[time-nuts] Data Professionals Press Release

Charles P. Steinmetz charles_steinmetz at lavabit.com
Sun Dec 12 06:06:27 EST 2010


I wrote:

>>Intellectual property rights do not just evaporate or return to the
>>public domain when a company disappears -- SOMEONE owns them

Poul replied:

>Actually, they do evaporate if nobody defends them.

Yes and no (under US law).  If someone openly and notoriously 
infringes IP rights for a significant period of time, some remedies 
may be foreclosed if the rights holder does not have a good 
explanation for not defending them.  But a rights holder almost never 
loses all rights, and the retained rights are often sufficient to 
make life at least somewhat uncomfortable for the infringer going 
forward.  Furthermore, any such diminution of rights is not automatic 
-- one can never be certain of it until a controversy arises and a 
court renders judgment (i.e., you have to pay to see the rights 
holder's hand, just as in poker), and this is one of the areas of US 
IP law where there are significant inconsistencies from one case to 
the next -- so it is very hard for even experienced practitioners to 
predict outcomes.

Best regards,

Charles







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