Latest Posts

  • Cutting Costs: Tax Deductions for Artists

    Under the Internal Revenue Code § 183, individuals or corporations cannot take deductions for activities if “such activity is not engaged in for profit.” The IRS does not want to provide a subsidy for people engaging in hobbies for their own enjoyment; deductions are meant to accurately reflect the costs that individuals and corporations incur in the course of doing… read more

  • JIPEL Symposium

    You finally got a gig as a standup comedian and your competitor stole your best joke? Your favorite chef created a new culinary masterpiece and a week later the restaurant down the street started serving the same thing? You heard on the news that Google is making millions of dollars off of Android even though it is based on Linux,… read more

  • Start on a Good Foot: The Implications of Grooveshark’s Guilty Verdict

    A recent Federal Court ruling has left the online streaming service Grooveshark in critical condition.  On September 29th, 2014, the Southern District of New York, in an opinion delivered by Judge Thomas P. Griesa, found the Florida-based company guilty of copyright infringement, concluding an action brought against it in joint suit by nine of the major record labels.  Damages are… read more

  • Linking to the Past: Week of October 13

    WikiLeaks released another draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s intellectual property chapter. As you might have guessed, many are displeased. Congratulations, European librarians! You can digitize your books without infringing copyrights. Access to the internet does not imply access to a given copyrighted work. Google Google: verbification isn’t enough to make a trademark generic. Be careful when aiming for “green” marks.… read more

  • Publicity Rights in Major College Sports Telecasts: To Whom Do They Belong?

    “Whether Division I student-athletes hold any ownership rights in their athletic performances does not depend on the scope of broadcasters’ First Amendment rights but, rather, on whether the student-athletes themselves validly transferred their rights of publicity to another party.” – U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, Pre-Trial Ruling In Marshall v. ESPN, NCAA student-athletes are testing just how much clout Judge… read more

  • A ®ose By Any Other Name

    A successful trademark can provide more than just brand recognition or notoriety. In fact, Forbes reports that the 10 most valuable trademarks have a collective worth of over $300 billion. That figure is greater than the GDP of all but the 44 wealthiest countries in the world. Clearly that little ® can mean something, but as renowned economist Christopher Wallace… read more

  • Linking to the Past: Week of September 29

    Fresh off Eliza’s and Prof. Sprigman’s discussion of sampling, LMFAO argues that “Every day I’m shufflin’” constitutes fair use of Rick Ross’ “Every day I’m hustlin’.” Good luck trademarking McAnything. The TTAB is pretty sure you’ll just be confused for McDonald’s. UK copyright law finally allows for parody and pastiche of copyrighted material, so long as the judge likes it. (via… read more

  • Employer-Employee Relationship? Finding An Easier Way To Compensate Collegiate Athletes For Their Injuries

    Concussion lawsuits have become an increasingly hot topic over the past decade as we’ve learned more about the long-term dangers concussions can pose to the human brain. While NFL concussion lawsuits for workers’ compensation have been highly publicized, less attention has been paid to NCAA players with similar injuries. Lawsuits for sports-related injuries at this level have been largely unsuccessful… read more

  • Timing of incentives in crowdfunding

    Patents, prizes, government grants, and R&D tax incentives are ways to reward and incentivize innovation. One of the ways in which these schemes differ is the timing of the reward. Patent holders are rewarded after the product is developed and patented over the course of 20 years (length of the patent) but only if the product is commercialized (since rents… read more

  • Does crowdfunding result in good product development decisions?

    Just as our hourly mood statuses (www.twitter.com), tedious errands (www.taskrabbit.com), and restaurant conundrums (www.yelp.com) have been progressively fulfilled and/or publicized by various social technology platforms, the want of capital has also turned to social networks sprawled across the internet as an alternative to the traditional financing entities. Crowdfunding, most popularly embodied by Kickstarter, leverages small contributions from the masses to… read more