Choosing a Trademark:  Why Not be Arbitrary?

By Tom Graves When choosing a trademark for your goods or services, you have many decisions to make:  How can I capture the attention of my customers?  How can I convey the quality of my products?  How can I help consumers make a connection between my trademark and my business? These are all important considerations, but from a legal perspective, you should also be asking yourself the following:  How likely is it that I will be able to register my trademark?  Will another company be able to successfully challenge my trademark?  Has anyone else already used the trademark?  These legal
Read More

RECONCILING BLIZZARD AND JACOBSEN:  LESSONS IN COPYRIGHT LICENSING

By Tom Graves The Ninth Circuit case MDY Industries v. Blizzard Entertainment[1] has recently been cited as a major shift in the law pertaining to copyright licenses, and as a particular threat to the open source software model.[2]  Although these concerns are probably overstated, the Blizzard case does bring into focus several important aspects of copyright licensing.  In this article I will attempt to highlight some of these aspects, and to demonstrate how licenses can be drafted or updated to deal with them. The Blizzard case involved MDY’s creation of a software “bot” that allowed players of Blizzard’s online game
Read More

Recent Developments in Computer and Internet Law and Technology

By Robert Swider By Marc Visnick   In May 1999 at the Pacific Rim Computer Law Institute in Vancouver, B.C. we made a presentation concerning recent developments in Computer Law; among the topics we discussed were Spam, Jurisdictional Issues, Taxation of Internet Commerce, Recent Legislation, Licensing Issues, Copyright Infringement of Software, Business Method Patents and the Microsoft Antitrust litigation.  There have been many changes in the ensuing dozen years – the consumer shift from desktop PCs to ever – more powerful smart phones and tablet computers; the rise of Google; the incredible explosion of social media sites such as Facebook
Read More

Why Register A Copyright?

By Kohel Haver   If you have created original material or a creative expression of some sort and later come to see me, I almost always ask you to register your copyright.  This is true if we are negotiating a publishing agreement, creating and licensing artwork, starting a large sculpture commission project, signing a recording contract, licensing web design work, or sending off your script.  It has been my practice for many years and I have never regretted the decision, even with the most reputable licensee.  Do the benefits of registering copyrights outweigh the cost? Without a copyright registration, you
Read More

The Cannabusiness Consumer Conundrum

By, Kohel Haver A couple goes into a bar. She orders a Stoli Martini, he orders an Old Fashioned with Bulleit.   The bartender pours Russian vodka and bourbon from Kentucky.  Not a remarkable transaction for adults.  US Trademark law assures the couple that they are getting the products they ask for, the quality and taste they have come to demand and expect.  The FDA ensures the product is free from contaminates. Consumer protection is an unwritten promise included with a federal trademark. Except for the fact you probably won’t be able to consume the purchase on the premises,  under the
Read More

Musings on Moore’s Law and the other Laws of Technology – How they Relate to Societal Change?

By Robert Swider By Dennis Kambury “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitas.” Occam’s Razor    Introduction Humanity and technology have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship for hundreds of thousands of years, from the time of Homo erectus, whom many anthropologists believe were the first hominids to control fire.   The control of fire and the use of stone tools were turning points in our cultural evolution, though controlling fire was arguably a more significant leap forward.  We now control technologies far more complex than fire and stone tools and the future will bring us technologies that make current technologies pale in comparison.
Read More