Intellectual Property

When Rick told Ilsa that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, he was right, because a hill of beans is worth a whole hell of a lot thanks to Monsanto.

Today, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., an appeal from the Federal Circuit regarding the extent of Monsanto’s rights in patented, genetically modified soybean seeds. In addition to the obvious stakes for the agricultural sector, the decision could impact the entire biotechnology industry, as well as computer software and nanotechnology. I mean, I want to know who holds the patent when the grey goo overruns the planet!

So, who are the players and why do they care?

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If you think you can buy this at Costco, your brain probably fits in this box.

If you walk into a Costco, buy a diamond ring, and think you are getting a “Tiffany” ring, you are an idiot and I have no sympathy for you. You deserve what you get and should probably practice breathing through your nose before going out in polite company.

But, luckily, Tiffany wants to stop you from being so easily fooled. Not because they care about you, per se. But because the thought that even one person thinks that Tiffany is selling rings through Costco is horrifying to them. It’s like asking a Penn student if they make it to football games in Happy Valley.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Tiffany filed a lawsuit against Costco to protect their brand….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Instead Of Buying Your Engagement Ring At Costco, Why Don’t You Just Give Her A Lump Of Coal And Tell Her To Sit On It?”

Ed. note: This post appears courtesy of our friends at Techdirt. We’ll be sharing law-related posts from Techdirt from time to time in these pages.

As we noted yesterday, President Obama is holding a “Fireside Hangout” via Google Plus today. In a bit of a surprise turn, he took a question about patents and patent reforms, with a specific question about software patents. And, his response was surprising. He admitted that there was a problem, and that there were some companies who were clearly not doing anything other than trying to “extort” money from others. Furthermore, while he pointed to the patent reform bill that passed in 2011, he also admitted that it really only went “halfway” towards reforming the patent system as far as it needed to go. If you click on the video, this takes place around 43:30 in the video….

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To clarify, this picture is an album, not a handjob joke.

Yesterday, musician Chubby Checker, née Ernest Evans (the man loves his alliteration), filed a $500 million lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard and Palm over a Palm Pilot app that was downloaded a mere 84 times.

Why?

Because the Palm Pilot app store apparently sported an application known as the “Chubby Checker” that allowed inquiring minds the ability to figure out penis sizes based on shoe size.

This case shocked me: did you know Palm still had assets?

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* What to do when your federal agency’s website has been hacked by Anonymous and you’re unable to post a major report online for public dissemination? Well, just ask a law professor to do it for you on his blog; that’s not embarrassing, not at all. [WSJ Law Blog]

* The many victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster can now rejoice, because yesterday, Transocean pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act, and will pay the second-largest environmental fine in United States history to the tune of $400 million. [CNN]

* Money takes flight: eleventy billion Biglaw firms are behind the beast that is this awful airline merger, but taking the lead are lawyers from Weil Gotshal for AMR and Latham & Watkins for US Airways. [Am Law Daily]

* After questioning the validity of one of the NBA players union’s contracts, Paul Weiss is withholding details about it thanks to the government’s intrusion. Way to block nepotism’s alleged slam dunk. [New York Times]

* “When is the last time you took the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street to trial?” Elizabeth Warren took the Socratic method to the Senate Banking Committee and she was applauded for it. [National Law Journal]

* If you liked it, then perhaps you should’ve put a ring on it, but not a Tiffany’s diamond engagement ring that you’ve purchased from Costco, because according to this trademark lawsuit, it may be a knockoff. [Bloomberg]

* “We feel very badly for Megan Thode.” A Pennsylvania judge ruled against the Lehigh student who sued over her grade of C+ because let’s be serious, did ANYONE AT ALL really think he wouldn’t do that?! [Morning Call]

* Sadly, Ronald Dworkin has died at 81. [The Faculty Lounge]

* Oracle really really hopes the Federal Circuit has read Harry Potter. But of course they have, because… nerds. [Groklaw]

* A 16-year-old is suing her parents to keep her unborn baby, claiming her parents are forcing her to have an abortion. I’m sure she’s just hoping to get on the next season of Teen Mom. [KPLR 11]

* Snake-handling pastor has his snakes confiscated by Tennessee cops. I had to read this twice because I assumed it was a recap from last night’s Justified. [WSJ Law Blog]

* An interesting look at the false dichotomy between teaching and practice. It’s probably unfair, but all I kept thinking was, “those that can, do; those that can’t…” [PrawfsBlawg]

* Jeff Kurzon is taking a break from suing law schools to run for Congress. If elected, Staci expects an invitation to the next State of the Union. [Jeff Kurzon Blog]

* Overlawyered cites, presumably with disdain, a school district banning the use of a piece of playground equipment. I’m sympathetic to the school for two reasons: (1) when I was a kid, I broke my arm on a piece of playground equipment; and (2) take a look at the death trap of a machine they’re banning. [Overlawyered]

* TestMasters claims that individual posters have been sharing their materials for free. This case sounds an awful lot like what brought down Litchfield Law School. [Courthouse News Service]

You can do so much with a law degree: securities litigation, real estate, executive compensation, porn production…wait, what?

The Internet, one of the greatest technological achievements in human history, is mostly for porn distribution (not really, but that’s the popular misconception). And if the Internet is littered with copyrightable pornographic material, there’s an opening for attorneys to make some money helping clients go after those who steal that material.

But what if a law firm, operating through shell companies, started making its own porn in order to concoct its own causes of action? I mean, that couldn’t happen, right?

Well, Judge Otis Wright of the Central District of California suspects that may have just happened in his courtroom, and he’s not happy….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Threatens Alleged Copyright Troll With Jail Over Porn Complaints”

* DC Comics didn’t take kindly to a garage selling replica Batmobiles without permission. A federal court agreed. But if we outlaw Batmobiles, only outlaws will have Batmobiles! [Comic Book Resources]

* Mistrial in Philadelphia after the witness lost (part of) his head on the witness stand. [Philly.com]

* Taser or Lightsaber? I never thought that would be a serious question. [Legal Juice]

* A quick refresher from that “Law and the Vatican” course you took as a 3L. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A compilation of some bad courtroom (and quasi-courtroom) behavior including our friend from last week, Penelope Soto. [LOL and Smile]

* The Bratz case is so totally over. The result? A whole lot of nothing — much like the Bratz movie. [The Recorder]

* Shorter version of this article: Morpheus explaining, “But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see?…The very minds of the [nice legal academics] we are trying to save. But until we do, these [law professors] are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy.” [Inside the Law School Scam]

* New Mexico is considering a new law against bullying — but does it go too far? Does it? Answer me, you little wuss! [Volokh Conspiracy]

Cyber security is all the rage this week, with President Obama announcing that he’s working on a new cyber war plan and the Internets freaking out that the Super Bowl blackout was really a Chinese hacking effort.

Some of you probably assume the ATL front page was hacked this week. Don’t worry though…we made all those problems ourselves.

Cyber attacks on U.S. businesses have increased dramatically as savvy hackers look to steal financial and intellectual assets from computer systems. The smartest cyber criminals have even figured out the best way to get what they want is to avoid the target corporation entirely and aim straight for their law firm — the soft underbelly of American cyber security…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Luddites Handle Cyber Security, You End Up With American Law Firms”

Ed. note: This post appears courtesy of our friends at Techdirt. We’ll be sharing law-related posts from Techdirt from time to time in these pages.

It’s almost that time of year again, when many of us lesser beings will gather together to watch super-human men on all manner of PEDs and deer antler urine sprays smack each other around while an oblong leather ball sits somewhere in the background. We’ll leap for the pizza and chili like salmon during mating season while, between whistles, obligatory commercials with Avatar-like production budgets glow at us. That’s right sports fans, it’s [editor redacted] time!

Wait, hey! What the hell? I said it’s [editor redacted] time! Oh, come on. I can’t say [editor redacted]? Fine, what about a euphamism, like [editor redacted]? No, can’t say that either? Maybe [editor redacted]? Damn it, this is stupid. I’m talking about something that rhymes with “Pooper Hole” (heh, got you, editor!)….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “One Of The Funniest S#*$r B$@l Ads You’ll See This Year Makes Fun Of NFL Trademarks”

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