Linsanity, Kodak, Apple, Pinterest, and Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom

Jeremy Lin filed an application to trademark the term “Linsanity” on February 13, 2012. In light of his overwhelming success for the New York Knicks, “Linsanity” has become the most popular phrase in America. Several people tried to file a trademark application for the term, but too bad for them, Lin has hired Arent Fox to file the application on Lin’s behalf. (For those of you who don’t know, Arent Fox is a very well known national law firm.) Let’s just hope Lin can keep up the Linsanity so that his trademark doesn’t become worthless.

Kodak has a lot of patents, and they claim that Apple and HTC has stolen several of their patents. The US International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate Kodak’s claims of patent infringement. Kodak wants to block the import of Apple and HTC products. The most interesting thing I have to say about this is that my professor from my Trademarks course in law school is the current in-house counsel for Kodak. My fondest memory of him is when he walked into class with a tshirt that said “Khronic” in the logo of Kodak and asked the class: “So is this trademark infringement?” He looked so silly and goofy.

Apple loses a trademark dispute!!! Is it possible? Has Apple really lost a lawsuit? If you can’t tell yet, my sarcasm stems from the fact that Apple loves to sue anyone that dares get in their way, and I secretly dislike Apple for being so litigation-happy (but not enough to stop using their products). Wapple.net Ltd, a UK-based web developer, wins the trademark dispute against Apple. “Wapple” is a made-up word with no real meaning, and the web developer states the name is derived from the acronym for “wireless application protocol (WAP).” Apple is always too eager to sue everyone for trademark infringement. Although “Wapple” and “Apple” rhyme, the products are entirely different and the marks are conceptually very different. This decreases the likelihood of confusion, meaning consumers will not think Wapple is from Apple and vice versa. Plus, who doesn’t like to say Wapple? Heh, Wapple, what a funny word.

Pinterest, the popular app used in conjunction with Facebook, responded to copyright infringement allegations by enabling websites to bar the sharing of their content. Websites who don’t want their content “pinned” can enter a code which bars users from using Pinterest on their sites. I have mentioned in some previous blog entries that in copyright law the goal is to strike a balance between protecting people’s intellectual property and keeping certain information free and open to the public. It is important to protect the intellectual property of these businesses who don’t want Pinterest to be used on their websites, but at the same time, they are missing out on the great benefit that can be derived from Pinterest – it is a great tool for product advertising. In a way, they are shooting themselves in the foot by not allowing people to “pin” the products they like and share it with their friends, which is basically free advertising!

Kim Dotcom goes free!!! A New Zealand judge determined that Dotcom was not a flight risk and released him on bail. He is under house arrest and prohibited from using the Internet. Dotcom is facing the biggest copyright infringement lawsuit in history for his widely popular file-sharing platform Megaupload, which was shut down earlier this year by law enforcement. United States officials are calling Dotcom’s file-sharing website the most egregious form of copyright infringement in history. Yeah, they are so serious. The United States is in the process of filing an extradition request. If granted, Dotcom would face the copyright laws of the United States, which could present many problems for him. The United States courts would chew him out!!! Poor guy, he is just a chubby geek who wanted to live the life of a rockstar.

 

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