LEGAL THOUGHTS

This blog contains our personal opinions on topics that interest us.

Net Neutrality with a side order of fries.

Burger King made a video to explain Net Neutrality. This video does a better job explaining Net Neutrality than a lot of articles I read. Check it out on YouTube (click here for the link). Image is from Wix.com. #netneutrality #internet

Cartoons can be educational. Learn about IP.

In 2016, the UK Intellectual Property Office and Fun Kids, a UK children's radio station, released a an animated cartoon series called Nancy and the Meerkats that attempted to teach children about intellectual property and why it is important. Last week, they released five "new" episodes that focus on one of Nancy's superfans, a sheep named Ed Shearling. In the series, Ed starts a band and learns from Big Joe, Nancy's manager, about trademarks (Episodes 1-2) and copyrights (Episodes 3-5). The five episode series can be found on the FunKid's website, or on YouTube. Episode Guide Episode 1. The Name Game (YouTube link) Episode 2. Logo Mania (YouTube link) Episode 3. Mean Meme (YouTube link) E

No more paper copyright registrations for groups of photographs

Starting February 20, 2018, the US. Copyright Office is changing the rules for registering groups of photographs. See 83 Fed. Reg. 2542 (Jan 18, 2018). 1. The US. Copyright Office no longer will accept paper copyright registrations for groups of photographs. 2. Instead, you can register unpublished or published groups of photographs (up to 750 photographs per claim) through a new online application. 3. You can submit an electronic deposit copy of each photograph (JPEG, GIF, TIFF), or send a physical media to the Copyright Office. In addition to the electronic deposit copy, you must submit a numbered list (XLS, PDF) containing the title and file name for each photograph in the group. I

USPTO and Java v8 update 161 build 12

On my Macintosh, I received a notice that there is an updated version of Java -- Java v8 update 161 build 12 (released on January 16). Because I now am accessing the USPTO website using Java Web Start (see my post on connecting to the USPTO with Web Start), I'm not concerned about installing updates. #uspto #java

Border searches of attorney smart phones

​In 2016, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) performed border searches on approximately 19,000 electronic devices, both inbound and outbound. In 2017, CBP searched approximately 30,000 electronic devices, which is roughly 60% more searches. See CBP post. You might think the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures and requirement for a warrant or probable cause for a search might apply. See link. However, at an international border (or its functional equivalent such as an airport), the US government's interests are greater than an individual's right to privacy. Thus, the balance favors the government's interests and routine searches are considered reasonable (

Get your Diversity CLE credits!

Last year, the New York State Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board created a new category of CLE Credit -- Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias (Diversity) -- starting on January 1, 2018 (see NYC Bar link). Experienced attorneys who are due to re-register on or after July 1, 2018 must complete at least one (1) credit hour in Diversity. With this change, experienced attorneys must still complete 24 credit hours every two years, but now the breakdown will be: 19 hours of General 4 hours of Ethics 1 hour of Diversity See 22 NYC RR 1500.2(c)-(g) (see link 1, link 2); 22 NYC RR 1500.22 (see link 1, link 2). Photo from Matt H. Wade and available under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unpo

When should I disclose my invention? NDA or patent application.

A potential client recently asked us about the risks when discussing the client’s product idea with a third-party manufacturer after signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or after filing a patent application. Let’s start with the basics. What is an NDA? An NDA is a contractual agreement between two parties to keep information secret, not to disclose the confidential information, and to only use the disclosed information for the limited purpose it was disclosed. Importantly, if trade secrets will be discussed, the term of the NDA as applied to the trade secrets should not expire (see blog post). What is a patent application? A patent application is an application for a patent, that if gr

Fact or Fiction. Duff Beer?

What a way to end a day -- watching the Simpsons and having a Duff Beer. Anyone want to bet on whether this beer that I found in Austria is licensed to use the DUFF BEER mark? #trademark

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