Podcast

Moderna vs the NIH & the Spikevax Patent Battle! – Ep. 38 [Podcast]

Moderna vs the NIH & the Spikevax Patent Battle! – Ep. 38 [Podcast]

In this episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri discuss a dispute regarding COVID-19 vaccine inventorship between the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Moderna. The NIH and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) invested in Moderna. Moderna has filed three patent applications, two of which relate directly to the mRNA-1273 sequence, and one of which is for a method of using the mRNA-1273 sequence. Moderna listed one or more inventors from the NIH on the patent application for the method of using the mRNA-1273 sequence, but did not list anyone from the NIH as an inventor on the other two patent applications.

The Battle of the Oats – Ep. 37[Podcast]

The Battle of the Oats – Ep. 37[Podcast]

Choosing the right brand of oat milk is becoming challenging with more and more companies entering into this multi-billion dollar industry. Cue the battle of the Oats, and this week’s episode of Stuff you Should Know About IP! Featuring special guest, Mark Caddle from Withers & Rogers, LLP.

What is a Miley Cyrus? – Ep. 36 [Podcast]

What is a Miley Cyrus? – Ep. 36 [Podcast]

In this episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri welcome special guest Rob McLaughlin to discuss a trademark case from the European Union that involves Miley Cyrus. Tom Colson loves Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus and her company, Smiley Miley, Inc., sought to register the trademark her name (“Miley Cyrus”), but another company that already had a trademark on “Cyrus” opposed Miley’s registration. There was some overlap in the products offered by the respective entities. Typically, trademark law concerns the question of whether consumers will be confused as to who makes or sells a particular product. In the EU, even when two trademarks look and sound very similar, if there is conceptual difference between them – i.e., if the two marks mean completely different things – then consumers will not be confused between the two marks, and the conceptual difference can override the other similarities between the marks. A trademark owner is usually able to prevent others from using the same trademark or a similar trademark on the exact same goods or similar goods in the country that granted the mark, however it is possible to register a trademark throughout the entire EU. A trademark registration can be opposed at the European Union Intellectual Property Office, or the EUPIO. Legal proceedings involving trademark issues can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if there are appeals. In this case, Miley Cyrus filed her registration in 2014, and the entire process took around seven years. Because Miley Cyrus is a famous individual, there is conceptual difference between her name, “Miley Cyrus,” and “Cyrus.” Unlike some celebrities who are sometimes known only by their last names, Miley Cyrus is not known simply as “Cyrus.” Initially, the Opposition Division at the EUIPO rejected Miley Cyrus’s application. Miley then appealed that decision to the Board of Appeal, but the Board upheld the Opposition Division’s decision. Miley Cyrus then appealed that decision with the General Court, and the General Court ruled in favor of Miley because she is famous and there is therefore conceptual difference between “Miley Cyrus” and “Cyrus” in the minds of consumers.

Artificial Intelligence = Inventor on a Patent? – Ep. 35 [Podcast]

Artificial Intelligence = Inventor on a Patent? – Ep. 35 [Podcast]

In this episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri discuss naming an artificially intelligent system as an inventor on a patent application. Tom is terrified of, and slightly biased against, artificial intelligence, or “AI,” because AI is the greatest threat to humanity. Dr. Stephen Thaler, a physicist, filed two patent applications that named Device for Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience, or “DABUS,” as inventor.

Trump Class Action Lawsuit: A Win for Copyrights – Ep. 34 [Podcast]

Trump Class Action Lawsuit: A Win for Copyrights – Ep. 34 [Podcast]

In this episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri discuss issues that pertain to social media platforms and copyright infringement. Donald Trump and other plaintiffs filed class-action lawsuits against Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

NFT Bragging Rights & IP Ownership – Ep. 33[Podcast]

NFT Bragging Rights & IP Ownership – Ep. 33[Podcast]

In this episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri discuss non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for more than $2.5 million. If an inventor invents an invention but does not want to patent it, the inventor can publish the invention so that nobody else can patent it. Electronic records can have digital fingerprints, which are random sets of numbers, letters, and characters; blockchain is like a more advanced version of that idea. Digital artists can struggle to make money because it is so easy for an audience to digitally copy their work. Through NFTs, digital artists can monetize their work because they can sell a one-of-a-kind original for a large sum of money.

What is the MOST counterfeited product in the WORLD? – Ep. 30 [Podcast]

What is the MOST counterfeited product in the WORLD? – Ep. 30 [Podcast]

In this week’s episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri welcome special guest Jayne Durden for a conversation about counterfeited goods. Trademark infringement involves marks used in an identical or confusingly similar way, whereas counterfeiting involves goods that contain identical brands. Sales of counterfeit goods have been linked to money laundering, drugs, and organized crime. Airplane and vehicle replacement parts are more counterfeited than any other group of goods. Sometimes a counterfeit good is only distinguished from a genuine article by subtleties in the packaging, such as where glue spots are placed. Sometimes a counterfeit is of a lower quality than the original. Counterfeiting harms: 1) buyers, because they don’t get the real brand they think they’re getting; 2) brand owners, because consumers believe the low-quality counterfeits were made by the genuine brand; and 3) the public, because unsafe products are unleashed on society. Consumers might buy counterfeit goods, including children’s toys, through online retailers. Customs and Border Patrol handles cases of counterfeit goods like Pokemon cards, golf balls, and Super Bowl merchandise. There are so many brands registered with customs that it can be challenging for law enforcement to keep up. Drugs comprise the second-most counterfeited group of goods, and the World Health Organization has warned that counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines are thought to be entering the global supply chain.

Science Fiction Prior Art – Ep. 29 [Podcast]

Science Fiction Prior Art – Ep. 29 [Podcast]

In this week’s episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri examine whether a science fiction work can be used as prior art to block a patent. In order to obtain patent protection, an invention must be novel and non-obvious. If a science fiction work shows that an invention is either obvious or not new, then the science fiction work can prevent the invention from being patented, but only if the work describes the invention in sufficient detail. For example, in 1968, Charles Hall’s utility patent application for a water-bed was rejected because Robert Heinlein had thoroughly described a water-bed in three science fiction works: Beyond this Horizon in 1942, Double Star in 1956, and Stranger in a Strange Land in 1961. But Star Trek would not block a patent for a transporter beam, and Star Wars would not block a patent for a light saber, because neither Star Trek nor Star Wars describes how either invention actually works. Litigants can also cite science fiction in cases involving infringement of design patents. In 2011, when Apple sued Samsung for design patent infringement, Samsung argued that Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was relevant prior art. Even The Sunken Yacht, a Donald Duck cartoon by Carl Banks, was used as prior art to block a patent. Karl Kroyer sought a patent for his method of raising a sunken ship by using a tube to fill it with ping pong balls, but his application was rejected because Donald Duck did it first.

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