Monday, June 27, 2011

To pass or quash? America Invents Act Changes

If you're an entrepreneur/inventor and you have a great idea, the fact you have a patent or will get one is irrelevant to investors. Why?

a) patents can be stolen (then tied up in courts by bigger firms);
b) there's a two year wait on applications thereby making some inventions obsolete by the team they're released.

It's the latter that is being addressed in a bill put forward to the House. Currently the backlog at the U.S. Patent office is around 700,000 people ahead of you in line.

Congress is expected to vote this week on a patent reform bill that would change the rules about who gets to file for a patent. Republican members of Congress from California are split over the measure.

That legislation is the America Invents Act. Its cosponsors include California Republican congressmen Darrell Issa and Elton Gallegly.

It’s opposed by a bipartisan group of House members that includes Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach.

We'll keep you posted on development on the House results.

Some more thoughts:



Thursday, May 19, 2011

What TLDs have to do with TM?

Copyright notices should go out to all major brans as ICANN beings their gTLD process.

Too much web jargon for you?

Let me break it down.

The TLD, or top level domain, is everything to the right of the last period in your domain name., the TLD is .com, the TLD

ICANN is now going to permit applications for any number of iterations for new TLDs.

That means you could conceivable get .cars, .meat, .sex, etc.

You could also apply for .apple, .ibm, etc.

Most brandable corporations, especially ones with three letters in the name, are aware of the change. But I'm willing to bet there's going to be a slew of infringement cases hitting courtrooms as people try to capitalize on sleepy brand managers.

Certainly a boon of work for TM attorneys....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Google Bids Nortel Patents

How much would you pay for a bunch of patents? REmember, if you're google, you do'nt really need the patents, you could just rip em off and sink the small company you stole from in court over the course of 15 years.

Ok, that's not the best way to go about protecting patents and TMs', but how much would you pay for a slew of tech patents?

Google is bidding on Nortel's patent portfolio to a tune of 900 million. That's only bid one....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Going online with Apps and TM

I stumbled across this website, that many of you frequent often, that keeps tab on TM online (I believe they are broader than the internet though.)

Check out the interest charts ont he requests by many companies to Google regarding the unauthorized uses of TM in the Andriod market.

Some win, some dont.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Madness

Errr, I mean the third month of the year madness sporting event!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Most patents in 2010?

IBM continued its streak of top spot with the most patents awarded to any company by the USPTO. IBM was first with 5,896 patents, Samsung came in second with 4,551 patents, and Microsoft was third with 3,094 patents. Also in the top 10, Intel was eighth with 1,653 patents and HP was 10th with 1,480 patents. Apple gained 563 new patents in 2010 and ranked 46th.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Utah Home of Interesting Search TM Suits

Are you familiar with this piece of legislation that's poised to be law? Utah is home of whacky things, but this one in particular will prove to be a game changer in th eonline world.

In particular, Google is the one affected. Essentially, anybody who wants to compete against a particular brand name online can do so with Adwords. You know, the ads on the side of google's search results? Well you can't actually put the brand name in the ad itself, but competitors can certainly compete for real estate for targeted brands.

Well big bran dnames don't like it, they've tried to force competitors out of the paid search engine. Geico actually tried to sue Google to force them to put only GEICO related search results in their natural organic placements. Essentially they tried to force Google to put all of their Geico web info for free at the top of the search results. They lost.

But it will still be interesting to see how the future suits going forward against competitors from brands.

This may be a case of Utah governors having little concept of how the internet works and unwilling to even adopt basic free market principles. But then again, this isn't an economics blog, but one discussing TM, patents, and the like.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sarah Palin Tries to patent name

True story. That's how vain she is. Well, actually it's a way to protect her income. But I do'nt care how ridiculous she is, and those who support her, the question I'm interested in is whether she'll eventually be successful in a TM.

"Registration is refused because the applied-for mark, SARAH PALIN, consists of a name identifying a particular living individual whose consent to register the mark is not of record," the US patent department said.

No word if she wants to patent guns, war, and capitalism.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Changes to Patent Laws

Do we need them? Usually policies / legislation play catch up to the real world around them.

Check out this link:

Some of their list of proposed changes include:

* Raise the bar for proving “consumer confusion”
* Abolish “antidilution” protection
* In fact, abolish the entire federal trademark law, as it is unconstitutional (the Constitution authorizes Congress to enact copyright and patent laws, but not trademark law)

They also have thoughts on copyright and patent law.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Things heating up north of 49 for TM

It's rare for the Supreme Court of Canada to hear TM cases, but one might be coming soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Big Bang v. Theorists Copyright

Chuck Lorre is a famed writer/producer of comedy shows in the US. For one of the hits called 'The Big Bang Theory' he posts quick snippet 'Vanity Cards' at the end of each episode after the credits. Here's card #277:


Belarus is a small, land-locked country next door to Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. According to Wikipedia, one of its major exports is cattle by-products. Which begs the question, what horrible shape are the cattle in, if all they're good for is felt hats and wallpaper paste? But Belarus does have a bustling TV production industry. One of their most recent hits is a sitcom about four nerdy scientists who live next door to a beautiful blonde waitress. The characters are named Sheldon, Leo, Hovard, Raj and Natasha, and the show is entitled, The Theorists. Each episode begins with a rapid-fire montage of images which takes us from the dawn of time to the present moment. Keeping with that theme, the montage is scored with what is probably the worst piece of recorded pop music since the dawn of time. And finally, each episode appears to be a Russian translation of a Big Bang Theory episode. When we brought this to the attention of the Warner Brothers legal department, we were told that it's next to impossible to sue for copyright infringement in Belarus because the TV production company that is ripping us off is owned and operated by the government of Belarus. Having no other recourse, I'm hoping that this vanity card will be read by the fine folks making The Theorists, and, wracked with guilt, they break down and send us some felt hats. The Kyrgyzstan version of Dharma & Greg already sent me some wallpaper paste.

It's actually true, check out the feeble attempt of copying (if you're going to plagiarize do a good job at least :P)

So what can Chuck and his pals do about Belarus?

Probably nothing copyright wise.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Microsoft Motion to stop TM of 'App Store'

Microsoft filed a motion on the 10th ( trying to prevent Apple from successfully creating a TM.

Microsoft leads the charge, whereas other phone companies are staying away from the debate (didn't want to upset the mighty Apple?)

Other companies use different names

I would think 'App' is very generic, but then again, I'm no lawyer. Your thoughts? Should Apple be permitted to register 'App Store' as a TM?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Groupon Bashes Scoopon

Groupon has by in large ignored knock-off websites. I don't know if they can really go about claiming the 'group coupon' idea is an infringement on any unique aspect of their business, but they could launch something....

But, if you go out of your way to register everything 'Groupon' then you infringe on trademark, and if you had any business sense/experience you'd know you're on the way to court for a swift loss.

Stupid Scoopon, thinking they could get away with registering the domain for groupon while setting up a group coupon website....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Blog focus to North America TM

This blog is now back (or new) and will discuss the latest news and tidbits about trademark law in North America. Hope you enjoy!