As I look at my dad’s old school Dot Matrix printer still sitting in his office next to my HP double sided color printer, I can see before my eyes how fast technology is changing. I can’t help but ponder over what printing technology is going to make mine look like an antique. I believe the answer to that question is 3D printing.
3D printing is the process of creating a three-dimensional object of virtually any geometric shape. The first step is creating a computer blueprint of the item to be printed and the computer virtually slices the image into a number of thin cross-sections. The blueprint is then fed into the printer, layered with liquid, powder, or paper, and the printer cuts each layer into the corresponding cross-section. After the layers are cut and laid on top of one another, they are fused together in order to create one final product. Continue reading
Founders Brewing Company utilizes a logo that encompasses its name, slogan, and color scheme that beer drinkers can immediately recognize.
Brewed for us. Inspired brewing. Belgian tradition. Local Mission. Those are just a few of the famous slogans of emerging craft beer breweries in the United States that trigger the tingling taste buds of craft beer enthusiasts. With the mention of a few words, beer drinkers can imagine indulging in a pint of Founder’s Porter on a dark winter night or can dream of relaxing on a hot summer day with a bottle of Bell’s Oberon. Because of such immediate product identification in an increasingly saturated craft beer market, it is evident that trademark protection of slogans and beer names has become the essential “fifth ingredient” to success as a craft brewer. Continue reading
Posted in Beyond, Intellectual Property, Media, Topics
Tagged bell's, Brand Protection, Brewery Vivant, Consumers, craft beer, founders, litigation fees, trademark
New legislation is brewing in the Michigan House of Representatives, and, with drafts of House Bills 4709, 4710, and 4711 complete, Michigan microbreweries might begin expanding their businesses very soon.
If you are not a beer geek, you may be surprised to learn that there are different types of breweries in the first place. The key distinction between microbrewers and large breweries is the number of barrels of beer produced annually. To be considered a microbrewer in most states, a brewery can produce no more than 15,000 barrels of beer per year. To qualify as a large brewery, such as Anheuser-Busch, a brewery has to produce more than 6 million barrels of beer each year. Microbreweries, also known as craft breweries, have experienced rapid growth across the United States. Michigan has fully embraced the movement, ranking fifth in the nation for number of microbreweries. There are currently over 140 microbreweries in Michigan, and Grand Rapids has earned the title, “Beer City USA” in an annual online poll for the past two years. In 2012, Michigan’s craft beer industry grew by 20 percent, and it poured $133 million into the State’s economy. All of this success has garnered national attention, and the economic success has not gone unnoticed by Michigan’s lawmakers. Continue reading
Among the many mental soliloquies I have on a daily basis about the mishaps of our world, the message that needs to escape the corners of my cranium is the mournful hole within which contemporary music lies. Music is dying and the culprit is pervasive digital sampling.
Sampling is the process of extracting portions of previously recorded music and reusing the extracted fragments in a new song. The idea of sampling began as a musical experiment in the late 1960s. Sampled loops of previously recorded songs were mainly used in early psychedelic rock, fusion jazz, and electroacoustic music. However, this type of sampling was minimal and covert. Continue reading
This summer a college friend texted me a hyperlink along with the comment, “You’re going to want to see this.” I clicked and began viewing a preview for Season 2 of MTV’s television show Catfish. A few minutes into the video, the face of our mutual friend, Blair (name changed), flashed onto the screen. And then another photo, and another. From every angle, it was unmistakably Blair. But the strange thing was, the hosts of this MTV preview called her “Kristen,” said she was from St. Clair, Michigan, and explained that the show’s guest was dating her online, and was very eager to meet her in person. I knew that this could not have been Blair, who has absolutely nothing to do with the state of Michigan. I yelled back at the video as each new picture flashed onto the screen. I felt unexpectedly uncomfortable watching this happen, and can only imagine how strange and invasive this would feel to people in her position. Continue reading
Many states have now banned texting while driving. However, these laws may have implications that the legislatures could not have predicted.
Here’s a likely scenario for you. After inviting a friend over for pizza and drinks, you text her, “ETA?” so you can have a plate ready upon her arrival. She replies with a terse, “Car accident, running late!” When she shows up twenty minutes later, you find out that she was involved in a minor fender bender while driving to your house. Unfortunately, the driver of the car she rear-ended decides to file suit claiming a neck injury. The twist? You’re named as a co-defendant for negligently texting someone you knew was driving.
Won’t happen? Well, it just did. Continue reading
Idyllic, warm, and sunny suburban Los Angeles—a perfect setting for the country’s latest clash between individual privacy rights and providing for the public’s security.
Glendale Unified School District has recently contracted Geo Listening, a private Southern California company, to monitor the social media accounts of over 14,000 of the district’s middle and high school students.
CNN reports that Geo Listening utilizes a small full-time staff and a pool of global contractors to monitor the public postings of students aged 13 and older. These monitors are on the hunt for any evidence indicative of activity deemed undesirable by the school district. This can include media posts dealing with violence, drug use, bullying, and pre-suicidal behavior. Continue reading
Espionage… treason… decoy plane tickets… icy diplomacy from the Motherland! The events surrounding the Edward Snowden controversy have all the makings of a blockbuster spy thriller. Yet, as easy as it may be to get caught up in the drama of Snowden’s high-octane quest for asylum, it is important to take a step back and consider how his struggle has shed light onto the relationship between the rights of the individual and the security of the Nation in this modern globalized age.
On Monday, Snowden released a statement via the infamous WikiLeaks site. Continue reading
It’s no secret that when David Kappos took the reins of the USPTO in mid-2009, a major focus of his administration would be on reducing the backlog of outstanding patent applications significantly. Now that his departure as head of the USPTO is two and a half months cold, did he succeed?
This pre-Kappos article from IPWatchdog bemoaned the ever-rising time it took to hustle a patent application through the examination procedure. From the 1980s through the mid-1990s, the average utility patent took around 18 months to pass through the office. When Kappos was sworn in August 2009, this was notched up to just above 32 months, with over 800,000 applications awaiting a first office action from an examiner.
Seemingly overnight, the USPTO switched gears into examination overdrive mode. This PatentlyO post details how within two years, the backlog had dropped to just above 650,000. A recent paper, after some fancy statistical footwork, pegs the 2012 patent application acceptance rate at almost 90% after accounting for refilled continuing applications. Continue reading
When people post a restaurant review on Yelp, an advertisement for an apartment or an old TV on Craigslist, or a hotel review on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Craigslist, and TripAdvisor all receive value from the posting. Their business models depend on receiving input from consumers, and through leveraging the power of the public and some nifty algorithms, these companies have built industry-spanning networks that are incredibly important to other consumers. If the company has succeeded, then it has earned the trust of the consumers it targets, and also the respect of the businesses which it reviews. Naturally, developing this sort of reputation requires some work, especially when the Internet allows anyone to say anything about anyone or anything. Thus, Yelp, Craigslist, and TripAdvisor had to develop their goodwill to the point where they have become more successful than competitors. (I use these three companies as an example, there are others.)
A prevalent problem online is that it is relatively simple to “scrape” content from user reviews and online postings and slap it up on a different website without permission. In a recent article on Corporate Counsel, the legal implications of this practice are discussed. The article mentions copyright and trademark law, and without directly stating, recognizes how difficult it can be to win such a suit against a party that is repurposing content without permission. Continue reading
Posted in Beyond, Home, Intellectual Property, Tech & Internet
Tagged A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, copyright, craigslist, data aggregation, Feist, goodwill, intellectual property, internet, linkedin, personal information, privacy, speed limits, trademark, TripAdvisor, user generated content, yelp