Why It’s Time to End the Federal Prohibition on Sports Gambling

An estimated $90 billion will be bet on NFL and NCAA football games during the 2016-2017 season—yet only $2 billion will be done so legally. This discrepancy is a testament to the failure of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), a federal statute that outlawed sports gambling in the United States. Four states—Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana—were able to avoid this prohibition due to exemptions in PASPA that allowed.. Read More

How Will The Supreme Court Decide Samsung v. Apple?

On October 11, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc. on the issue of whether damages resulting from the infringement of a design patent that is “applied only to a component of a product” should be limited to the profits that can be attributed to the component, as opposed to profits from the entire product. The three design patents at issue in this case protect the.. Read More

Why Are Songwriters Suing the Justice Department?

In today’s digital environment, recorded music is more accessible now than ever before. Through online music streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes radio, users have all of the world’s music at their fingertips. However, while users have benefited from the growth of streaming music, songwriters have had to face tremendous declines in their revenue (“My Song Was Played 178 Million Times and I Was Paid $5,769”). With their livelihood threatened, the.. Read More

Video Game Content and the Law

On July 6, 2016, the American population was swept in a wave of nostalgia that redefined the gaming market. Across American cities, strangers came together to play Pokémon Go, the augmented reality game. The game quickly becoming the most downloaded app from the Apple App Store ever. Pokémon Go introduced players to augmented reality gaming. Partnering with Google Maps, Pokémon Go incorporated real world streets, parks, and landmarks into the virtual gaming world.. Read More

Trademarks – Is There a Monopoly on Color in the Fashion Industry?

Walking around New York City, it’s not too difficult to recognize designer heels due to their unique designs. In particular, Christian Louboutin’s red soles have become a brand on its own. Christian Louboutin designs and markets high-fashioned footwear, leather goods, and accessories. Since 1992, the outsoles of the Louboutin shoes have been painted in lacquered red, giving them the vibrant look that so many women have fallen in love with and have come.. Read More

Supreme Court to Review the Ban on Registering Disparaging Trademarks

Under Section 2 the Lanham Act of 1946, the United States Patent and Trademark Office can deny trademark registration to any mark that “consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage. . .persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” 15 USCS § 1052 (1946). While one is free to use any disparaging, scandalous or immoral mark as a signifier,.. Read More

Automated copyright infringement detection systems and their effect on music producers worldwide

  Weeks ago, Apple and Spotify announced they had reached agreements with the music royalty analysis company Dubset. Dubset’s services include the ability for streaming providers to easily and legally allow users to upload music, even if those particular pieces of music contains copyrighted material. Dubset then analyzes the copyrighted material within the song using an automated scanning technique and distributes royalties based on prior royalty agreements. This specific service is known as.. Read More

#Trademarks: Are hashtags protected by trademark law?

On August 23, 2007, Chris Messina asked a new and growing Twitter audience, “How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” The former Googler and current Uber executive is often credited with inventing the “hashtag,” a word or phrase preceded by the # symbol. Hashtags categorize topics, making it easier for social media users to organize and search for particular content. Although the hashtag first gained popularity.. Read More

Do Patents Make Inventors Legally Responsible?

In 2013, a child was paralyzed after a distracted driver in a Dodge Ram truck collided into a sports utility vehicle. The driver and a passenger of the struck vehicle were also killed. What caused the distraction? A message on the driver’s iPhone. The victims’ families filed a product liability claim against Apple. In an article in the New York Times, Matt Richtel presented the question, “Does Apple — or any cellphone maker.. Read More

CRISPR: The Final Interference

Background CRISPR (“Clustered regularly interspaced shorty palindromic repeats”), also known as CRISPR-Cas9, is a recent advancement in biotechnology that allows for genetic manipulation. This monumental discovery is currently at the center of a heated patent interference proceeding that started earlier this year. CRISPR naturally occurs in some bacteria, providing them with a means to defend against viruses. There are two main components involved in this system: Cas9 enzyme and a small RNA molecule… Read More