opinions, everybody's got one...
Saturday, February 08, 2003
Intellectual property run wild
I'm sure that there's a bit of good business sense applied here, but I was kind of saddened when I saw the following. What we can't copyright, we patent. What we can't patent, we trademark. What we can't trademark, we copyright.
Next time you throw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, remember that if you had applied for the patent before 1995, you could have been there first.
And while a lighter manufacturer was able to get a trademark for the shape of their lighters, you wonder who else will follow that route. Maybe a tire manufacturer can get a trademark for the shape of their tires?
If copyright law can be used to keep people from making replacement toner cartridges for printers, why not?
It strikes me that any of the above could have easily been used five years ago as companion pieces to a 1998 Onion article called Microsoft patents Ones, Zeros.
I am inspired to come out with a new line of foods after reading them though. One package would contain milk and cookies. Another would have donuts and coffee. I'm thinking of calling them "dunkables." I hope someone doesn't have the patent yet. Don't worry, you'll still be able to dunk in the privacy of your own home without having to send me a check.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Not a fraternity... at least not in the traditional sense. Six Sigma is a statistical term indicating a miniscule error rate. It is being used as an initiative by the DuPont Legal Model to strive for an enlightened efficiency.
Well then, what is the Du Pont Legal Model? It is an effort to provide a standardization to the legal services provided to the Du Pont entities, improving efficiency while cutting costs. I can see only two Delaware firms that are so affiliated: Morris, James, Hitchens & Williams LLP ; and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP. I am all for cutting costs and improving efficiency! Where do I sign up?
Smart move on the part of DuPont, and a nice inclusion in our profession.
Our Molly is in the arms of an angel (for puppies). May she find some comfort there.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
online sales taxes
A number of large online retailers are beginning to collect sales taxes online from people located in states which have sales taxes in their laws.
The companies are among the first in the nation to collect sales taxes from online shoppers across the country, not just shoppers who live in the states where the companies maintain actual stores or distribution centers.While that won't affect us in Delaware (billboards on highways on the State's border herald Delaware as the "Home of Tax-Free Shopping"), it will be a bit of a change to many.
The Access One Network Northwest (AONN) is a cyberwarfare unit that employs 2,000 people and has the support of the Department of Defense. It says so right on their website "aonn.gov." Or, it used to, until it was pulled by the General Services Administration which oversees the .gov domain. As far as anyone can tell, the agency doesn't exist.
Monday, February 03, 2003
frauds and scams inc
Here is an informative "museum" of scams and frauds. Cool!
I know Bill is gonna like their spam policy. :-)
Although, from an attorney's perspective, I think "death to spammers" could be a problem. Although I understand and to some degree share in the underlying sentiment, I cannot condone the suggestion of violence as an appropriate response to junk mail.
likenesses and rights
Imagine that someone took an image that resembles you, and created an cartoon character based upon it. What would you do? Is it libel? Is it parody?
Findlaw's Julie Hilden looks at the flap over an animated elf from Harry Potter, a President from Russia, and a potential "right of publicity" lawsuit in California.
how safe is your data?
A class action lawsuit in Canada illustrates the potentially fragile nature of data protection. A laptop which contained confidential information about possibly a million or so people, was apparantly stolen, and the data is now presumed to be in unknown hands. What steps do you take to protect your personal or business information?
the digital counterculture needs a name
Motherjones.com has a thoughtful interview with John Perry Barlow, who discusses a number of issues, including: