Welcome to the weblog for Intellectual Property Law.
Thu Jul 06, 2006
Copyright Filing Fee IncreaseThe below link announces changes to the fee structure for copyright registration at the U.S. Copyright Office.
Microsoft Spyware?For those of you too lazy or scared to sign up for automatic Windows updates, you may have had a point all along. Two separate lawsuits recently challened Microsoft's automatic download of its Windows Genuine Advantage applet, as a "high priority" download.
The first suit, the Complaint for which can be found at http://dw.com.com/redir?destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fseattlepi.nwsource.com%2Fdayart%2F20060629%2Fmsftwgasuit.pdf&siteId=3&oId=/Microsoft+draws+fire+for+stealth+test+program/2100-1029_3-6083204.html&ontId=10784&lop=nl.ex , challenged the download of a program which reports a user's IP address and whether or not the running version of Windows is legal.
On the heels of this suit, another was brought, again challenging the program under a variety of statutes, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Consumer Protection Act and the Computer Spyware Act. The Suit also claims that Microsoft engaged in intentional misrepresentation of the software program.
Read more at http://news.com.com/2100-1014_3-6090651.html
Thu Jun 29, 2006
New Hollander Article on Legal Risks of BlogsI've posted a new article on the website relating to the legal risks of publishing blogs.
You can check it out at
Mon Jun 26, 2006
Google Sued for Spidering School RecordsIn a case that appears to be the first of its kind, a North Carolina county court enjoined Google to remove all records concerning the Catawba County Schools Board of Education from its server and index, according to an article in the online edition of the Winston-Salem Journal.
What's remarkable about the case, brought by the School Board, is that the information that showed up on Google, namely, the names, Social Security numbers and test scores of 619 students, was supposedly stored on a password protected School Board document server.
Google is defending the suit, which alleges conversion and trespass against it, essentially agreeing that it should not have been able to obtain password protected records, not because it was wrong to do so but, according to Google, because its search engines simply cannot access password protected information.
So how did it happen? We'll have to follow and see.
The School Board's side of the story can be found at http://www.catawba.k12.nc.us/
Wed Jun 21, 2006
Internet Heavy Hitters Petition for Federal Privacy LawThe Wall Street Journal has written on a newly formed Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum, counting among its members such technology heavyweights as Ebay, Google and Microsoft.
More Trouble For VonageCNET News reports that the FCC recently appoved a plan to assess Internet Phone Taxes, dedicated for use by the Universal Service Fund, against all VOIP carriers that connect to the public switched phone network, rather than on a peer to peer basis, like SKYPE.
The approval expands the tax base from more traditional telecom services, like land lines, pay phones, wireless and DSL, to Vonage like services.
Wed Jan 25, 2006
How Much Would You Pay for Sex?After years of being the poster child for domain name litigation, Gary Kremen has finally sold the sex.com domain name to a group of anonymous purchasers for $12,000,000.
Tue Nov 29, 2005
Breakthrough Issue on Registrability of a tasteCan a product's taste be the subject of a trademark application on the theory that it serves as an identifying and branding aspect of the product, distinguishing it from competitors and acting as a source identifier?
That's what the US Trade mark Trial and Appeals Board will decide in an appeal of the USPTO's rejection of the trademark application for the orange taste that disguises the real taste of a liquid anti-depressant.
Talk about depressing news! The applicant, Akzo-Nobel subsidiary Organon, unsuccessfully tried to register the orange flavor of its soluble antidepressant, Remeron SolTab, as a trade mark.
When presented with office action saying the flavor was a functional aspect of the product and did not serve as a branding feature, the registrant claimed that, since the flavor did not affect the efficacy or purpose of the drug, it was not functional and basically claimed that, among the market of anti-depressant users, they would take one sip and know whose product it was, by its flavor.
I'm thinking this may not be number one on the mind of a depressed person looking for medicine, but that's just me.
If the appeal succeeds, a whole new spate of trademark applications could come flooding in, claiming taste to be a brand identifier.
Presumably, all those people who can tell Coke from Pepsi with blindfolds on, will agree.
Wed Nov 23, 2005
Proposed Legislation Assists in IT Training CostsToday's news brings word of proposed legislation in the House of Representatives designed to assist in training to further worker IT skills. As described,
"The Technology Retraining and Investment Now Act for the 21st Century, or TRAIN Act, would allow workers or employers to take a tax credit of up to half of a qualified $4000 IT training program. The bill would allow a tax credit of up to $2500 for small businesses and businesses or workers in rural or economically depressed areas. The tax credit covers course costs, including textbooks and other materials."
The bill would also create an advisory board that would certify providers of the education in an effort to assure competency and standards in the training process.
Wed Nov 16, 2005
Famous Domain Name Thief to Remain in Jail Pending DisclosureIn the latest step in a case that seems like it's been around forever, the original domain name thief that made registrars nervous about their own liability for wrongly transferred domain names, Stephen Michael Cohen, remains in a U.S. jail pending full disclosure of the alleged millions of dollars he gained from stealing the infamous sex.com domain name from Gary Kremen, its rightful owner and later founder of match.com
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