Sunday, April 30, 2006

This is Why Cybersquatting is Never Going Away. The Washington Post reports in "The Web's Million-Dollar Typos." From the article: "Jackson said he has bought 6,600 domains and uses several different ad services to earn revenue on them. "I know quite a few guys making over a million dollars a year from advertising on their domains," he said. 'It's like a 24-hour money-printing machine.'"

Given the amounts to be made off of such practices, UDRP complaints are unlikely to be a deterrent. Yet few clients are willing to spend the money to bring a lawsuit under the ACPA. I still maintain that this (as well as the Stoller situation) is ripe for the trademark owner's equivalent of a class action lawsuit.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Get Drunk With Your Favorite Bloggers. As Marty writes, a number of IP bloggers are having a happy hour during INTA. I plan to stop by for a while.

Details: Tuesday night, May 9, 9:30 - ?
18 King Street East (at Yonge Street)
Toronto, Ontario M5C 1C4

(Bets on who will be first to dance on a table?)
Mystery Solved. Reuters reports that "Da Vinci judge's secret code revealed." From the article: "'The message reveals a significant but now overlooked event that occurred virtually 100 years to the day of the start of the trial,' he said in a statement."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

So Who Can Figure it Out? Reuters reports in "Latest Da Vinci mystery: judge's own secret code." From the article: "He said Smith told him to look back at the first paragraphs. The italicized letters scattered throughout the judgment spell out: 'smithcodeJaeiextostpsacgreamqwfkadpmqz.'"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More Work for Copyright Lawyers. Reuters reports that "Bill seeks music royalties for satellite downloads." From the article:
"The birth of the digital music place has been a boon for businesses and consumers. However, these new technologies and business models have become so advanced that the clear lines between a listening service and a distribution service have been blurred," Feinstein said. "I believe that the PERFORM Act would help strike a balance between fostering the development of new technologies and ensuring that songwriters and performers continue to be fairly compensated for their works."

Record industry executives want so-called "parity" among the different download platforms. They argue that the new devices XM Radio is bringing to the market that allow customers to save songs on the receivers without paying for the download rip off the copyright holder.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ugh. Some spammers have been spoofing this domain name to send out stock spam, and my inbox is filling with bounce-backs. So far, I'm having only minimal luck shutting it down (why, oh why can't mail delivery programs provide the full header information with a bounce-back?). So, if you've come here because you received a message from someone at, please know that it was not sent by me.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Here We Go Again. C-Net reports that "Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill." From the article:
For the last few years, a coalition of technology companies, academics and computer programmers has been trying to persuade Congress to scale back the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now Congress is preparing to do precisely the opposite. A proposed copyright law seen by CNET would expand the DMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers.
Aren't Patents Territorial Like Trademarks? Reuters reports that "Top court seeks US view in Microsoft patent case." From the article: "The Supreme Court asked the Justice Department to submit its opinion on whether the court should grant a petition by Microsoft to review an appeals court ruling that held AT&T could seek royalties based on the foreign manufacture and sale of an infringing software product."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

But Can They Force Me to Stay in the Room? The AP reports that "New Technology May Force TV Ad Viewing." From the article: "Philips acknowledged, however, that the anti-channel changing technology might not sit well with consumers and suggested in its patent filing that consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Is There Such a Thing as Frequent Defendant Miles? E!Online reports in "A 'Da Vinci' Disclaimer?." From the article:
Per the London Times, Mikhail Anikin, a Russian art historian, has accused Brown of stealing several theories contained in his 2000 book, Leonardo da Vinci: Theology in Paint. The book claims the Mona Lisa is an allegory for the Christian Church.

Anikin is giving Brown one month to formally apologize and fork over half of the profits from the bestseller, otherwise he's vowed to take legal action in both Russia and the U.S. That would be at least the third such lawsuit Brown has faced; so far, he's two-for-two.
Good News for TiVo. Reuters reports that "TiVo shares jump to 2-year high after court win." From the article: "TiVo shares vaulted in early Nasdaq trade to $9.49, their highest level since April 2004, on the first trading day after a Texas jury ruled EchoStar infringed on TiVo's patents for digital video recorders. The jury on Thursday awarded TiVo some $73 million for lost profits and reasonable royalties."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Guess Dolby Isn't a K-Fed Fan. E!Online reports that "K-Fed: Blinded with Sampling?" From the article: "Federline's latest song, 'America's Most Hated,' was recently released through the aspiring rapper's MySpace page and seems to sample Mobb Deep's 'Got It Twisted,' which in turn had (legally) sampled a riff from Dolby's smash single."

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sounds Like the Perfect Exam Question. E!Online reports in "'Smallville,' Big Stakes." Fact pattern: The copyright to the character Superman is owned by Warner Brothers. The copyright to the character Superboy, i.e., the teenaged Superman, is owned by the family of the creator (after reclamation). Warner Brothers creates a television show based on the high school and college years of Superman. Is the resulting series a derivative work of the Superman character, or the Superboy character, or both? Even more interesting question from the article: "Freiman wondered whether the Superboy copyright issue would come into play 'anytime you have a young Clark Kent--which isn't just Smallville. [It could] affect anytime you have a Clark Kent flashback.'"
And Clients Think Litigation in the U.S. is Expensive. Reuters reports that "Brown vindicated in 'Da Vinci Code' court case." From the article: "Baigent and Leigh were denied leave to appeal and face a legal bill of over 1 million pounds ($1.75 million), although an increase in sales of their own book as a result of the publicity surrounding the case may ease the pain."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I Want My FiOS. Reuters reports that "US House panel backs help for telcos on TV service." From the article: "The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet voted 27-4 to allow companies to apply for a nationwide license to offer video service, instead of the current process in which they must negotiate with thousands of cities for individual licenses."
So What do You Think? The Marin Independent Journal reports that "Marin olive oil maker sues Safeway." Despite what the photo caption says, the suit involves trade dress and trademark infringement, not copyright infringement. So, what do you think?

Via Marty.
This is Patentable? Reuters reports that "Netflix may face tough fight in Blockbuster patent suit." From the article:
Netflix on Tuesday sued Blockbuster in federal court in San Francisco, seeking an injunction to stop Blockbuster from infringing on two patents that protect Netflix's business method.

The patents cover Netflix's practice of having subscribers prioritize 'queues,' or lists of titles they want to rent, on Netflix's Web site, and of automatically replacing each DVD that is returned for the next title on the subscriber's queue.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Interesting Article on Uncovering Anonymous Bloggers. discusses "How to Unmask an Anonymous Blogger." From the article: "This question is becoming increasingly important with the proliferation of blogs and Web postings for corporate criticism -- from to And whether companies and their in-house counsel pursue actions against bloggers in these cases involves more than the usual assessment of opportunity costs and the pure business interests of the company. There are limits to the rights of companies to compel an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to reveal the name of its customer, particularly when the ISP customer wishes to remain anonymous. This article explores what the courts are requiring companies to show before they will call for an ISP to divulge a blogger's identity and provides some guidelines in evaluating whether to pursue such a strategy." Via Marty.
All Eyes on Texas. Reuters reports that "TiVo's future may hinge on EchoStar patent case." From the article: "Some industry observers have put TiVo's chance of victory at 70% or more and see EchoStar paying TiVo damages of $95 million-$300 million. Possibly more important for TiVo, a ruling instantly would strengthen its hand in negotiating what have been very elusive licensing deals with cable TV companies that have been selling their own less-expensive DVRs and cutting TiVo out of the loop."