into digital training realm for the first time.

20 Real-World Uses for Blockchain Technology (MotleyFool.com)

You’re probably wondering what this potentially game-changing technology can actually do in the real world. Well, wonder no more. Here are 20 potential uses for blockchain technology.

Events

Boston Blockchain Week

Aim Summit (Abu Dhabi May 2-3, 2018 via @CrowdieAdvisors@HustleFundBaby)

 

[last issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]

 

 

Hot off the presses, this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News (4/6/2018)

By Professor Tonya M. Evans

Welcome to this week’s CryptoSmartEsq News, a curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto. 

If you’re new to this exciting, fast-developing space, check out the introductory video in the first CryptoSmartEsq news post. Follow me on Twitter at @CryptoSmartEsq (my blockchain and crypto-focused feed) and @IPProfEvans (my intellectual property-focused feed) and #EvansontheBlock for daily legal bits & bytes.

Tweet me your news items.

Top Story

Digital Transformation: Managing IP rights through the blockchain (Lexology)

Intellectual Property

Blockchain Technology—Patent Eligible Subject Matter or Just a Business Model? (Legal Intelligencer)

Government, Legislation & Regulation

AZ Governor Signs Latest Blockchain Bill into Law (CoinDesk.com)

‘Lack of Understanding’ Derails Georgia’s Bitcoin Tax Bill (CoinDesk.com)

UK watchdog says license needed to trade cryptocurrencies (Reuters)

What Does the EU’s GDPR Mean for Blockchain? (NewBTC)

ICOs Are ‘Absolutely Not’ All Fraudulent Says the Chairman of the SEC (Fortune)

Cases

 (Bloomberg)

Most Cryptos Aren’t Commodities, Defendants Claim in CFTC Case (CoinDesk)

[last issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]

 

 

Blockchain, Crypto & Smart Contracts: What they are & what they mean for IP

© 2018 Tonya M. Evans

Attribution-NoDerivs
CC BY-ND

Recently, I delivered two presentations in Bangkok, Thailand about the intellectual property implications of blockchain technology. The first was an internal preso for the prominent Southeast Asian law firm of Tilleke & Gibbins, and the second was for the Licensing Executives Society-Thailand Conference.

In each preso, I engaged attendees (live and via video conference) in a macro-level exploration of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts to clarify what this relatively new disruptive, empowering ecosystem is, what it means for our collective future as attorneys, corporate leaders, startup founders and entrepreneurs, and its implications in intellectual property law.

Recently, Darts-IP.com published an article I wrote titled IP + Blockchain: A Primer based on some of the information I shared in Bangkok.

I could spend all day every day falling down the proverbial rabbit hole of information about blockchain. There is literally breaking blockchain and cryptocurrency news every minute, if Coindesk’s website and twitter feed are any indication. Each bit and byte of information leads to more information (and misinformation), FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt), FOMO (fear of missing out), and speculation about all of the potential pitfalls and opportunities in this new technology frontier. So it’s difficult for most people to figure out where to begin. If this describes you, you’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place! Read on.

You probably have questions (or you wouldn’t be reading this post). Lots of them. The first may very well be where to begin to get a handle on the power and promise of blockchain. Everyone should have some baseline understanding. But lawyers, in particular, must achieve basic technological competence in this space to be well positioned to help clients solve problems. Given my background and expertise, I am particularly interested in the intellectual property issues triggered by blockchain’s rise in mainstream adoption as research & development use cases transition into full implementation and refinement.

In future posts, I will share trends and current events in the blockchain ecosystem that raise copyright, patent, and trademark issues. Follow me on Twitter @IPProfEvans for breaking IP-related blockchain and crypto news. Below are some blockchain basics that I cover more substantively in IP + Blockchain: A Primer and some additional resources about blockchain, crypto, and smart contracts.

So … what is Blockchain? [Updated excerpt from IP + Blockchain: A Primer Continue reading “Blockchain, Crypto & Smart Contracts: What they are & what they mean for IP”

Professor Evans travels to Bangkok to discuss IP implications of Blockchain

blockchain-image

Part of a lawyer’s professional competence includes technological competence. Therefore, every lawyer should have a basic understanding of the business and legal implications of the blockchain and its varied and various use cases.

To that end, I will present an overview of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts at the law offices of Tilleke & Gibbins (Bangkok, Thailand) on January 31, 2018 and at the Annual Meeting of Licensing Executives Society (LES)-Thailand on February 1, 2018.  This presentation is intended to introduce attorneys of all practice areas to the essential information every lawyer should know about this emerging, global technology.

Ready? Set? Disrupt!

Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt law and business on a global scale in ways neither rivaled nor contemplated since the advent of the Internet. This talk will include definitions of key terminology, an explanation of the two most prominent use cases within this ecosystem (cryptocurrency and smart contracts), as well as intellectual property issues, current events, and likely blockchain trends in 2018.

VIDEO: 203 Copyright Transfer Terminations: All Hype or Finally Ripe?

On Thursday, March 23rd I presented a Lunch & Learn at the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property.

I covered 203 copyright transfer termination rights mechanics, the post-2013 response of copyright creators and copyright-industries when the first termination “window” opened for post-1977 transfers, and stakeholder and commentator forecasts about whether the anticipated termination tidal wave of destruction is more academic than real.

Copyright transfer termination permits a copyright creator to reclaim control of his or her copyright several decades after transferring the right. This applies to all copyright transfers no matter what a contract may say about a perpetual transfer. Creators cannot waive this right. But they can forfeit it if they are not careful.

In fact, some creators have already forfeited their rights if they transferred copyright in 1978 and failed to serve notice of termination by 2016. 

I offered some preliminary conclusions on the future of copyright-dependent industries in light of the 203 termination right.

Watch, listen and learn!

Prof. Evans to present WIP at 10th Annual Lutie Lytle Conference

Professor Evans will present her latest work-in-progress, Safer Harbor from Statutory Damages for Mea Culpa Infringers: Remixing the DOC White Paper, at the 2016 Tenth Annual Lutie Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop.

The paper, slated for fall placement,  titled “Safer Harbor” from Statutory Damages for Mea Culpa Infringers: Remixing the DOC White Paper, is a follow up to her article, Safe Harbor for Innocent Infringers in the 21st Century. The former article argued that under certain circumstances, “innocent” users should be protected from liability in the same way that Internet Service Providers are protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provisions. In Safer Harbor, Professor Evans approaches the same topic from the damages-instead of the liability-phase.

In Safer Harbor, Professor Evans offers a legislative fix to the statutory damages section that would inject greater balance, fairness and uniformity into the damages assessment.

The Department of Commerce‘s Internet Policy Task Force recently released its much-anticipated report on statutory damages, remixes, and the first sale doctrine. The report, titled White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory DamagesCopyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (The IPTF Report), recommended numerous important and long overdue changes to the Copyright Act.

In light the IPTF Report, Professor Evans analyzes and incorporates the Report’s findings and recommendations against the backdrop of her own recommended fixes to copyright law.

About the Lutie Lytle Conference

The Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop (the “Lytle Workshop”) is an annual gathering of current and aspiring black women law faculty. While the primary focus is on legal scholarship, this event is important for networking, bonding, and getting refreshed. Read more about the PDF iconHistory of the Program. Since the Workshop began, its participants have published more than 29 books, 44 book chapters, and 500 articles (PDF iconbibliography of works authored by workshop attendees as of 2016).

The 2016 gathering, which will be the historic and commemorative 10thAnnual Workshop, will be hosted by the University of Iowa College of Law on July 7-10, 2016, in Iowa City. A writing retreat will take place before and after the main Workshop on July 6-7 and 10-12, 2016. [More information …]

 

Prof. Evans to moderate NBA IP Law Review CLE webinar Wed 6/8

I invite you to register for Wednesday’s webinar, hosted by the NBA IP Law Section. Registration is free for all IP Section members, and $30 for non-members.

IP Law Review – A Survey of Recent Developments in Patent, Trademark, and Trade Secret Law.

Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm EDT

Follow live tweet at #NBAIPLaw

Presenters:

  • Tonya Evans (Widener University Commonwealth Law School) – Moderator
  • Darrell Mottley (Banner Witcoff)
  • Shontavia Johnson (Drake University Law School)
  • Kevin Jordan (JP Morgan Chase)

Summary – Our panelists will discuss a variety of hot topics and recent developments in patent, trademark, and trade secret law, including:

  • The internet of things as an emerging technology/industry, and related IP and regulatory issues
  • Intersection between the First Amendment and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act regarding registration of immoral, scandalous, or disparaging trademarks, including the impact of trademark cases
  • Overview of trade secret law and its viability as an alternative means of IP protection

CLE Info: The NBA IP Law Section is looking into obtaining CLE accreditation in the following jurisdictions: CA, GA, IL, NY, TX, and VA. For questions regarding CLE accreditation, please contact Bill Barrow (wbarrow[at]mayerbrown.com).

Cost: This webinar is free for NBA IP Law Section members and costs $30 (plus processing fees) for non-members.

Register at:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nba-ip-law-section-intellectual-property-law-review-registration-25483682380