Alt Legal IP News – Issue #16
Hannah Samendinger | December 06, 2016
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.