Why read the Decoding IP™ blog?

  View Post  
31 Jul 0

Will Comic Book Superheroes Save Copyright?

Things may be looking up for authors and comic book fans due to a provision of U.S. copyright law that is little known among the public at large. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering whether it will review the case of Lisa Kirby v. Marvel Characters. In the Kirby case, the children and heirs […]

29 Jul 1

Mister Softee and the Case of the Trademark Infringer

You see them everywhere this time of year: ice cream trucks! They are hard to miss—or—resist. In certain parts of the country, they are the unmistakable blue-and-white Mister Softee trucks, complete with the anthropomorphic, well-dressed, ice cream cone smiling from their sides. I have happy childhood memories of Mister Softee’s chocolate dipped cone, and I […]

25 Jul 0

USPTO Sees New Examination Policy through Alice’s Looking Glass

The PTO didn’t waste a minute. On Wednesday, June 25, the Office issued a new patent examination policy based on the recent Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank. We expected this new policy, and we also expected that it would not significantly change our view of how software patents should be written. But […]

22 Jul 0

Washington Redskins, Football And The Constitution

Wow – the recent decision from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) cancelling several Washington Redskins trademarks has sent shockwaves through the Washington, DC area. With the team’s headquarters and training facilities located in Virginia, where they generate lots of revenue, residents—and the commonwealth itself—seem to be taking the news especially hard. Three members […]

24 Jun 0

Alice v. CLS Bank: Abstract Idea + Generic Computer = Sorry, No Patent

Did you know that Einstein could not get a patent for E=mc2? His famous equation for showing the equivalence of mass and energy is, without a doubt, brilliant. Unfortunately, it is also a pure abstract idea, and, according to U.S. patent law, cannot be patented. Until recently, however, a common way to bring an abstract […]

18 Jun 0

Don’t Get Crushed: Your Guide to the Differences Between Trademarks and Copyrights

As noted in our recent post on the not-so-sweet dispute between the makers of games Candy Crush Saga and CandySwipe, the differences between copyright and trademark are widely misunderstood. Because these differences are super important to your brand’s value, your company’s marketing strategy, and your ability to communicate clearly with your IP lawyer, here are […]

16 Jun 0

A Patent in Sheep’s Clothing?

It looks like Dolly, the cloned sheep, is not patentable subject matter. In a recent case called In re Roslin Institute (Edinburg), the Federal Circuit found that Dolly was too similar to the donor sheep and was essentially a copy of a naturally occurring organism, making her patent ineligible. The Roslin Institute, which would own […]

12 Jun 0

Can Copyright Get The Led Out?

It turns out that the soundtrack to my high school years might have been chock full of copyright infringement. Led Zeppelin has already settled copyright infringement disputes out of court regarding some of my favorite tunes: The Lemon Song, Whole Lotta Love, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, and Dazed and Confused. And after all these […]

10 Jun 0

Is that Trademark Really Available? 5 Tips For Your Brand Development

As you prepare to launch your company, there are a zillion things to take care of, from operations to marketing to finance and accounting. One of the most critical marketing-related activities you’ll undertake is branding. Which logo and what colors and typography best represent you? What’s your value proposition? What kind of experience will your […]

6 Jun 0

How to Protect Your Trademark and Build a Stronger Brand

As you build your company and gain more visibility for your expertise, products, and services, you are also building that beautiful thing we call a brand. Your brand is a living, breathing representation of what you do and who you are. It distinguishes your business, products, and services from everyone else’s, and it includes 3 […]