Pamela Samuelson

Robert Merges, Pamela Samuelson Discuss Patent Survey Findings

-Patently-O, July 19, 2011 by Robert Merges, Pam Samuelson, and Ted Sichelman

The 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey has found that startups are patenting more than previous studies have suggested; that patents are being sought for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is to prevent copying of the innovation; and that there are considerable differences among startups in the perceived significance of patents for attaining competitive advantage, with biotech companies rating them as the most important strategy and software companies rating them least important.

-Patently-O, July 20, 2011 by Robert Merges, Pam Samuelson, and Ted Sichelman

Biotechnology companies report that patents provide closer to a “moderate” than a “strong” incentive to engage in the innovation process. Among software companies, the results are even more striking, with them reporting that patents provide less than a “slight” incentive. These findings raise questions about the importance of patents to innovation for entrepreneurs and startups. Indeed, the results have spurred some vigorous debate in the blogosphere.

-Patently-O, July 21, 2011 by Robert Merges, Pam Samuelson, and Ted Sichelman

One possible interpretation is that startup executives are generally unaware of the link between patents and success in the innovative process, which results in financial markets selecting those companies that patent more heavily. Another interpretation is that patents serve important functions not related to the innovation process, such as helping to prevent infringement lawsuits, providing leverage in cross-licensing negotiations, and acting as “signals” of firm competency, which drive investment.

Pamela Samuelson Proposes Alternative to Google Books

The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 29, 2011 by Marc Parry

The system hinges on a collecting society that would negotiate licenses for works owned by both members and nonmembers. Unclaimed money from out-of-print books could be set aside for “a period of years,” Ms. Samuelson suggests. If efforts to find owners during that time were unsuccessful, she writes, “the works should be designated orphans and made available on an open-access basis.”

Pamela Samuelson Thinks Beyond Google Book Case

Publishers Weekly, May 16, 2011 by Calvin Reid

“It’s time to talk about general copyright reform,” Samuelson said. “The [U.S.] Copyright Office is the best entity to find out what the parties want and what may be a good model for legislation. Google is in a strong position on fair use and the publishers are not interested in further litigation. Chin wants a new settlement with an opt-in for out-of-print books.”

Pamela Samuelson Adds to Google Books Debate

The Wire Report, May 6, 2011 by Howard Knopf

For that tiny investment by Google standards, the company would have acquired a remarkable and likely insurmountable lead in the digitization and control of a database of all the world’s useful knowledge in book form, and a virtual monopoly on dealings with orphan works. It would have been relieved of potential liability that Pam Samuelson estimates to be in the trillions of dollars, based upon the statutory minimum damages.

Pamela Samuelson Suggests Solution to Orphan Works Copyright Issue

The Washington Examiner, May 2, 2011 by Nicole Ciandella

Steven Seidenberg suggests that the architects of the failed Google Books settlement may have inadvertently provided a blueprint for a long-awaited congressional solution for orphan works’ publication. He quotes Pamela Samuelson…. “One aspect of the Google Books settlement provides another model Congress might be willing to consider: allowing use of works that may be orphaned as long as the user pays for the use, with some of the funds used to search for the rights owner.”

Pamela Samuelson Applauds Google Books Ruling

-The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 22, 2011 by Jennifer Howard

He went on to quote from a statement submitted by Pamela Samuelson, a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, who wrote that academic authors “are committed to maximizing access to knowledge,” while the plaintiffs “are institutionally committed to maximizing profits.”

-The New York Times, March 22, 2011 by Miguel Helft

“Even though it is efficient for Google to make all the books available, the orphan works and unclaimed books problem should be addressed by Congress, not by the private settlement of a lawsuit,” said Pamela Samuelson.

-Contra Costa Times, March 22, 2011 by Brandon Bailey

Other critics praised the judge for rejecting a plan they viewed as sharply contradicting the nation’s copyright laws. “That’s what copyright law stands for. Nobody gets to use your work without your permission,” said Pamela Samuelson.

-The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2011 by Marc Parry

“Libraries have been very, very careful over time about protecting the privacy interests of their user base. And Google was not willing to make commitments to essentially accomplish an equivalent level of protection. When we’re talking about a corpus of books that millions of people in the U.S. would be using, not to have any serious privacy commitments here really was distressing.”

-Inside Higher Ed, March 23, 2011 by Steve Kolowich

Samuelson had argued that it would be inappropriate for Google and the publishers to profit from the use of orphaned scholarly works—which she believes comprise a disproportionately large number of the orphans—when the academics who wrote them probably intended that they be as freely accessible as possible.

-The New York Times, March 23, 2011 by Claire Cain Miller

“The next thing to do is think about going to Congress and getting legislation that would make particularly orphan works available to the public.”

-San Jose Mercury News, March 27, 2011 by Chris O’Brien

“The settlement would give them a monopoly that they would potentially use to fix prices,” said Pamela Samuelson, a professor of law at UC Berkeley, who has been among the most vocal opponents of the deal. “When the DOJ (Department of Justice) came out against the settlement that was a very significant development.”

-Beyond Chron, March 29, 2011 by Irvin Muchnick

The federal government, after constructively intervening in Google, should find a way to coordinate the cases and spur Congress to codify compulsory licenses…. In an email exchange with Samuelson, a fellow Berkeleyan, she expressed sympathy for my viewpoint. “I am working on legislative alternatives,” Pam told me, “and an extended collective licensing regime is an interesting idea.”

Robert Merges, Pamela Samuelson Argue for First-to-File Patent Law

San Francisco Chronicle, March 9, 2011 by Carolyn Lochhead

UC Berkeley law Professor Robert Merges said concerns among small inventors are wildly overblown. They would be able to file placeholder applications and have a year to hone their inventions, he said.

Pamela Samuelson … said in an e-mail that the United States and the Philippines are the only nations that have first-to-invent systems. “The international norm is that the first inventor to file gets a patent,” Samuelson said. “The economic arguments in favor of the first-to-file system are strong and the ‘little guy’ inventor story that this rule favors big firms is really a myth.”

Pamela Samuelson Explains Downside to SAP Damage Award

San Francisco Chronicle, November 24, 2010 by James Temple and Benny Evangelista

It might be a big enough number to inadvertently hamper technology development, Samuelson said…. Samuelson is worried the decision could make some companies overly cautious of pursuing otherwise innovative work that might appear comparable to existing products in the eyes of a jury. “People will be less likely to do things that might be worth doing because a jury might decide it was on this side of the (legal) line, instead of that side,” she said.

Pamela Samuelson Encourages WIPO to Reform A/V Copyright Law

Communications Daily, November 23, 2010 by Louis Trager (requires registration; go to G:\Law School in the News\News Clips for article)

There’s a good deal of support for an agreement on protecting audio-visual works…. The work plan “makes limitations and exceptions” to copyright a legitimate discussion topic and raises their profile, said Pamela Samuelson, director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology…. She encouraged WIPO to look into whether additional limits and exceptions should be created to increase “balance” in the law and “restore legitimacy to copyright.”