Archive for the ‘intellectual property’ Category

Interesting Article on IP’s Benefits to VA’s Economy

Even as manufacturing and heavy industry is outsourced, I am ever encouraged by America’s very, very strong intellectual property regime.  Here is an encouraging article on Virginia’s (and our country’s) continued culture of innovation in the Jefferson Policy Journal, especially in the area of biotechnology.


Do Lawyers Own Their Briefs (Tighty Whities Excluded)?

Clients spend a great deal of money in the prosecution and defense of their claims. In doing so, lawyers prepare briefs outlining their client’s legal positions. Who owns the brief? Under copyright law, absent an assignment of the work, the lawyer owns it.   (Yes, the client can use it). Yet, for years online legal research […]


The Right Tool for the Right Job

I commented recently on litigation involving Maker’s Mark Bourbon and its distinctive red wax seal. Understandably, Maker’s Mark did not want competitors to use red wax with their beverages as it would create a false association in the mind of the consumer and dilute the brand. And the court agreed. But at what cost? While […]


Entertainment Meets Intellectual Property

When I mention that I engage in intellectual property law, a lot of people simply look askance. Yet, as I tell my students, intellectual property drives the United States economy and creates the opportunity for us to level the playing field with low wage developing nations through our creative and entrepreneurial spirit.  Think entertainment, science […]


The (Slight) Democratization of Trademark Contests

What is the purpose of trademark law?  To prevent unfair competition by (a) providing assurance that goods/services are of a certain quality/consistency, and, critically,  (b) assisting consumers in making purchasing decisions. For example, if I go to a McDonald’s restaurant in McLean or Richmond,  I am (generally) guaranteed the same type of restaurant service.  Again, […]


Girls Gone Wild: Trademark Style!

Madonna’s latest song title prompted a good article on trademark law by one of my colleagues in North Carolina, Donna Berkelhammer.  As you will see, the owner of  the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise,  sent a cease and desist letter to Madonna as to her singing a tune by the same name.  In my humble opinion, the […]


Thoughts on PROTECT IP Act

As previously reported, I had the opportunity last night to moderate a discussion at the William & Mary School of Law on “P.R.O.T.E.C.T. IP Act: What Is It? Will It Pass? What Would Be Its Impact?”  The seminar was sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association Intellectual Property and Information Technology Section along with a host […]


Upcoming Career Panel and IP CLE Presentation at W&M

Looking forward to participating in the Virginia Bar Association’s Fall Career Panel and Intellectual Property CLE Presentation at William & Mary School of Law on November 10, 2011. For the first half, I am a speaker on a Career Panel geared to law students. In the second half, I am moderating a panel on “P.R.O.T.E.C.T. […]


Innovation, Not Litigation

Companies can become overly aggressive in their efforts to obtain and enforce intellectual property rights. For example, two days after special operations forces killed Osama Bin Laden, as my colleague Donna Chmura noted, Disney filed federal trademark applications for “SEAL TEAM 6” for toys, handheld computer games, Christmas stockings, Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, snow […]


Sale of Class Notes Objectionable?

So, you are in class and take notes from the professor’s lecture. A classmate misses class and asks you to share your notes and you do. Problem? What if you posted your notes online? Or, better yet, what if you embraced our entrepreneurial spirit and posted your notes online and charged a fee for someone […]