Rethinking Design and Fab(rication) Law

Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at March 6, 2006 07:05 PM

How many blogs do you need to have before someone does an intervention?

Rethink(IP) is proud to announce our latest collaborative blog, no not that one, but the "Shape Blog."

The Shape Blog is a collaborative effort between at least six IP bloggers: the TTABlog, the Trademark Blog, and Rethink(IP).

Rethink(IP) will be heading up the patent (design and utility) wing of a discussion of the intersection of 3D shapes and the law.

This topic is actually very important. As consumers are able to economically fabricate more and more items at home, IP owners that were previously immune to how consumer technology impacts their bottom line are going to have to pay attention. Think about it. If one could merely download a torrent of a part schematic from the Internet and "print" it on their personal fabrication machine (laser cutter, CNC, etc), why would they ever go buy replacement parts (or the original device in general)? Hmm...much gnashing of IP owner teeth ahead.

Here's the RSS feed:


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Rethinking Trademark Law

Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at February 9, 2006 10:19 AM

Interesting thoughts via the INTA list yesterday (reposted here with author's permission):

Certain principles of trademark law seem at odds with each other. And no amount of judicial or legislative tinkering is able to properly account for their differences.

If we could start over and implement a new legal regime might we:

1. Take the public interest out of trademark law. Let local, regional or national consumer protection laws and regulations deal with consumer confusion. Then the private ordering of rights could be based solely on
rules of property- with dilution as the touchstone for measuring the rights associated with verbal and non verbal symbols.

2. Unchain the protection of brands from ongoing business goodwill. Let the law more easily recognize the value- if any- inherent in the symbols.

3. Bite the bullet and go to a first to file system

Dick Troll
Woodard, Emhardt, Moriarty, McNett & Henry LLP

Your thoughts?

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Rethinking Design and Fab(rication) Law
Open Sourcing Trademarks?

Open Sourcing Trademarks?

Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at January 17, 2006 09:09 PM

One of my favorite Rethink(IP) readers I've had the pleasure to trade emails and Skype chats with is Flock design guru Chris Messina. Chris reminds me a lot of Kevin Heller. Chris is open source rethinker extrordinaire.

Chris is a fellow blogger (blog: Factory City) and likes to push IP buttons thereon. For instance: EFF the RIAA and Intellectual Property Perpetuates the Intellectual Police State. With posts like that, you can see why he is a "must read" in my aggregator.

It was his recent post entitled The Case for Community Marks that caught my eye earlier. In that post, Chris makes the point that there is a:

need for a mark that is owned, operated and enforced by a community that isn't driven by purely economic interest. Instead, the motivation derives from the desire to uniformly represent their work product as the output of a specific community. Period.

Hmm...sounds familiar.

Section 4 of the Trademark Act (15 U.S.C. ยง1054), provides for the registration of "certification marks" and "collective marks:"

The term 'certification mark' means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof--

1. used by a person other than its owner, or

2. which its owner has a bona fide intention to permit a person other than the owner to use in commerce and files an application to register on the principal register established by this Act, to certify regional or other origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics of such person's goods or services or that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization.

The term 'collective mark' means a trademark or service mark--

1. used by the members of a cooperative, an association, or other collective group or organization, or

2. which such cooperative, association, or other collective group or organization has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register established by this Act, and includes marks indicating membership in a union, an association or other organization.

Maybe a hybrid of the two????

The comments are open....

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Rethinking Design and Fab(rication) Law
Rethinking Trademark Law