Primer: Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents

Around 500 BCE the government in Sybaris, the ancient city of Magna Graecia, started granting a one-year patent to any citizen for any “new refinement in luxury.” The Greeks, contributors of so many advances in the arts, philosophy, science, and government were the first who thought about and implemented protection for creators, unsuspected initiators of the intellectual property field. This seemed appropriate for the city which was recognized by its refinement and hedonism, to the…

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Hackers Making Selective Changes to Trademark Filings Underscore the Value of IP Assets

Bad guys are always looking to profit from other people’s properties and intellectual property (such as trademarks) is not the exception. You may be surprised that, yes, people steal businesses names, logos, copyrighted material, and that bad actors are getting more sophisticated in the way they take advantage of the owners. They are going high-tech. Just last week, mid-October 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued an e-mail alerting trademark owners of…

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Walmart and Amazon file patents that increase workers surveillance

A new Big Brother era may be coming to a store near you and even be part of your work environment soon. This month Walmart was awarded a US patent for a new listening system for its stores that could pick up communications from shoppers and workers alike, raising privacy concerns. According to the filing with the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USTPO), the system would capture sounds in the store, monitoring employees’ performance and…

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Aretha Franklin died without a will. Her Intellectual Property is also at stake

Aretha Franklin’s funeral was fit for the Queen she was, complete with four changes of outfits and several public viewings. To express their admiration and gratitude, her fans traveled from faraway places to be close to her in her final tour. The famous interpreter of RESPECT and Natural Woman died August the 16th, 2018 at the age of 76. Her voice and songs made her the Queen of Soul and the creator of invaluable intellectual property difficult to…

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Is Your Patent Firm or Attorney Calling You a Genius? Be Wary

The election of a good patent attorney is critical for your invention, your business plans, and your wallet. First of all, some important knowledge: Patent Attorneys are highly specialized business professionals.  On top of a rigorous law degree, bar exam and the acceptance to the state bar association, patent lawyers have a background in science and/or engineering plus a patent bar certification. That means years of education and knowledge on the  STEM (Science Technology, Engineering,…

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