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Alt Legal Blog

Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

Alt Legal IP News – Issue #16

Hannah Samendinger | December 06, 2016
2 min read

You can now subscribe to our podcast, Alt Trademarks, on iTunes and Google Play. Our latest episode features Sonia Lakhany, an attorney with a bicoastal IP practice. Sonia discusses her current practice, how she made the decision to go solo, and how IP impacts fictional brands and characters.

What Is Blockchain, Anyway?

– To understand how intellectual property interacts with blockchain technology, you first must know the answer to one fundamental question. What exactly is the blockchain? This video is a pretty helpful primer.

– Some say that a company like Mastercard will no longer be necessary if blockchain technology is widely used. Mastercard has other plans.

– One industry that is embracing blockchain? Legal marijuana. These users are also one of the first to demonstrate non-monetary uses of blockchain by using it to register strains, something that is far more difficult with the USPTO, especially with trademarks.

– One company is using blockchain to protect IP through copyright by providing cryptographic proof of works.

– One last thing- are blockchain patents a bad idea?

An Uncertain Legacy

– Warhol was no stranger to playing with intellectual property. A look into the IP behind converse sneakers adorned with a Brillo pad design reveals that the IP legacy that Warhol left behind is can be quite convoluted.

– Duran Duran suffered a big blow to their copyright in English court.

– Dennis the Menace is a well known comic in the U.S. but it has an independently created counterpart in the U.K. And in a rare turn of events, at least by today’s standards, the creators decided not to dispute the IP rights.

(One lesson I’ve learned from making this newsletter: There’s a Simpsons gif for everything.)

Odds and Ends

– Can you believe it is already December? That means its time to begin the year end wrap ups. Here is a comprehensive overview of all the beverage related trademark disputes in 2016. And for good measure, a review of patent developments in 2016.

– The Supreme Court ruled for Samsung in their dispute against Apple, which means Apple probably won’t see that $399 million penalty after all.

– Porsche is in hot water for allegedly creating a fake version of an indie rock song to avoid paying royalties.

– Nestle wants to patent a new kind of sugar that will taste the same but be less harmful to the rest of your body.

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