Anita Redd recently filed two complaints for copyright infringement with the United States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of her minor son, Russell Horning, that has captivated social media consumers and intellectual property attorneys alike—it made headlines in, among other rags, TMZ, the Variety, Newsweek and The Guardian. What makes Redd’s December 2018 filing so newsworthy is 1) Russell Horning is the Backpack Kid, a young performer made famous through Instagram and 2) the alleged copyright infringement involves the “Floss,” a trendy dance creation attributed
It goes without saying that the world of patents in the United States is infused with discovery, from the creation of useful household gadgets to the invention of medical imaging technology. Such discoveries enrich our lives, help us and solve problems. But there is one discovery as it relates to patents that is, frankly, startling, which is the fact that that only 7.7 percent of all United States patents list a woman as the primary inventor, and only 18.8 percent of U.S. patents include a woman co-inventor. (Institute for Women’s
San Diego IP Law Group LLP (“the Firm”) is committed to providing pro bono legal services and mentorship to non-profit organizations, student organizations, and fledgling innovators and entrepreneurs. We are especially pleased to announce our continued pro bono support to the Biomimicry Institute’s Biomimicry Global Design Challenge (GDC) and the Biomimicry Launchpad, the latter of which is an accelerator business program that supports early-stage entrepreneurs working to bring nature-inspired solutions to market to address climate change, food production, and water availability, among other global concerns. The Launchpad provides entrepreneurs with access
There is a legal presumption of validity and ownership for a United States federal trademark on the Principal Register, and a presumption of the brand owner’s exclusive right to use the mark nationwide in connection with goods or services listed in the registration. Be that as it may, trademarks, generally a word, phrase, symbol or design that distinguishes one entity’s goods from another, are frequently used inappropriately or co-opted by those who do not have such rights. It falls upon the trademark owners, then, to protect and defend their marks.
Unlike the mandatory written description requirement for U.S. patents outlined in 35 U.S.C. § 112, drawings are only required when necessary for the understanding of the subject matter sought to be patented (35 U.S.C. § 113). While a written description—the patent specification—may indeed describe an invention in full, clear, concise and exact terms (35 U.S.C. § 112), there is much to be said for a detailed rendering, as expressed in the well-worn English language idiom, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Today, nearly all U.S. patent applications are submitted
San Diego IP Law Group co-founder and patent attorney Trevor Coddington, Ph.D., presented “Intellectual Property Law for Startups,” to seminar participants at the Biomimicry Institute’s Accelerator Boot Camp that took place September 12 – 15, 2018, at the University of Montana in Missoula. The Biomimicry Accelerator Boot Camp, which is part an annual Biomimicry Global Design Challenge (BGDC), is an invitational program created to assist competing teams to move from conceptual design to real-world implementation. The BGDC invites inventors to address critical sustainability and environmental issues with nature-inspired solutions, and
Trade secrets can be key to giving businesses an edge in their fields. Confidential techniques, formulas, recipes, and business practices, among other forms of commercially valuable information, can be kept as trade secrets. Keeping such information secret from competitors makes it valuable, and legislation such as the federal Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) and Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) helps business owners protect against the misappropriation of proprietary information.
A case brought against Google, Inc. in October of last year, Attia et al. v. Google LLC et al., Case No. 5:17-cv-06037
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has an interesting history of what might informally be called non-patent patents. That is, legal provisions, or grants, that protect patentable subject matter, but with important limitations as compared to the exclusive rights afforded in a regular U.S. letters patent.
One such non-patent patent is the long-defunct patent caveat, instituted by the U.S. Patent Act of 1836. A caveat was a legal document similar to a patent application with a description of any “new art, machine, or improvement thereof” (U.S. Patent Act of
Self-published romance author Faleena Hopkins recently filed a lawsuit (Hop Hop Productions, Inc. et al v. Kneupper et al.) against parties who she claims infringed on her registered trademark (U.S. Trademark No. 54/478,36) of the word “cocky” in her book titles, which include Cocky Roomie and Cocky Heart Surgeon. Obtaining a trademark registration for such a common word has caused controversy throughout online literary communities. Because many self-published authors have limited funds, being required to revise all marketing materials can be devastating, and “cocky” in particular is commonly used in
Copyright law protects original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Poetry, plays, movies, songs and software are examples of created works that can be protected by copyright. The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to create copyright law under Article I, § 8, cl. 8, and copyright law in the United States is governed by the Copyright Act of 1976. Like other forms of intellectual property protection—trademarks, patents, trade secrets—copyright protects the creator’s tangible manifestations and expression of ideas by according exclusive legal rights