Brazil: boy badly created in terms of intellectual property?

It is not today that intellectual property serves as an instrument to secure agreements or business deals. These are laws that involve property over immaterial goods of very high value, generating much discomfort in governments that can not or do not want to control much access to protected intellectual property. The Brazilian case is quite emblematic. And the WTO has been an immense political instrument for such purposes.


In this sense, the United States has created the Special 301 (Section 1303 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988) authorizing the USTR to place a particular country on a watch list, as Had a punishment, an “ill-bred” boy, who does not respect the neighbor’s candy. This means that due to miscreation, it is monitored to see if it can improve its behavior regarding how it respects – or not – property rights – especially Americans. The American demand is that Brazil be more severe in the fight against piracy, this involves more police action and safe and energetic laws. It is not possible to please everyone, so the question remains: who favors this rigor? Certainly who owns it. Who owns proprietary property?



The INPI recently published news on the subject, implying that Brazil would be congratulated ( -protection-of-rights-of-pi-1 / view). In fact, we seem to have lacked a little more clarity about the meaning of this list for the Americans, and the consquences of Brazil’s permanence in it. Is this a good thing? It seems the news wants to imply that it does. Brazil is undoubtedly an American trading partner, but on the other hand, it is on the list of countries that are not treating piracy as it should be. And in fact, piracy is piracy, an injury to everyone, including the pirate himself, since he has chosen a way to make money that is nothing more than an illicit enrichment, which is not only illegal, it is criminal. What is lacking in Brazil, on the other hand, is to discuss – and not just to Brazil – the very concept of “piracy”, since the United States has made a point – and also the Europeans (read WIPO) – of Concept to any unauthorized copy. Which is already exaggerated. Then there is space to start talking about abuse of rights, monopolies, oligopolies and so on .


Suggested reading:
KRETSCHMANN, Ângela. Políticas de Inovação: estratégias de crescimento e sustentabilidade. In: KRETSCHMANN, Angela; SILVA, Ricardo Muniz Muccillo da. (Org.). Propriedade Industrial, inovação e sustentabilidade. 1ed.Florianópolis: Conceito, 2016, v. 1, p. 65-90.
KRETSCHMANN, Ângela. O feudalismo no direito autoral: um mal necessário? IN SIMÃO. José Fernando, BELTRÃO, Silvio Romero. Direito Civil: estudos em homenagem a José de Oliveira Ascensão: teoria geral do direito, bioética, direito intelectual e sociedade da informação. v. 1, 2015. p. 169-189.
KRETSCHMANN, Ângela. A transição legal e o desespero enciclopédico da lei autoral brasileira. IN Direito da Propriedade Intelectual: Estudos em homenagem ao Pe. Bruno Jorge Hammer. Juruá, 2014.
KRETSCHMANN, Ângela; SARLET, Ingo Wolfgang. Direitos autorais como direitos fundamentais? Revista Jurídica do Cesuca, v. 1, n. 1, jul/2013. p. 10-21.
KRETSCHMANN, Ângela. Autorschaft, Schöpfung und Originalität: einige Überlegungen aus unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln. HUMBOLDT FORUM RECHTS, v. 2, p. 4-9, 2016.

INPI celebrates IP Day throughout April

In order to publicize the importance of Intellectual Property, during the month of April INPI will seek to encourage reflection on the subject. Next April 26 is considered the day of the IP, and in order to foster this reflection, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), celebrates on April 26, this year, with the theme “Innovation – Improving Lives”. It seeks to disseminate innovation and knowledge for the protection of new intellectual creations. The celebration during the month of April is held in partnership with the WIPO and the Museum of Tomorrow, encouraging the social debate on the relationship of IP and Innovation.

See more details at:


“I know my ideas when I see them on a screen,” inventor said in 2011.


A software company is founded in 2001, just as the dot-com bust slips the tech sector into a recession. The product never takes off, and the company gives up and shuts its doors in 2004.

A few years later, the company founder is contacted about his patents. Promised a small percentage of whatever “monetization” takes place, the founder sells to a hedge fund. The fund creates an LLC and in 2008, he proceeds to sue several tech companies in the court that looks most promising: the Eastern District of Texas.

Sound like a familiar story? It’s happened literally hundreds of times, but a long-running case that just ended this week is special. David Gelernter isn’t a typical patent owner. He’s a well-known computer scientist who teaches at Yale.  The lawsuit (PDF) over his patents, Mirror Worlds LLC v. Apple, claimed Gelernter invented the basic ideas behind features like Spotlight, Cover Flow, and the Time Machine. The case reached a turning point in 2010, when a jury said (PDF) that Apple infringed three of Gelernter’s patents and should pay a royalty of $625 million.

It would have been one of the largest of all time, if it had stood. But six months after winning the massive verdict, the judge who oversaw the case ripped it away, ruling that Mirror Worlds’ lawyers hadn’t sufficiently proved their case. Mirror Worlds appealed, but to no avail.

Gelernter, his investors, and his lawyers will all finally get a payday, albeit one that’s just a fraction of what they nearly had in 2011. Gelernter’s idea—essentially, the presentation of documents in chronological order—would likely have a harder time getting a patent today. And multi-million dollar settlements with patent-holding companies aren’t common anymore. So why did Gelernter’s patents succeed where others failed?

In part, it’s because Gelernter is famous within certain circles, and his company briefly got the attention of Steve Jobs. It’s also because the “patent troll” companies that ultimately took control of his patent had good timing and got lucky—although not nearly as lucky as they almost were in 2011.

Early visionary

When Mirror Worlds ran out of appeals, it gave up and sold its patent—to another patent troll called Network-1 Security. In 2013, Network-1 created a similarly named LLC, this time called Mirror Worlds Technologies, and filed another lawsuit (PDF) in the Eastern District of Texas. The same patent, No. 6,006,227, was used to sue the same target, Apple.

Apple said the issue was precluded by the result in an earlier case. After more than a year of additional litigation, a different judge said that the “new” Mirror Worlds could indeed sue again. They were suing over new versions of Mac OS X that didn’t exist earlier.

But while Mirror Worlds would get a kind of “do-over” on its arguments, Apple wouldn’t get the same treatment—Judge Davis had ruled against Apple on validity, and that was final. Faced with the prospect of that depressing playing field, Apple settled on Friday, a few days before a second trial was due to start.

Mirror Worlds is the name of a book Gelernter wrote, published in 1991. It includes early hypothesizing about how software models will change the world, and in a vague way it predicted some of what came about through the modern Web.

“Mirror Worlds aren’t mere information services,” wrote Gelernter, in a passage quoted later in The Economist. “They are places you can ‘stroll around’, meeting and electronically conversing with friends or random passers-by. If you find something you don’t like, post a note; you’ll soon discover whether anyone agrees with you.”

Gelernter’s book got a fair amount of press attention, including from the New York Times’ John Markoff, who wrote about the Yale professor’s vision of a wholly networked world in 1992.

While Gelernter’s fan-base among journalists and intellectuals was growing, his optimistic view of technology also made him a dangerous enemy. Ted Kaczynski, the anti-technology fanatic who became known as the “Unabomber,” targeted Gelernter with a letter-bomb in 1993. The bomb put Gelernter in the hospital for weeks, blinded him in one eye, and caused severe and permanent damage to his right hand, which he covers with a glove.

The injuries didn’t prevent the professor from succeeding as a professor, writer, and businessperson. In 2001, he created a company called Mirror Worlds, which marketed a product called Scopeware that would organize digital documents into “streams.” Despite positive press coverage, the company didn’t gain traction.

Scopeware briefly got Steve Jobs’ attention, however. “Please check out this software ASAP,” wrote Jobs in an e-mail that later came out in litigation. “It may be something for our future, and we may want to secure a license ASAP.” Apple met with Mirror Worlds, but nothing came of it.

When Apple started to come out with features like Cover Flow and Time Machine, Gelernter believed his own ideas being used. “I know my ideas—our ideas—when I see them on a screen,” he told the New York Times in 2011, while his case was on appeal.

At that point, Gelernter said, it was more about getting credit than getting money. He described his financial interest in Mirror Worlds as being modest—”2 percent of something,” he told the NYT.

Gelernter didn’t respond to interview requests for this story.

Mirror Worlds targeted several other big companies, as well, including H-P, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and Microsoft. By late last year, those defendants had all settled. Microsoft reportedly paid $4.6 million to settle the Mirror Worlds claims.


Joe Mullin Joe has covered the intersection of law and technology, including the world’s biggest copyright and patent battles, since 2007.


NEW DELHI: India has rejected as many as 955 patent applications in the pharmaceutical sector in the  @EconomicTimes

NEW DELHI: India has rejected as many as 955 patent applications in the pharmaceutical sector in the last three years.

“… 618 applications have been rejected citing Section 3 (d) of the Patents Act, 1970, as one of the grounds for rejection in the last three years,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.

“A total of 955 patent applications in pharma have been rejected by the Indian Patent Office (IPO) in the l ..

Read more at:


As business grows more global, the challenge for in-house counsel seeking to comply with the shifting landscape of IPT laws in all jurisdictions where they operate is intensifying. We designed our complimentary Guide to Going Global to help you meet that challenge head on. Inside this guide, we outline crucial aspects of IP and Technology laws in 34 jurisdictions that are particularly relevant to businesses seeking to expand their operations globally. We also summarize some fundamental commercial terms that customarily appear in IPT-related agreements.

You will find answers to such common questions as:

  • Which jurisdictions recognize moral rights?
  • What does my business need to do to have an enforceable assignment of intellectual property from an employee, from a consultant?
  • What kind of liability can be excluded from a commercial contract?

With this edition, we’ve also included a section for each country that discusses the enforceability of electronic signatures. Whether you are moving into new jurisdictions or managing your business across numerous borders, our guide helps to give you confidence that your organization has access to current information wherever you do business. We hope it will become an invaluable resource for you.

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