WILLIAM SCOTT GOLDMAN
Senior IP counsel/founder of Goldman Law Group; ranked #5 in the world with 8,000 USPTO filings for creative clients in all 50 states and internationally; thought leader/author of "Branding Law Cases and Materials". Representing Innovation.
Representing what is perhaps the most cutting-edge new investment phenomenon of this past year, non-fungible tokens are the new crypto craze, just a short five years after most of us started learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the various ‘alt coins’. Of course, with new technological developments arise a host of novel legal issues, stretching the limits of traditional intellectual property law. Hence, this brief survey of the still-nascent NFT relative to existing IP.
WHEN PAST MEETS FUTURE:
Recapping major developments from this past year in IP, branding law, trade regulation, and entertainment law, COVID-19 once again dominated our lives some two years later, casting its long shadow over the legal landscape. And branding law was no exception as outlined in our piece, COVID ®: Global Pandemic or U.S. Brandemic.
One key Branding Law strategy involves stretching the boundaries of traditional trademark principles for registering important business assets. As a companion piece to our discussion of non-standard copyrights from a few months back, the following is a brief survey of some lesser-known types of trademarks that could be available for protecting certain brand attributes as well.
As we celebrate the 245th anniversary of our nation’s founding, now it’s time to examine when national insignias, including flags, can be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Under Section 2 of the Trademark Act (15 U.S.C. §1052), Congress set forth its ‘five deadly sins’, also known as the ‘absolute bars to registration’. Among this ignoble quintet is subsection (b), in pertinent part:
Copyright law typically protects original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression against copying. As such, traditional examples of copyrightable subject matter have included books, motion pictures, sound recordings, paintings, and sculptural works. However, copyright is also applicable in certain “special cases”, such as product branding, websites and choreography.
THE ENTREPRENEUR’S BLUEPRINT.
STARTUPS: START HERE Launching a side business is a wise decision whether considering a career transition or even as a source of secondary income, especially during these uncertain times. Consulting with an experienced attorney is vital for any startup, however. From raising capital to entity formation to tax considerations, regulatory and compliance issues, intellectual property and employment law, competent counsel essentially pays for itself over time by guiding a small business through myriad decisions and potential pitfalls.
Now that we’re officially one full year into the current catastrophe it’s time for a brief retrospective from a Branding Law perspective. Commonly-known as “the coronavirus” early on, as a derivation of the “novel coronavirus”, those negative connotations apparently did not have the expected tarnishing effect on the Corona brand for beer. Whether it was a result of increased awareness in the way of free publicity, brand resilience, or simply a function of thirsty, self-quarantining consumers, surprisingly strong sales figures were reported throughout 2020 with “Corona crowned #1” as the world’s top-selling beer brand.
2021 In the Law; or, It Only Gets Better from Here
Happy New Year! Now in follow up to our 2020 retrospective from last month, once again it’s time for a prospective survey covering some of the major cases that could be shaping the legal landscape in 2021 and most relevant to our firm’s various practice areas, such as Intellectual Property Law, Trademark, Copyright, Computer Law and Antitrust.
Now it's time for our annual end-of-year retrospective, and quite a year it was. After what quickly turned from optimism for the new decade to something else entirely, now we're all hoping for 2020 hindsight so to speak. However, the court cases continued grinding forward as remote depositions and virtual testimony became much more commonplace. So here are our 'hot takes' on some major opinions rendered during the year of pandemic and especially relevant to our firm's various practice areas.