* LawLawLaw 2013-07-18

A newsletter by Clock Tower Law Group founder Erik J. Heels about trends in technology, intellectual property (IP) law (patent law, trademark law), baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll.


My name is Erik Heels, and this is my LawLawLaw newsletter: subscribe at http://www.LawLawLaw.com.

LawLawLaw is about technology, law (mostly patents and trademarks), baseball (mostly Red Sox), and music (mostly rock). Besides being an attorney, I’m good at spotting trends, connecting people on social networks, fixing things, building treehouses, and a handful of other things. I try to keep LawLawLaw short (fail), relevant (win), and timely (draw).

Change is constant. In technology, law, baseball, and music. Well, perhaps the pace of change in baseball is not as great as in the other areas, but you get my point. When faced with change, I choose to adapt. But many do not. For example, I’ve been using Google Reader for years to compile this newsletter. But Google decided to shut down Reader, so I’ve had to go elsewhere for my feeds.

Thanks for reading!

Do not taunt happy fun ball.


Clocktower Law Group [Patent Law | Trademark Law]
2 Clock Tower Place, Suite 255, Maynard, MA 01754
Email Blog LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Google+

“The person who says ‘it cannot be done’ should not interrupt the person doing it.” – Chinese Proverb



Technology, Law, Baseball, Rock ‘n’ Roll

Tech Stuff

Trending down: old-school TV coverage of the Olympics, Newsweek in paper, typewriters, tape recorders, Google Reader.

Trending up: Facebook search, Android (but not for me).

* Powering Down Google Reader (2013-03-13)

* Android Is Popular Because It’s Cheap, Not Because It’s Good (2013-01-22)
America’s most popular restaurant: McDonald’s.

* Facebook Announces Graph Search (2013-01-15)

* Putting The Cassette To Bed: Sony To Discontinue Handheld Tape Recorders In 2013 (2012-12-09)

* Final Typewriter Made In UK (2012-11-20)

* After 80 Years, Newsweek Cuts Print Operation (2012-10-18)

* The Disappearing Web: Information Decay Is Eating Away Our History (2012-09-19)

* Alan Wexelblat: The Last Buggy-Whip Olympics (2012-07-30)
We hope.

Patent Law Stuff

Like many patent law firms, we were very busy on Fri 2013-03-15, the last day under the (now old) “first to invent” patent system, as the U.S. transitioned to a “first to file” (actually “first inventor to file”) system the next day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leahy-Smith_America_Invents_Act). In the name of harmonization. But beware of the names of things. We won’t really know the full effect of this patent “reform” until the new laws have been vetted by the courts. And the courts don’t care about the real world (see quote below). But don’t you think they should? I personally think that harmonization for the sake of harmonization is a bad thing. China is the world’s most populous country, but I don’t see folks rushing to harmonize U.S. human rights laws with China’s. In any event, change is constant. Our updated advice:

FILE BEFORE LAUNCHING. As of 2013-03-16, The U.S. is a first-inventor-to-file system (replacing the former first-to-invent system). As such, you should file your patent application BEFORE you launch (where “launch” is defined as sale, offer for sale, publication, or public use) your product/service/improvement. This is the safest way to protect U.S. and foreign patent rights.

IMPROVEMENTS. Improvements should be considered new inventions. If you file a patent on an invention and later make improvements to the invention, then the improvements may be separately patentable as separate inventions. As above, you should file patents on improvements BEFORE launching.

* Don’t Write This Letter to the Patent Office (2013-04-26)

* US Patent Law Changes To First-To-File (2013-03-16)

* The New 35 U.S.C. 102 (2013-03-16)

* Beware Of Patent Reform (2013-03-06)
Goodbye first-to-invent, hello first-inventor-to-file.

* Best/Worst Line From Today’s Supreme Court Oral Arguments In Already V. Nike (2012-11-08)
MR. DABNEY: Your Honor, in the real world, a business competitor…
JUSTICE BREYER: No, I’m not interested in the real world. I am interested in the record.

* Top 10 Things BigLaw Patent Lawyers Don’t Want You To Know (2012-09-26)
And won’t tell you. Srsly.

* Apple v. Samsung: Apple Wins $1.05 Billion Verdict (2012-08-27)

Trademark Law Stuff

Clocktower continues to help companies with naming, renaming, branding, and rebranding. What you want, of course, is the trifecta: the trademark, the domain name (dot-com), and the social usernames (primarily Facebook and Twitter). Our advice is not to fall in love with any particular name or brand. And be willing to change. It is usually easier to switch than fight. Those of you who remember the 1970s may recall a cigarette company that used the exact opposite phrase as a trademark in its advertisements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Us_Tareyton_smokers_would_rather_fight_than_switch!). But trust me about the whole fighting-vs-switching thing. And don’t smoke.

* Ron Paul Doesn’t Win RonPaul.com And Is Guilty Of Reverse Domain Hijacking (2013-05-24)

* Yankees Win! TTAB Sustains Opposition to “BASEBALLS EVIL EMPIRE” (sic) on Confusion and False Association Grounds (2013-02-21)
So the Yankees admit they are evil in order to oppose ‘evil empire’ trademark. Got it.

* Colors As Trademarks: The Gloves Are On In This Baseball Brawl (2012-07-11)

* Louboutin Wins Trademark Rights For Red Soles, As Long As They Contrast (2012-09-05)

Other Law Stuff

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” –Lord Acton

I teach my children to have a healthy respect for government. And a healthy disrespect. I still believe in the rule of law, not in the rule of man. But lately it’s been more difficult to distinguish actual headlines from the headlines in (satirical publication) TheOnion.com. This, too, shall pass.

* ACLU Sues Government Over ‘Dragnet’ Surveillance Of Americans (2013-06-11)

* Mississippi Finally Gets Around To Ratifying 13th Amendment (Abolishing Slavery) (2013-02-18)
Better late than never.

* Google, Facebook, Amazon [Finally] Form New Lobbying Association to Protect the Internet (2012-09-12)

* The UN Declares Internet Access a Human Right (2012-07-06)
But Finland did it first.

* Wikileaks Founder Gets Asylum (2012-08-16)

* Russian Punk Band Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For ‘Hooliganism’ (2012-08-17)

* Amazon Hires Privacy Counsel (2012-09-01)
It’s about time.

Baseball Stuff

My buddy John started offering me some of his season tickets after the 2008 ALCS (see my ALCS Game 5 post) and the start of the 2008 recession. The 2013 season is the 5th in which I’ve bought multiple games (4 in 2009, 6 in 2010, 6 in 2011, 9 in 2012, 10 in 2013). I buy more tickets each year, because I’m in it for the long haul! So while many gave up on the Red Sox after the “Valentine era” (is that a thing?), I did not. I’ll be a Red Sox fan for life! This has been a challenging year for Boston (due to the events of 4/15), but Boston will survive!

* Red Sox Player David Ortiz Declares During Pregame Tribute: “This Is Our F*cking City!” (2013-04-20)

* Red Sox Sellout Streak Comes To An End (2013-04-11)

* Opening Day: Red Sox 8, Yankees 2 (2013-04-01)
Not an April Fools’ Day joke.

* Zero Named to Baseball’s Hall of Fame (2013-01-09)

* MLB buys Rockies.com Domain Name For $1.2m (2013-01-08)

* Red Sox Officially Name John Farrell Manager (2012-10-21)

* R.I.P. Johnny Pesky (2012-08-14)

* Dodgers, Red Sox Complete Blockbuster Trade (2012-08-27)
Gone: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto. It’s officially a building year.

* What Cricket Looks Like To Americans (2012-07-19)
A little wide.

Music Stuff

Music remains awesome. You just have to look a litter harder to find the good stuff.

* Hype Machine Time Machine Takes You Back to Rediscover The Best Tracks of Years Gone By (2013-01-28)

* R.I.P. Dave Brubeck (2012-12-05)

* The State Of The Music Industry (2012-07-31)

* Internet Archive Enables Over 1,000,000 Torrents Of Books, Music And Movies (2012-08-08)

* The History of Rock N’ Roll In 100 Riffs (2012-09-02)

In-Case-You-Missed-It Stuff: Clocktower And Its Clients

Clocktower has been very busy. As have our clients.

* Beware Of Patent Reform (2013-03-06)
Goodbye first-to-invent, hello first-inventor-to-file.

* ‘Game of Thrones’ Facebook Game Opens to Fans (2013-02-25)

* My New Website/Blog: Local, Social, Mobile, Good Enough (2013-01-17)
Arguably one of the websites we’ve seen today.

* 10 years ago, I switched from MS Office to OpenOffice (2013-01-04)

* Drawing That Explains erikjheels.com Blog (2012-10-02)

* Top 10 Things BigLaw Patent Lawyers Don’t Want You To Know (2012-09-26)
And won’t tell you. Srsly.

* Shareaholic Raises Oversubscribed $3 Million Series A (2012-07-13)

Random Stuff

Res ipsa loquitur. Or whatever the plural of “res” is.

* When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth (2013-01-08)
A true story about a cat.

* CEO Autobiography: I was ridiculously lucky. The end. (2012-12-30)

* Why isn’t the sky violet? (2012-12-10)

* Disney Buys Lucasfilm, New ‘Star Wars’ Coming in 2015 (2012-10-30)

* Mash-Up: Office Space vs. The Matrix (2012-07-22)

* At 40, Atari Gives Eight Class Video Games To Everyone For Free (2012-08-30)


The LawLawLaw newsletter, available at http://www.LawLawLaw.com, is a publication of Clocktower Law Group. The opinions in LawLawLaw do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Clocktower Law Group, its employees, or the author. Feel free to forward this to anyone who might enjoy it. Send content/subscription questions to info@clocktowerlaw.com. Thanks!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One Reply to “* LawLawLaw 2013-07-18”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *