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17 Feb 0

Internet of Things: Little ‘Bots Are Watching You!

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the newest technologies on the scene today. It refers to “things” that are able to communicate on the Internet – things like Fitbits, Smartphones, biosensors, coffee makers, thermostats, and even automobiles. These things collect data and they make determinations about what people are doing, when they are […]

9 Feb 0

Tattoos, Copyrights and Video Games

Are tattoos copyrightable, and if so, what are the implications? Tattoo artists have sued the makers of the NBA2K16 video game, claiming copyright infringement because the game includes images of tattoos on several NBA players, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Courts have never squarely addressed the issue, and this case raises a host of […]

22 Jan 0

Frack! My Patent Is Unenforceable!

Inequitable conduct cases don’t happen every day in patent law, so when one comes along, it can be interesting. A recent decision from North Dakota examined an unusual set of facts surrounding the sale of patented hydraulic fracturing technology almost two years before the inventor filed a patent application. After reviewing all the facts, the […]

12 Jan 0

Music and Muscle Rock the Constitution

A recent decision from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has brought a relatively obscure section of trademark law into the constitutional spotlight and paved the way for a potential Supreme Court debate. Reviewing a case involving the music group THE SLANTS, the court held the trademark act’s rule refusing registration for disparaging […]

30 Dec 0

Monkey See, Monkey Do: There’s No Copyright for You

A photographer’s journey to an Indonesian nature preserve resulted in macaque monkeys having fun with his camera.When a monkey’s “selfie” went viral, so did the copyright questions. Multiple disputes ensued, including a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against the photographer and his publisher arguing that the monkey owns the copyright […]

17 Dec 0

Rise of the GIFs

They are everywhere you look online: compressed image files, usually animated, of people or animals. Graphic Interchange Format (GIF), created to reduce file transfer time, has given rise to social media feeds full of cats riding burritos in space and ubiquitous iterations of the salmon cannon. And lots of athletes making plays. When Deadspin and […]

4 Dec 0

Running from Alice Towards Copyright

Many technology professionals consider business method patents and software patents under attack by the courts after the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International patent case. Even before this decision, in fact, over the last decade, courts have been invalidating patents already granted by the U.S. Patent […]

30 Oct 0

Volkswagen and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): How Copyright Law Hinders Scientific Integrity

Unless you’ve been living in a cave the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard about the West Virginia scientists who discovered that Volkswagen (VW) has been cheating on diesel emissions tests and violating EPA emissions standards for years. VW pulled this feat off by installing a special software sequence called a defeat device on its […]

10 Oct 0

Ashley Madison Doesn’t Understand the DMCA

Sometimes secretive websites don’t keep their secrets very well. That’s certainly true of the Ashley Madison site, which is now a famous (infamous) site that connects those interested in infidelity with other like-minded people that was hacked. So what did its owner, Avid Life Media, do when its customers’ data was leaked on the Internet? […]

2 Oct 0

Paying for Happy Birthday

Yes, the “Happy Birthday” song has been around for a while. And yes, until very recently, if you wanted to sing it and play the music for a commercial purpose you had to pay $$ for the privilege. Warner/Chappell music was raking in the dough for that ubiquitous song for decades, until now. In a […]