In our recent publication on Ownership and Protections of Farm Data, we suggested that trade secret would be the best candidate among intellectual property laws to protect farm data. In follow-up discussions, we realized we needed to revisit a key point of our publication which may have been ignored. That point is: to be protected by trade secret, a farmer must actively protect their farm’s data. Although we do not know for certain what steps the courts will require, we know that unless the farmer takes active steps to protect the data, the courts will not treat the data as a trade secret.Read More
Editor's Note: Today we are grateful to have a post from Kristen Koepsel. Kirsten M. Koepsel, JD, LLM analyses and writes on the intersection of agriculture, intellectual property, and animal law issues. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are grateful Kristen for allowing us to include a post on this important developing topic that includes not only agriculture but other areas as you will see.
Until a few months ago, a farmer asked the question, “who owns your tractor or any of your other agriculture machinery?” would most likely have answered, “me.” But a recent submission by John Deere (the brand name of Deere & Company) to the U.S. Copyright Office provides a different answer: “In the absence of an express written license in conjunction with the purchase of the vehicle, the vehicle owner receives an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle, subject to any warranty limitations, disclaimers or other contractual limitations in the sales contract or documentation.” Several news articles picked up on the “John Deere ownership” comment, including Wired Magazine. But how does ownership of a tractor and copyright come to intersect?Read More