IP Geeks Rejoice: 13 Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review (2009) is Here

The thirteenth volume of the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review (Summer Edition 2009) has recently been published and is now available.   Our outgoing editor-in-chief, Melissa Benko and her excellent board have done an outstanding job once again. Highlights of the issue include: * Jessica Litman’s wonderful and innovative Nies lecture on current copyright reform; *  Interesting articles by Vanessa Rollins, Amy Tindall, Dmitriy Vinarov (and me, but I am not wearing that hat today!) on diverse subjects such as trademark…

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The Eighties and The Midwest: Who We Think We Are

breakfast clubI was going to write a very compelling piece on What Commissioner Kappos Should Do About Tafas (which I care very, very much about in my scholarship and which is actually more important than this particular blog post), but I got distracted again.   This time, I was mourning the death of John Hughes, the filmmaker behind Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful

I love John Hughes.  I do.  I almost missed Hurricane Katrina descending on Oxford, Mississippi, because there was a John Hughes retrospective on the same day.  I had more important things to do than pay attention to rather persistent hurricane warnings, as well as my sister and my Grandma Rosa (who were all kind of suggesting to me that a major weather crisis was heading my way).  (more…)

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Michael Jackson v. Prince: Thinking About Copyright, Intellectual Property, and the Age of the Eighties

12-0135tIrene’s recent post on why we love intellectual property gets at its certain power–its ubiquity in everyday life. The recent death of Michael Jackson speaks to that particular ubiquity. What was necessarily powerful about his death was that for kids of a certain generation (maybe if you were born between 1972 and 1980?), his music served, as the pundits keep saying over and over, as the “soundtrack” of our lives. I remember one slumber party where all of the Michael Jackson videos played over and over and over for 24 hours (those poor parents). The summers of 1983 through 1985 were consumed in the great debate (forget US v. USSR) of the middle 1980s: who was better, Michael Jackson or Prince! I was a stone cold Prince fan, who marshaled my arguments as if I was getting ready for battle (Purple! Let’s Go Crazy!, Purple!). I was usually in the minority in that one, as no one could top Michael’s videos (did Prince dance with zombies (No!), could Prince moonwalk (No!), could Prince rock that awesome red jacket (No!)).

This “great” debate of the Eighties morphed, though, in the Nineties, into a more interesting debate about, strangely enough, the performance artist’s relationship to copyright. (more…)

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Favorite Wisconsin/Seventh Circuit Cases: A “Non-Patent, Patent” Case

This is an unusual blog post for me in that for once I am playing it straight with Michael’s request of the month. Just one case will be discussed! This, however, is not through any intentional strategy on my part. To use a colloquial phrase “the pickings were slim” since the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit hears most patent-related matters. To say the choice was “slim,” however, does not mean there was no fertile ground, and so I am selecting County Materials Corp. v. Allan Block Corp., 502 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 2007), as my “favorite case.”

In County Materials, the Seventh Circuit, among other items, analyzed whether County Materials (a Wisconsin corporation) could sustain a claim of “patent misuse” against Allan Block (a Minnesota corporation). The case is an interesting one because County Materials is a great example of what, in her opinion, Judge Diane Woods (awesomely) refers to as a “non-patent, patent case” that falls within the jurisdiction of the regional courts of appeals, rather than the Federal Circuit, because the dispute before the court was not one where federal patent law creates the cause of action or is necessary to resolve the circumstances of the case.  (more…)

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