* LawLawLaw 2007-10-17

Technology, Law, Baseball, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Etc.

Introduction Stuff
Client Stuff
Law Stuff
Technology Stuff
Baseball Stuff
Rock ‘n’ Roll Stuff
Random Stuff

The opinions expressed in LawLawLaw do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Clock Tower Law Group, its employees, or the author. Enlarged to show texture.

Introduction Stuff

Be Yourself
One of the best pieces of advice that my mentor gave me as I was starting my practice was “be yourself.” I have applied this advice in my practice and on my blog. I do what I believe to be right (and fun). When you do that, you don’t have to worry about what other people think, because what you are doing is not contrived or scripted. It’s genuine. It’s you. So I blog about the law on my site, but I also blog about rock ‘n’ roll and the Red Sox. Not surprisingly, I end up with clients with eclectic interests whose company I enjoy (and business I appreciate). So thanks for reading, for blogging, and for your business!

Client Stuff

Clock Tower Law Group’s clients range in size from a sole proprietor to a publicly traded company. Here’s what some of them are up to.

Clock Tower Law Group Clients Sold To Public Companies (2007-08-31)
Clock Tower Law Group is a 3-person law firm (2 attorneys, 1 paralegal). 2007 is our seventh year. Three of our clients have been sold to public companies. So our ratio is about a quarter of a client sold to a public company per year per lawyer. If you check that (admittedly obscure) statistic against other firms, then I think we’re doing pretty well. Recent client success stories include Right Media’s sale to Yahoo! in 2007 and Inceptor’s sale to Verizon (now Idearc) in 2006.

Call-Em-All Freaks Your Mind
MindFreak is a website developed for magician Criss Angel and his show on A&E. During the video, Call-Em-All is used to make a phone call from Criss to the person watching the video so he can “freak their minds.”

Adelie Productions LANLounge Opens At Clark University (2007-08-22)
Adelie Productions launched an exciting, first-of-a-kind gaming center at Clark University in August for the return of students. The center is housed at Higgins University Center. The easily adaptable Adelie Productions entertainment solution is integrated into the existing student entertainment services provided at Higgins. Students have a unique opportunity to enjoy a state-of-the-art gaming center and lounge area for safe, on-campus entertainment.

Hello Stiletto Shoe Club On NBC’s Today Show (2007-09-04)
The Hello Stiletto Shoe Club was featured on the Today Show on NBC. Check out the video clip!

What your shoes say about you

BzzAgent on CBS Evening News (2007-10-02)
BzzAgent, a leading word-of-mouth marketing firm, was featured on the CBS Evening News.

Accelerated Cure Project’s Free Annual Events – One On Each Coast! (2007-08-06)
The Accelerated Cure Project (ACP) for MS is a national nonprofit dedicated to curing MS by determining the causes. Every year ACP holds a free event to introduce people to ACP and let its supporters know what ACP has been up to for the past year. This year’s events are 11/09/07 in San Francisco and 11/17/07 in Cambridge, MA. See the ACP website for details.

ACCESS by Comrex Ideal For Idol (2007-08-06)
The pop culture phenomenon, American Idol, setup camp in Dallas, Texas, as Idol hopefuls crammed into the long lines forming outside of Texas Stadium. Nationally syndicated morning host, Kidd Kraddick, sent his cast members, Taylor and JC, into the fray to capture the excitement. Using an AT&T 3G BroadbandConnect card plugged directly into the ACCESS Portable, Kraddick’s crew was able to interact with the rest of the morning show back in the studio and sample some of the vocal abilities of Idol hopefuls.

GuildCafe Making A Bit Of News (2007-07-28)
Game community website GuildCafe Entertainment Inc. has raised an undisclosed sum of venture capital from IDG Ventures Boston. GuildCafe allows users to host guild websites and network with players of similar games centered around the massively-multi player role-playing genre. The influx of cash will help increase staffing and management to add functionality to the site.

New Weekend Search Tool Uncovers Best Fares for Weekend Escapes (2007-08-28)
Kayak.com reinforces its position as the top travel site for airfare with a new “Weekend Search” that allows users to compare prices for upcoming weekends or all weekends within a specified month.

OurStage Teams Up With “Not For Sale” (2007-09-18)
For a limited time, sign up for OurStage, and OurStage will donate two dollars to the Not For Sale Campaign to end slavery.

OurStage Is On Facebook (2007-10-08)
OurStage is the 100% democratic monthly competition where the FANS decide who’s best in up-and-coming music and video. That means that the fans have the real voice and the artists get a fair shot. No cheating, no suits calling the shots, no celebrity judges. And now, OurStage is on Facebook.

Law Stuff

Erik’s IP Law Drawings
My IP law drawings (first drawn for a child) got a lot of attention this summer. The copyright drawing was picked up by Boing Boing and others. Here’s the full collection:

  1. Drawing That Explains Copyright Law
    Copyright rights, unregulated uses, and fair use.
  2. Drawing That Explains Patent Laws
    From Chief Justice to the patent examiner.
  3. Drawing That Explains Patent Disputes
    And what’s wrong with law school education.
  4. Drawing That Explains Provisional Patent Applications
    Provisional patent applications are rarely the best solution for startups.
  5. Drawing That Explains Patent Costs
    How to control the cost of filing a patent.

The Beginning Of The End Of Cybersquatting And Typosquatting? (2007-07-26)
Dell, Yahoo, Marriott and others have formed the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse to lobby for domain name law reform. Many cybersquatters and typosquatters register domain names that are the same as or confusingly similar to registered trademarks, and the law has not yet caught up to them.

Patent Bar v. Trademark Bar: The Legal Satyricon (2007-08-01)
Many trademark lawyers look down on patent lawyers who file trademark applications. I think that’s because many trademark lawyers have an inferiority complex because, unlike patent lawyers, they are not required to have an engineering degree or pass the equivalent of the patent bar exam. I know patent lawyers and non-patent lawyers who don’t file enough trademark applications to do a good job. (Clock Tower Law Group is a patent law firm and a trademark law firm, with about half of our time spent practicing each.) That said, there is a world of difference between how you should draft patent applications and trademark applications. Most patent applications are drafted broadly initially and then narrowed in scope during the course of prosecution. But if you draft a trademark application the same way, then you invite problems. Unlike most patent applications, all trademark applications are public documents, and part of the trademark application process is the “publication” phase, which gives third parties a chance to object. If you draft a trademark application too narrowly, then you may end up with coverage that is too narrow. But if you draft a trademark application too broadly, then you may end up inviting conflict that could have been avoided.

Funny Trademark: Geeky Singles
Where geeks come to meet!

New Copyright Office Records Search (2007-09-13)
The Copyright Offices announces better, faster, stronger, Boolean searching. (Patent searching still sucks.)

Technology Stuff

Give Your Business Google Presence (2007-08-15)
Ernie The Attorney suggests that lawyers and other businesses can benefit from registering with Google’s Local Business Center to appear in local search results. Google Local is the new yellow pages.

Web Designers, Linearize Online Addresses (2007-08-30)
In the Internet age, addresses are optimized (for online search engines and maps) when written on one line (e.g. “123 Main Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514”). Addresses written on two lines are designed for the postal age and are sub-optimal for websites.

Google Reader Adds Search (2007-09-06)
First it was essential to have email. Then it was essential to have a website. Today it is essential to have feeds. If you have a business, then you should have email and a website, and your website should offer feeds. If you are a consumer, then you should use a feed reader (like Google Reader) to make the web come to you (rather than going out to get it). And now that you can search your feed subscriptions (e.g. to find that site that you “bookmarked” with Google Reader), Google Reader just got lot better.

Memories Of Mom Lost Due To Hard Disk Crash (2007-09-14)
This story will break your heart. And make you want to back up your data.

Why You Should Mouse with the Other Hand (2007-09-25)
Here’s a report that says that being ambidextrous with the mouse can increase your brain power. That’s good news. I am right-handed but have been using the (right-handed) mouse with my left hand for about a decade. I did it to relieve the stress on my right hand, but I’m glad to discover that there are other benefits!

Love And Entrepreneurship (2007-10-13)
This is an absolutely wonderful piece by Brian O’Kelley about the risks that one takes when starting a business or entering a relationship. Here’s one quote: “I can’t make people buy my products or invest in my service or fall in love with me. Sometimes I wish I could. But then I would never fail, never feel pain, never discover unrealized courage, never sense the sublime.” Read the rest, you’ll enjoy it.

Baseball Stuff

How To Not Jinx A No-Hitter (2007-09-02)
Clay Buchholz’s no-hitter just what the doctor (and Red Sox Nation) ordered.

Red Sox Perfect Game (2007-10-03)
A perfect game with my son.

Red Sox On Verge Of Historic Comeback (2007-10-17)
Down three games to one in the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians, the Red Sox are preparing to win three consecutive games to with the American League championship and secure their spot in the World Series against the upstart Colorado Rockies. The Red Sox are planning on beating the Rockies in four straight.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Stuff

We are 25 years into the digital audio revolution, yet many companies are still betting against the Internet. But there is evidence that we may be emerging from the dark ages of the Internet. Radiohead and other bands ditched their record labels to pursue nontraditional (i.e. essential, common-sense) marketing methods for their products. Following Apple’s lead, Amazon began offering DRM-free MP3 downloads. Then Apple, whose iTunes store has sold 3 billion songs in its first 4 years, lowered the price on its DRM-free iTunes songs from $1.29 to $0.99, presumably to compete with (bury?) Amazon. Even The New York Times began to see the digital light. The New York Times freed 20 years of archives, ending its failed pay-to-read TimesSelect service. There are plenty of counter-examples, but let’s consider the glass half full.

Apple Calls NBC’s Digital Download Bluff (2007-08-31)
NBC (foolishly) decided not to renew Apple’s distribution of its TV shows via the iTunes Store, and then Apple pulled the plug early on NBC saying that Apple “declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99.” Have you purchased any NBC shows since they left iTunes? Neither have I.

EFF Whines About Ringtones (2007-09-10)
I usually agree with the EFF, but not this time. In a piece entitled “iTunes Ringtones: Making You Pay Again For Music You Already Own,” the EFF goes a bit too far in complaining about Apple practices. Nothing but (the hassle of) time prevents users from creating ringtones from music they own. For those that don’t want the hassle (and it is a hassle) of creating ringtones from scratch, Apple lets you purchase them. Apple is not forcing anybody to purchase ringtones. Nor should Apple be required to put ringtones in its store for free. The glass is, I believe, half full. More options in the digital music space (especially DRM-free music) is a good thing. Despite the EFF’s crying wolf on this one, the glass remains half full.

Yahoo! On Music: Convenience Wins, Hubris Loses (2007-10-09)
Jeremy Zawodny does a great job of summarizing a music presentation by Yahoo! Music GM Ian Rogers. Ian writes: “If the licensing labels [who] offer their content to Yahoo! put more barriers in front of the users, I’m not interested. Do what you feel you need to do for your business, I’ll be polite, say thank you, and decline to sign. I won’t let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience.” This is must reading for those in the music industry. It’s not too late to save your sinking ship. Just stop loading the decks with bricks!

Random Stuff

America’s Best Pizza: Pepe’s, New Haven, CT (2007-09-04)
In the early 1980s when I was visiting prospective undergraduate colleges in the Northeast, I visited Yale in New Haven, CT. Not because I wanted to attend Yale (Yale didn’t have ROTC, so there was no way I could afford to attend) but because I wanted to taste pizza from Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven. Pepe’s actually ruined the pizza experience for me. Their pizza is so good that I’ve felt short-changed with every slice I’ve eaten since.

Bob Dylan Message Generator (2007-09-06)
In 1967, Bob Dylan made a classic opening segment for the documentary “Don’t Look Back” using the song “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Now, the site advertising his upcoming collection allows you to substitute your own text for the title cards from that film clip.

Square One Puzzle: Harder Than Rubik’s Cube (2007-09-12)
This site features the Square One puzzle. Or perhaps a knock-off of that puzzle. (Perhaps the patent expired.) This puzzle is harder than Rubik’s Cube because the pieces are not identical, allowing the puzzle to have non-square orientations. First you have to get it into a square, then you have to solve it. At MIT, I was able to impress my friends with two skills: picking locks and solving Rubik’s Cube. I solved Rubik’s Cube without the benefit of reading the “solution,” and I have never been beaten by any three-dimensional puzzle. I got Square One as a gift sometime in the 1990s. It took me four months to solve it the first time (again, with no help). I also learned that working on three-dimensional puzzles is good way to avoid conversations (if that’s your goal) while traveling on planes. Nobody wants to talk to the puzzle geek!

Fake Gorilla Drums For Candy (2007-09-14)
I like this video, and the write-up of it. It’s no Code Monkey, but it’ll do.

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks (2007-09-18)
The “title” almost says it all. For example, how much protection can someone dubbed a “security guard” really provide in place of your classic old-style security guard?

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