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.
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.”
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.
Table of Contents Transcript Raymond Guarnieri: Should Big Pharma give up their patent rights to the new COVID-19 vaccines for the sake of mankind? Billionaire tech giant turned philanthropist, Bill Gates, says no, but Joe Biden says maybe. We’re here
Lil Nas X brings 666 “Satan” themed Nike Air Maxs’ to the market, and Nike sues for Trademark Infringement. Can Lil Nas X’s lawyers ensure his salvation? Well, that might depend on what you mean by salvation… Today on Stuff You Should Know about IP we cover the Trademark battle from hell.. Literally!
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.
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.
In this week’s episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri discuss the differences between false advertising and puffery. Distinguishing between false advertising and puffery often depends on how specific a factual claim is. Under the US Lanham Act, deceptive trademarks, which are false advertising, are prohibited. And the US Patent and Trademark Office will reject marks for being deceptive. Some of the most mind-blowing, amazing false advertising cases are as follows:
In this week’s episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri welcome special guest Tony Trippe to discuss patent data. Patent data can reveal trends and indicate where a field is headed. The best way for a smaller company, like Jawbone or Fitbit, to compete with a larger company, like Apple or Nike, is to have a great patent portfolio. If a smaller company doesn’t have a great portfolio of its own, it can be beneficial to acquire another company’s patents. The earlier the priority date of a patent application, the better; nothing published after that date can be used to invalidate the patent. Each feature of a product can be covered by its own patent. A savvy investor can analyze public information in patent portfolios and then use that information to guide investments. Companies with well-developed patent portfolios tend to be traded at higher values. A company can use patent information to find new technologies and for competitive intelligence. Patent information can also be used to predict new products that will be released. Patent applications are published eighteen months after having been filed. Tony Trippe predicts that Northrop Grumman, a company in the quantum computing field, might form a major partnership with an established player in the field. In just a few hours, a quantum computer can solve an equation that a huge network of supercomputers would need hundreds of years to solve. Quantum computers present cybersecurity concerns, and they also have applications for chemistry, molecular modeling, other multiple body problems, and encryption.
In this week’s episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri discuss a trademark for the word “superhero.” In 1979, DC Comics and Marvel trademarked “superhero” in connection with comic books. Both companies had been independently using that term for decades, so if either company – on its own – had tried to trademark “superhero,” the other company could have successfully opposed it. A trademark is something – including a word, a graphic, a logo, a color scheme, a scent, or a shape – that designates the origin of a product or service. Different categories of trademarks have different strengths, and they include, in decreasing order of strength: fanciful marks, arbitrary marks, and suggestive marks. Typically, a mark that is merely descriptive is ineligible for trademark protection, though an exception exists for a descriptive mark that has acquired secondary meaning. If a trademark becomes generic, it can become unenforceable. The trademark for “superhero” is unusual for two reasons: 1) two companies hold the mark, so the mark does not necessarily designate the actual source of a product; and 2) the term has been genericized. During a legal action, a large company that can afford prolonged, expensive litigation has an advantage over a less affluent company.