Friday, December 31, 2021

The global appeal of "Take Me Home, Country Roads"; CBS Sunday Morning, December 26, 2021

CBS Sunday Morning; The global appeal of "Take Me Home, Country Roads"

""Take Me Home, Country Roads," a song about a longing for home (co-written by a songwriter who had never even been in West Virginia), has been embraced by the Mountain State in a big way, and has since been appropriated by singers around the world looking for their very own "place I belong." Correspondent Conor Knighton looks into the genesis and global impact of John Denver's first big hit; and with country star Brad Paisley about the special pull the song has for him."

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Ben Reilly And Miles Morales Continue Clash Over Spider-Man Trademark; Bleeding Cool, December 15, 2021

, Bleeding Cool; Ben Reilly And Miles Morales Continue Clash Over Spider-Man Trademark

"You couldn't have planned it better, could you? On the 26th of August, Patrick S Ditko, the brother of the late Steve Ditko and administrator of his estate, registered two notices of copyright termination against Marvel Entertainment for the first appearances of Doctor Strange and Spider-Man in comic books. And in the comic books, The Beyond Corporation is fighting to steal/keep the trademark to Spider-Man, granting it to their Peter Parker replacement Ben Reilly, but denying it from Miles Morales."

Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’ Trial Alarms Legal Experts: “Makes Copyright Law Look Absurd” | Billboard News, December 2021

Billboard; Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’ Trial Alarms Legal Experts: “Makes Copyright Law Look Absurd” | 

"There’s a lawsuit alleging that Taylor Swift stole the lyrics to “Shake It Off.” The pop star could win the case, but some legal experts tell Billboard they’re alarmed that the case is headed to trial at all."

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Pizza dough trade secrets case pits Schwan's against Conagra; AgWeek, December 8, 2021

Jeff Beach, Ag WeekPizza dough trade secrets case pits Schwan's against Conagra

"Court documents state that “Schwan’s alleges that from the time Cai accepted the job at Conagra until he was escorted from Schwan’s property, he accessed files containing Schwan’s confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets on several projects related to grain, pizza crust, and encapsulated sugar, among other projects.” 

Schwan’s also says Cai took devices and notebooks with research information. 

Nine days after Schwan’s fired him, Cai filed two United States patent applications: “Method of Making Frozen Dough and Products Made Using the Method” and “Microwaveable Frozen Breads and Method of Making the Same.” He also filed for a patent in China on the first patent.

Beginning from his hiring in 2003, Cai had signed agreements saying his Schwan’s work would be confidential and could not use that information to help another company or use it to get another job. It also specified that any patents from his work at Schwan’s would belong to the company."

Sonny Bono’s Widow Strikes Back in Cher Copyright Fight; Billboard, December 9, 2021

Bill Donahue, Billboard; Sonny Bono’s Widow Strikes Back in Cher Copyright Fight

"Cher’s legal battle with Sonny Bono’s widow is heating up, with Mary Bono arguing that the legendary singer should not be allowed to claim that her divorce agreement trumps important provisions of federal copyright law.

Cher sued Mary Bono last month, seeking to block her from taking control of Sonny’s music. The case is one of several closely-watched music lawsuits over copyright law’s “termination right” — a provision that allows creators or their heirs to win back control of rights they signed away decades prior."

Marvel's New Spider-Man is Taking The Name from Miles Morales; ScreenRant, December 13, 2021

LIAM MCGUIRE, ScreenRant ; Marvel's New Spider-Man is Taking The Name from Miles Morales

"The Beyond Corporation is using Marvel's newest Spider-Man to make sure Miles Morales doesn't continue using his usual superhero name as a potential legal battle continues to build up. In Amazing Spider-Man #81 by Marvel Comics, the corporation tells Ben Reilly needs him to protect the Spider-Man name and that he's contractually obligated to enforce their trademark against Brooklyn's web-slinger. Reilly begrudgingly agrees, setting up a conflict between Marvel's new Spider-Man and Miles Morales."

Monday, December 13, 2021

Papa’s Burgers changes name after trademark trouble with Houston’s Pappas Restaurants;, December 11, 2021; Papa’s Burgers changes name after trademark trouble with Houston’s Pappas Restaurants

"A beloved San Antonio burger joint has officially rebranded itself after a recent “hurtful” trademark issue with a Houston restaurant chain.

Papa’s Burgers owner Robert Walker announced the restaurant’s new name on Friday, which is “The Good News Burgers.”

The name change comes after the restaurant received a cease and desist notice from Pappas Restaurants, due to the similarities in their restaurant titles.

Walker previously told KSAT that he filed a trademark for Papa’s Burgers, but before doing so, he reached out to the Houston restaurateur “out of respect so that it wouldn’t be an issue.” However, at last check, he didn’t hear back."

The sled that steers; Journeys of Innovation series, United States Patent and Trademark Office; December 2021

 Journeys of Innovation series, United States Patent and Trademark Office; The sled that steers

"In the 1880s, Samuel Leeds Allen reinvented winter with the Flexible Flyer, a sled on red steel runners that riders could steer with their hands or feet. A self-taught inventor, Allen knew he’d hit it big when the kids told him so."

Friday, December 10, 2021

Andy Warhol Foundation Asks Supreme Court to Review Prince Pop Art Dispute; The Hollywood Reporter, December 9, 2021

Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter; Andy Warhol Foundation Asks Supreme Court to Review Prince Pop Art Dispute

"The Warhol Foundation argues that allowing the split to stand would create a “sea-change” in copyright law and lead to “inconsistent results and forum shopping” if the 2nd and 9th Circuits are using different frameworks to analyze fair use.

It argues the decision also chills artistic expression because creating new works as cultural commentary — like Warhol and the larger pop art movement did — could now amount to copyright infringement if the image is deemed too “recognizeable” to be transformative."

Top Intellectual Property Issues to Watch in 2022; Bloomberg Law, December 3, 2021

Dorothy R. Auth, Howard Wizenfeld, David (Dash) Cole , Bloomberg Law; Top Intellectual Property Issues to Watch in 2022

"Evolving U.S. intellectual property law continues to impact many industries, including the technology and pharmaceutical sectors, with 2022 promising to be no different.

The U.S. Supreme Court will have a significant role to play in the coming year. On the patent front, it will decide whether to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in American Axle, a case which could potentially expand patent- ineligible subject matter to include certain conventional methods of using mechanical devices

A second case, now seeking Supreme Court reviewAmgen v. Sanofi could have implications in the biotech and pharma space with regard to the ability to protect chemical genuses.

Copyright law is also evolving, with U.S. appellate courts trying to apply the Supreme Court’s Google v. Oracle decision addressing fair use in more traditional copyright settings."

4 Things to Know About Intellectual Property and COVID-19 Vaccines; U.S. Chamber of Commerce, December 9, 2021

U.S. Chamber of Commerce; 4 Things to Know About Intellectual Property and COVID-19 Vaccines

Intellectual property enabled the discovery of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s why calls to waive IP rights would undermine medical innovation and our ability to respond to the next pandemic.

"Key takeaways

  • Some governments, including the United States, are considering a proposal to waive intellectual property laws for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • But waiving intellectual property laws could jeopardize medical innovation, including the development of new or adapted vaccines to combat COVID-19 variants like Omicron.
  • Waiving intellectual property rights for COVID vaccines could have ripple effects on innovators and investments across industries."

How Led Zeppelin Gave Us All a Lesson in Copyright Law; Ultimate Guitar, December 9, 2021

Justin Beckner, Ultimate Guitar; How Led Zeppelin Gave Us All a Lesson in Copyright Law

"We often think of music as being a therapeutic, enjoyable, carefree world of creative expression, some of us decide to make our living in an industry built on those principles. That’s when things get very dark very quickly. Visions of rainbows and artistic freedom are crushed between binding contracts regarding the financial and legal terms of your intellectual property and the foaming mouth of the public ready to tear you apart because your music is too commercial. It can be a dark industry for anyone to navigate, especially those without law degrees.

Many litigations in the industry hinge on copyright law. So we sought out the aid of an expert in the field to help us understand the basics of copyright law using some high-profile case studies you have undoubtedly heard of. This article was written in collaboration with a copyright attorney, Rikki Mays-Reak, who helps us navigate the treacherous legal waters of the music industry...

With only 12 notes at our disposal in western music (I'm speaking in generality, of course), it's hard to imagine any combination of notes being so unique that it doesn’t sound like anything that has ever been recorded or composed in history of music. So these copyright lawsuits regarding intellectual property can be very complex and tricky, especially when you consider that it covers any improvised version of the song committed to some form of recording."

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

YouTube reveals millions of incorrect copyright claims in six months; The Verge, December 6, 2021

Mia Sato , The Verge; YouTube reveals millions of incorrect copyright claims in six months

"Over 2.2 million copyright claims hit YouTube videos before later being overturned between January and June of this year, according to a new report published by the company today. The Copyright Transparency Report is the first of its kind published by YouTube, which says it will update biannually going forward.

The 2.2 million incorrect claims represent less than 1 percent of the more than 729 million total copyright claims issued in the first half of this year, 99 percent of which originated from Content ID, YouTube’s automated enforcement tool. When users disputed these claims, the case was resolved in favor of the uploader of the video 60 percent of the time, according to the report."

Monday, December 6, 2021

USPTO implements the Trademark Modernization Act; United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO, November 17, 2021

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ; USPTO implements the Trademark Modernization Act

"Regulations implementing the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA) will go into effect on December 18, 2021. Individuals, businesses, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will now have new tools to clear away unused registered trademarks from the federal trademark register as of December 18, 2021, and the USPTO will have the ability to move applications through the registration process more efficiently as of December 1, 2022.

The new ex parte expungement and reexamination proceedings provide a faster, more efficient, and less expensive alternative to a contested inter partes cancelation proceeding at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Read the final ruleto learn more about these changes, and visit the USPTO’s new Trademark Modernization Act webpage for more information."

Diversity in innovation: Best practices; United States Patent and Trademark Office Webinar: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 12 PM EST - 1 PM EST

United States Patent and Trademark Office Webinar: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 12 PM EST - 1 PM EST; Diversity in innovation: Best practices 

"Join us virtually on Tuesday, December 7 for a presentation on best practices for diversity in innovation, followed by a discussion led by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Midwest Regional Director Damian Porcari.

In 2020, the USPTO collaborated with Santa Clara Law’s High Tech Law Institute (HTLI) to propose a study designed to increase diversity in the patenting process. The study specifically targeted in-house international property (IP) legal departments and their practices. The goal of the study was simple: to harvest the collective knowledge of nationwide IP professionals and to produce a practical guide to fostering a more diverse population of inventors. Join the USPTO and HTLI at this free event to learn more about the Diversity in Innovation Best Practices Guide and the goal of increasing the diversity of inventors within the innovation ecosystem.

The guide is presented in three categories of easy-to-read tables:

  • Do it now: Practices that are likely to be budget-neutral, easily implemented, and within the authority of an in-house attorney or IP manager.
  • Do it this year: Practices that may require 3–9 months of planning, e.g., because they require coordination with other groups or departments, and/or the creation of content, tools, or systems.
  • Do it next year: Practices that will likely take 6–12 months of planning to implement, e.g., because they need to be coordinated with different departments, require moderate or significant budgetary planning, and/or require buy-in from high level management.

Register today to gain insights from the guide's authors from HTLI: Laura Norris and Mary Fuller. An open discussion moderated by Midwest Regional Director Damian Porcari will follow the presentation.

Please see registration page for states where CLE credit is available.


    Friday, December 3, 2021

    Who Owns a Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking.; The New York Times, November 29, 2021

    Priya Krishna , The New York Times; Who Owns a Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking.

    U.S. copyright law protects all kinds of creative material, but recipe creators are mostly powerless in an age and a business that are all about sharing.

    "U.S. copyright law seeks to protect “original works of authorship” by barring unauthorized copying of all kinds of creative material: sheet music, poetry, architectural works, paintings and even computer software.

    But recipes are much harder to protect. This is a reason they frequently reappear, often word for word, in one book or blog after another.

    Cookbook writers who believe that their work has been plagiarized have few options beyond confronting the offender or airing their grievances online. “It is more of an ethical issue than it is a legal issue,” said Lynn Oberlander, a media lawyer in New York City...

    “The whole history of American cookbook publishing is based on borrowing and sharing,” said Bonnie Slotnick, the owner of Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, an antique bookstore in the East Village of Manhattan...

    Mr. Bailey said many cookbook authors are used to the free exchange of ideas on social media, and may not be conscious of the importance of giving credit. “It has become so tempting in this environment to just take rather than to create,” he said."

    Thursday, December 2, 2021

    The Path to a Patent, Part VI: Learn how to protect your IP abroad; United States Patent and Trademark Office Webinar: Thursday, December 2, 2021 2 PM EST; 1 PM CST; 12 PM MST; 11 AM PST

    United States Patent and Trademark Office Webinar; The Path to a Patent, Part VI: Learn how to protect your IP abroad

    "Did you know that patents offer territorial rights, meaning that there is no such thing as an international or global patent? Learn how to help protect your intellectual property (IP) in foreign jurisdictions. United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) International Patent Legal Administration experts will discuss considerations and options for filing foreign patent applications.

    Register now for this free virtual event.

    You may receive one hour of California Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit for attending this seminar. Please check with your USPTO regional office for more information on Continuing Legal Education (CLE) accreditation. The discussion will include an overview of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the use of the Paris Convention for non-PCT countries.

    Contact information for participating offices and local start times for this event are as follows:

    Register today

    This event is accessible to individuals with disabilities. To request a reasonable accommodation, including captioning, sign language interpreting, or other, please email or call 408-918-9900."

    Wednesday, December 1, 2021

    Pfizer Says Employee Stole Files With Covid Vaccine Secrets; Bloomberg Law, November 24, 2021

    Kyle Jahner, Bloomberg Law; Pfizer Says Employee Stole Files With Covid Vaccine Secrets 

    "Pfizer Inc. is alleging a “soon-to-be-former employee” misappropriated thousands of files, including documents with trade secrets related to its Covid-19 vaccine, in a California federal court lawsuit.

    Chun Xiao (Sherry) Li allegedly uploaded more than 12,000 files including “scores” of documents with confidential information to a Google Drive account, Pfizer alleged in a complaint filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The documents are said to pertain to a broad range of topics, including analysis of vaccine studies, operational goals, and development plans for new drugs...

    “Pfizer takes the safeguarding of sensitive and confidential information very seriously. Protecting that information is critical to scientific innovation, ultimately enabling us to deliver breakthroughs for patients,” a company spokesman said.

    Trade secrets present a thorny issue for the debate around waiving Covid-related IP rights. Disclosure of trade secrets could aid overseas manufacturers in producing copycat versions of vaccines created by Pfizer, which has spoken out against an international waiver on intellectual property protections on Covid-19 treatments and vaccines."

    Hawkeye Kate Bishop Comic Cover Recreated With Hailee Steinfeld; SCREENRANT, November 29, 2021

    Nathan Graham-Lowery, SCREENRANT ; Hawkeye Kate Bishop Comic Cover Recreated With Hailee Steinfeld

    "Fan artist Mizuri has recreated the cover to Kate Bishop's solo comic series with Hawkeye's Hailee Steinfeld in his latest piece of fan art. Steinfeld stars as the young hero in the Disney+ series, who trains under original Avenger Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) during the holiday season. The first two episodes of the six-part series were released on November 24...

    Australian fan artist Mizuri has shared on their Instagram account a recreation of issue 1 of Kate Bishop's first solo series, 2016's Hawkeye written by Kelly Thompson, and illustrated by Leonardo Romero. The piece recreates Julian Totino Tedesco's artwork but instead incorporates Steinfeld's MCU portrayal into the piece. Alongside the artwork, Mizuri praised the series first two episodes and Steinfeld's character, revealing they chose to do the piece to help test out a new drawing tablet."

    Cleveland Baseball Will Share ‘Guardians’ Name With Roller Derby Team; The New York Times, November 16, 2021

    Neil Vigdor, The New York Times ; Cleveland Baseball Will Share ‘Guardians’ Name With Roller Derby Team

    The settlement of a federal lawsuit will allow the Major League Baseball franchise to move forward with renaming its team, amid a reckoning over symbols of racism.

    "Call it a shared guardianship.

    Cleveland’s Major League Baseball franchise and a local roller derby team announced on Tuesday that they had reached a settlement in a naming dispute that had escalated to a federal lawsuit. They will both be called the Guardians...

    In the lawsuit, the roller derby team, which is based in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, Ohio, said it was “inconceivable” that a baseball franchise worth more than $1 billion would not have performed a Google search for the name Cleveland Guardians. If it did, the lawsuit said, it would have found the website for the roller derby team, which operates as a nonprofit organization."

    E-commerce and China: Strategies for fighting online counterfeits, Part 2; United States Patent and Trademark Office Webinar: Thursday, December 2, 2021 9 AM - 10:30 AM EST

    United States Patent and Trademark Office Webinar; E-commerce and China: Strategies for fighting online counterfeits, Part 2

    E-Commerce and China

    "E-commerce now accounts for nearly 14% of all retail sales, and continues to grow at a healthy rate. But U.S. businesses engaged in e-commerce, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), face a number of challenges in protecting their intellectual property (IP) on e-commerce platforms.

    Register now for this free program to learn proven strategies for protecting and enforcing your IP rights when selling on e-commerce platforms.

    Part 2 of the two-part series will focus on administrative and judicial mechanisms for enforcing IP rights and combatting the sale of Chinese counterfeits on e-commerce platforms in China. The program will feature presentations by senior United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) IP attorneys with extensive China IP experience and experts from Mattel, Specialized Bicycles, and Amazon.

    Topics to be covered include: 

    • overview of administrative, civil, and criminal IP enforcement
    • strategies for collaborating with e-commerce platforms
    • industry perspectives and experiences
    • establishing a criminal case

    During the program, participants can submit their questions to a dedicated email box. There will be time allotted to respond to participants' questions.

    (Note: Although some advanced IP topics may be touched upon in the webinar, the materials presented are intended for representatives from SMEs with limited experience in IP protection and enforcement in China.)"

    Register today

    Counterfeit Covid Masks Are Still Sold Everywhere, Despite Misleading Claims; The New York Times, November 30, 2021

     Andrew Jacobs, The New York Times; Counterfeit Covid Masks Are Still Sold Everywhere, Despite Misleading Claims

    "“It’s really the Wild West out there with so many bad actors ripping people off,” said Anne Miller, executive director of Project N95, a nonprofit that connects people to bona fide personal protective equipment."