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Timely updates and interesting insight on patent, trademark, and copyright law.

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The Benefits of Copyright Registration

This article introduces and explains the myriad benefits of registering a copyrightable work with the Copyright Office. While this article considers the effects of registration on a hypothetical novel, authors and artists can register any type of copyrightable work, whether it be a drawing, computer code, or a writing.

USPTO Announces New Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently launched a new “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” on July 2, 2020. The Program allows for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals in US patent application prosecutions. The Program serves as an extension of the “Track One” prioritized examination program and is intended to provide applicants with another opportunity to expedite US patent prosecution.

USPTO Again Extends CARES Act Relief for Small and Micro Entities

Prior USPTO CARES Act extensions waived certain fees and deadlines up until July 1, 2020. With the July 1, 2020 date looming and the need for relief remaining at a high level, today (June 29, 2020) the USPTO further extended the time for small and micro entities to pay certain patent-related fees that would otherwise have been due on or after March 27, 2020.

New USPTO IP Marketplace for COVID-19 Technologies

Yesterday, May 4, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) took a surprising leap into commercialization of patented and patent pending technologies, unveiling a web-based marketplace platform for intellectual property (IP).

Update to the Extension of Certain Patent and Trademark Deadlines Due to COVID-19

Yesterday, April 28, 2020, pursuant to the temporary authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced further extensions to the time allowed for filing certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees. This new Notice supersedes the prior Notice published on March 31, 2020.

Will Spirit Earn Its “Stairway to Heaven”?

A debate has raged for years as to whether the infamous English rock band Led Zeppelin in its guitar intro to “Stairway to Heaven” infringed the copyright of the song “Taurus” by the American rock band Spirit. It has been alleged that Jimmy Page borrowed the descending guitar line from “Taurus” for Led Zeppelin’s signature song “Stairway to Heaven”.

A Tribute to Metallica

The members of a Metallica tribute band, Sandman, received an unusual surprise when they showed up recently to play a show at FitzRays, in London, Ontario. A 41-page cease-and-desist letter was waiting for them the moment they arrived. The letter, sent by a Metallica attorney, demanded that the band, which bills itself as “Canada’s Number One Tribute to Metallica,” stop using the Metallica name and the following logo:

What Town will Santa Visit in 2016?

Due to the numerous changes in copyright law over the years since the song was written in November of 1934, “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” has taken quite the winding path “to town.”

Fight Songs: Campaigns and Copyrights

It’s campaign season, which means candidates are selecting their campaign songs. Not surprisingly, this tradition often results in bands and songwriters objecting to the use of their songs by candidates they do not support. What happens next depends on the copyright holder.

Copy + Paste = Copyright Infringement

Let’s get the moral of the post first: Don’t copy and paste from other people’s websites or materials to use on your website or materials. Just because it is on the internet doesn’t mean its free to use.

(Not so) Happy Birthday!

Have you ever heard the song “Happy Birthday” performed by the wait staff at a restaurant? If so, you were likely a witness to copyright infringement. At least that’s what Warner/Chappel Music would maintain.

Symbol of the United States

On Independence Day (and throughout the year) people show their affection for the United States through symbolism. However, many people are not aware that the use and reproduction of the famous and important United States symbols are regulated by various laws.

Apple Listens When Taylor Swift Blogs

Apple, Inc. announced that Apple Music will be available in 100 countries starting June 30. There will be no free-tier option, but there will be a three month free trial, after which a monthly charge will occur to use the streaming service. This sounds like news, but not big news. Streaming music services have been around.

The Emperor Has Little Protection For His Clothes

Over the past few weeks, New York, London, Milan and Paris have been showing off the fashions that will be “it” for the fall. In Europe, fashion designs may be eligible for industrial design protection. However, in the United States, there is no such specific protection.

No matter how you say it…

The Copyright Office has been very clear, copyright law does not protect recipes that are “mere listings of ingredients.” However, copyright protection may extend to something like a cookbook that has substantial literary expression…