Intellectual property roundup

by Walter Olson on January 27, 2014

  • “The patent had an interesting enforcement clause: that anyone who copied [ship designer] Brunelleschi’s work would have their own designs set on fire” [Jeremy Kolassa, R Street]
  • British government investigates problem of orphan copyright works [U.K. Intellectual Property Office, earlier]
  • Hookah’s design not copyrightable, per Ninth Circuit, O’Scannlain, Garber, Bea [Inhale v. Starbuzz Tobacco]
  • From EFF’s “Copyright Week”: what if the penalty that accompanied a parking ticket varied unknowably and might amount to a year’s salary? [Mitch Stoltz] “Copyright’s not getting its work done” [Cathy Gellis]
  • Nineteenth Century’s sewing machine patent wars resembled today’s smartphone wars, but ended more or less happily [Adam Mossoff, Slate]
  • Universities that post papers by their own scholars hear from Elsevier’s lawyers [ABA Journal]
  • Likelihood of confusion? Underwear maker Hanes cease/desists hummus maker in Saskatoon, Canada with name derived from “Yohannes” (= “John”)[ABC News, Craig Lederhouse, CBC (auto-plays radio)]

{ 2 comments }

1 JTW 01.27.14 at 4:26 am

“From EFF’s “Copyright Week”: what if the penalty that accompanied a parking ticket varied unknowably and might amount to a year’s salary? ”

There’s countries where that’s more or less the case (think parking tickets dependent on the catalog value of the car, fines being lower for cheaper cars). Especially with speeding tickets (Sweden for example, and possibly Germany).
I think it’s the case with speeding tickets in some US states as well, but I’m not certain.

2 Bill Poser 01.28.14 at 12:04 am

Do the lawyers who send letters like the one from Hanes not know that trademarks only apply within a market segment, or are they acting in bad faith? And if the latter, shouldn’t they be sanctioned by their bar association?

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