Twitter Users Beware: Some #Hashtags are Trademarked

Jennifer Manns : October 3, 2015 1:41 pm : HomeMETAfeed

Be careful when you #hashtag because according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, there are several registered trademarks that include hashtags. As if the world of social media is not complicated enough, it is possible that your latest Twitter post includes trademark infringement. Among the trademarked hashtags are #FIXITJESUS and #WINELOVER, which are common hashtags. It is unclear what the effect hashtag trademarks will have on Twitter users, particularly because a single hashtag can create a link between a multitude of items and constitute a likelihood of confusion for consumers.



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The Terrible Twos: Segway Sues Inventist

Patrick Downey : September 30, 2015 10:20 pm : METAfeed


There certainly isn’t a lack of “standing” here. Segway is suing Inventist, maker of the wildly (and inexplicably) popular Hovertrax, on the ground that Inventist infringed five of Segway’s patents. Broadly, the patents in question are the balancing platform and monitor which comprise the vehicle itself, the control system, as well as three different sensors and alarms. Cheaper, more portable, and more stylish than its counterpart, the “mini-Segway” has seen an incredible spike in popularity among high-profile celebrities, entertainers, and athletes. It will be interesting to see whether there is any merit to Segway’s claim, or if this is an attempt to keep Inventist from rendering the Segway obsolete. Either way, prepare for a battle of the patents.

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“Happy Birthday” Copyright Invalid: A Victory for the Public Domain

Patrick Downey : September 30, 2015 7:16 pm : METAfeed


Say goodbye to a cool $2 million in royalties, Warner/Chappell. On September 22, 2015, Judge George H. King invalidated the copyright held by Warner/Chappell to the song “Happy Birthday.” Ultimately, because the now-defunct Summy Co. did not acquire the rights to the song, they were not conveyed to Warner/Chappell when Warner purchased Summy in 1935. Therefore, Warner/Chappell’s copyright is invalid. The immensely complex web of factual and legal issues took 43 pages to sort out, but yielded a victory for the plaintiffs, the people, and the public domain.

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Martian EPA?

Dylan Anderson : September 30, 2015 10:42 am : METAfeed

Finding evidence of liquid water on Mars has been the last Mars
discovery by NASA, and has been followed with renewed hope that life could be supported on the red planet. While scientists are excited to begin research to learn more about the water, possible contamination by the Curiosity rover poses a major concern. The earthly vehicle could be carrying microbes that might be transferred to the Martian soil, impeding research. While the debate on climate change and pollution continues on Earth, scientists urge caution when it comes to affecting our planetary neighbors.

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Pirates Beware!

Marshall Walsh : September 29, 2015 6:55 pm : METAfeed

GOGGLES_102091For the release of some upcoming blockbuster movies, attempts are being made to crack down on the piracy of movies, a glaring breach of intellectual property law. However, movie pirates are not being immediately attacked in the courtroom. Instead, cinema staff will don night vision goggles to observe (and catch) filmgoers trying to record the movies. The new gadgets used to protect intellectual property laws are almost straight out of the high-flying actions movies they are trying to protect.

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Is Patent Reform Really a Bipartisan Issue?

Jewell Briggs : September 29, 2015 9:06 am : ARTICLEPOSTMETAfeed

Patent reform has typically been considered a bipartisan issue. The question then becomes, especially after Boehner‘s recent announcement, whether controversy will arise on the topic asbipartisan image those far right of the center, far right even for the grand-old-party, continue to label GOP members as RINOs (republicans in name only). This being said however, what is the conservative stance on patents? On intellectual property? A stance has yet to be seen in the house or senate, nor have the candidates released official stances.

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PETA Wants a Monkey to Own a Copyright

Jennifer Manns : September 28, 2015 5:43 pm : METAfeed

Naturo the monkey is famous in the intellectual property community. He is the subject of the “monkey selfie,” which was created when a photographer, David Slater, allowed Naturo to play with his camera and Naturo captured an image of himself. His story has raised issues over who owns the copyright for photographs not actually taken by a human. In an odd turn of events, PETA is suing David Slater on behalf of Naruto for the copyright to the images Naruto managed to take. California federal courts are set to examine the case and determine whether or not a non-human can possess the copyright to an image.




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The Case of Daraprim

Dylan Anderson : September 28, 2015 2:12 pm : METAfeed

Martin ShkreliOne of the big stories in the world of intellectual property this past week was the price
increase of the drug Daraprim by Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Daraprim is an antiparasitic used to treat toxoplasmosis in individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS or receiving chemotherapy treatments. The outrage over the price spike, and the subsequent news coverage, has highlighted the complex nature of intellectual property rights. Dennis Crouch at Patentlyo has hypothesized what rights Turing has over Daraprim and the possibilities of generics entering the market.

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Branding The Gridiron

Marshall Walsh : September 24, 2015 4:34 pm : METAfeed

Jarryd Hayne left millions of dollars in Australia to pursue an uncertain career in the NFL. By all accounts, this was a very risky career move for Hayne. However, it appearsHayne his goals reach beyond gridiron success. A company called JH38 Holdings, fully owned by Hayne, is trying to create a Jarryd Hayne logo to plaster on clothing. With his own logo, Hayne is competing against the likes of Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Lebron James. A football squad isn’t the only team Hayne needs anymore. He now needs a team of IP attorneys to protect his logo.


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New Harry Potter Bar: Dream Come True or Copyright Infringement?

Jennifer Manns : September 14, 2015 11:34 pm : METAfeed

The-Lockhart-Post-Photo-644x415As a lifetime Harry Potter fan, I was thrilled to hear about a Harry Potter-themed bar that has opened in Toronto. The attorney in me, however, was concerned about the possible copyright infringement issues that this bar presents. The Lockhart features subtle references to the Harry Potter series, like an “all was well” sign and potion cocktails. The bar is not licensed by J.K. Rowling or Warner Brothers and the owner stated that he plans to leave “Butterbeer” off the menu for fear of copyright infringement. The Lockhart has only been open for two weeks and few pictures of the extent of the franchise references have surfaced online, so it remains to be seen whether the bar will draw the attention of Ms. Rowling’s intellectual property attorneys.

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