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!