Latest Posts

  • 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

  • The Oculus Rift Buyout Outrage: What are the Rights of Kickstarter Backers?

    The Oculus Rift is one of the new technologies that has many techies buzzing. Videos are all over YouTube, fan pages have sprung up, and even the Game of Thrones exhibit in New York City is using the technology to immerse visitors. And with good reason. The Oculus Rift promises to satisfy one of the holy grails of the technology… read more

  • Oral Argument Recount – Alice v. CLS Bank: The Rubber Hits the Road for Patentable Subject Matter

    What is an abstract idea? That was the issue at the heart of Monday’s Supreme Court arguments in Alice v. CLS Bank. In order to understand the issue in Alice, its important to understand how the Supreme Court’s understanding of patentable subject matter has evolved over the past decade. Section 101 of the Patent Act specifies that inventors may receive… read more

  • Hip-Hop on Exhibition

    “ Is exclusivity versus mass replication really the 50 million dollar difference between a microphone and a paintbrush? Is contemporary art overvalued in an exclusive market, or are musicians undervalued in a profoundly saturated market? ” -Cilvaringz & The RZA, EZCLZIV SCLUZAY As far as cultural products go, music has seen relatively few changes in how it is consumed. The… read more