As Bob Stembridge of Thomson Reuters pointed out at the 2011 PIUG Annual Meeting, 36 Patent Offices worldwide trust DWPI for their research. This leads me to a rather pointed series of questions.
What is the Fair Use rule for this copyrighted material?
1) Can an examiner cite and provide a full DWPI abstract if said abstract is required to convey English language information for an otherwise non-English language document? (I assume this is all dealt with in the contracts between Thomson and the Patent Offices.)
And more to my needs...
What is the Fair Use for this copyrighted material by parties providing non-examination services using the Patent Office systems?
2) Can Patent Offices providing commercial (non-examination) services provide these abstracts to their paying customers?
3) Can members of the public utilizing Patent Office systems to provide commercial services provide these abstracts to their paying customers?
Since I assume the answer to #2 and #3 is no, what is the Fair Use of these abstracts? None, a 3 word excerpt, a 10 word excerpt, the whole thing, or we'll tell you in court?
To paraphrase from the US copyright page (http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html) regarding Fair Use (bolding added for emphasis):
Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission.
As always, thanks for any replies. I imagine this is a subject that has been addressed in years past, but if so, I can find no record of it being saved for public consumption.