Last August we wrote about a dispute between photographer David Slater and the Wikemedia Foundation over what is known as “The Monkey Selfie.” Because we’re brave, the photo appears again in this post. At that time, the Copyright Office released a public draft of the Third Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, in which it took the explicit position that photographs taken by monkeys are not copyrightable subject matter because they are not “the fruits of intellectual labor that are founded by the creative powers of the mind.”
As a follow-up to our January post, “#Hashingitout: Is It Worth Registering A Hashtag?” I was interviewed by LexisNexis about the registration of hashtags. The interview was published in an article, “#Registered - U.S.,” in Lexis PSL IP & IT.
Recently, the Coca-Cola Company sought to register two hashtags as trademarks: #cokecanpics and #smilewithacoke. For those who may wonder why: various online social networking services (like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, to name a few) enable users to search a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) to identify postings on a specific topic. Hashtags are used to promote brands, campaigns, ideas or events, and trending topics can be identified by frequency of use in their respective online communities.
Recently, Japanese IT company NEC Corp. announced that it is developing an app with image recognition technology that allows its users to determine, in real time, whether or not that long sought-after Hermès Birkin bag is a knock-off or not. Once a target of aggressive piracy itself, NEC created the app in response to the increasing importance of managing the mass production and distribution of products internationally.
The 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) opened the door to widespread use of crowdfunding for financing new projects and ideas. As a result of the JOBS Act, the use of crowdfunding platforms has increased exponentially. If you are considering a crowdfunding platform for your new venture, or if you are contemplating investing in a crowd-funded project, attention to intellectual property protection is critical. Here are a few simple ideas to keep in mind:
Following the post, "Amazon’s Red Hot Video Streaming Service Under Fire," I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding the trademark infringement lawsuit.
In a recent letter to the USPTO, Google has signaled that it will continue its fight to register the word “Glass” as a trademark for its innovative “Google Glass” product, the wearable electronic smart glasses.
Trademark owners have a new weapon in the battle against cybersquatters, just in time for the expected approval this year of over 1000 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) such as .app, .news and domains in non-Latin script.