Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Copyright Protection Period

From Lasercomb v. Reynolds, 911 F.2d 970, 975 (4th Cir. 1990):

In Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219, 74 S.Ct. 460, 471, 98 L.Ed. 630 (1953), the Supreme Court stated:

The economic philosophy behind the clause empowering Congress to grant patents and copyrights is the conviction that encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors in "Science and useful Arts." Sacrificial days devoted to such creative activities deserve rewards commensurate with the services rendered.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Liberal Comedian Sues Blogger To Supress Free Speach

Over at, a blogger selling "A Prarie Ho Companion" tee-shirts got hit with a cease & desist letter from Garrison Keillor's attorney.

It's free speach, so long as you agree with me, and aren't making fun of me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

In Peaceable Planet, Inc. v. TY, Inc., 362 F.3d 986, Judge Posner distinguishes the personal-name rule from a trademark infringement action brought by the maker of a plush camel named Niles:
In thinking about the applicability of the rationale of the personal-name rule to the present case, we should notice first of all that camels, whether real or toy, do not go into business. Peaceable Planet's appropriation of the name “Niles” for its camel is not preventing some hapless camel in the Sahara Desert who happens to be named “Niles” from going into the water-carrier business under its own name. The second thing to notice is that “Niles” is not a very common name; in fact it is downright rare. And the third thing to notice is that if it were a common name, still there would be no danger that precluding our hypothetical Saharan water carrier from using its birth name “Niles” would deprive that camel's customers of valuable information. In short, the rationale of the personal-name rule is wholly inapplicable to this case.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Courtblogging (day 2)

Day 2 of the "trial.". Yesterday afternoon we got through an hour of jury selection before we had to adjourn for the judge to hear another motion.

This morning's jury selection only went about 45 minutes before both sides agreed to 12 folks. It was at this point everything came to a screeching halt, when a jury member raised his hand to tell the judge he hadn't been sworned in. The rest of the jury chimed in that they hadn't been given an oath.

The judge was fuming at this point and sent the jury away. A few minutes later the judge had the jury clerk state she "didn't remember whether she swore in the jury.". The judge then had each and every juror member state that they hadn't been sworn in, which refreshed the jury clerk's memory- thne she remembered she hadn't sworn in the jurors yesterday.

I didn't think it was a huge deal in our case, since we hadn't even gotten to opening statements. Word is though that an un-sworn jury had already heard evidence in a criminal trial downstairs. They'll probably face a mis-trial, but hopefully we can avoid that fate.

It's been over an hour since the judge left, and there is no end in sight- much less the start of the trial. Now everyone is starting to consider the possibility of the trial spreading to Friday, or even Monday.


And several hours later the possibility of the trial spreading beyond the first failed voir dire evaporated within a few hours of settlement negotiations that essentially took place in the court room.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Now that would have come in handy.

Sadly, I did not have Legally Intoxicated's guide to the scope of Article 9 on my Secured Transactions test.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Patent Reform

The Washington Post reports on efforts at Patent Reform.

Monday, April 25, 2005

A former 1L professor of mine, Jennifer Collins, is guestblogging at Prawflsblawg.