Sunday, April 26, 2009


Today is World Intellectual Property day.  Not that any of my readers here would particularly care.  I celebrated by spending most of the day writing about IP.  (Does it count as celebrating when it's the same thing you do everyday?)

So, for a little celebration fun, here are some random items related to IP:

jeffersonJeffersonian ideas of property make our intellectual property laws different than the most of the rest of the worlds.  The IP clause in the constitution specifies that the protection of intellectual property is to promote progress, not protect the soul of the artist in works.


Victor_HugoHe wasn't just the writer that inspired the song that made Susan Boyle a hit, Victor Hugo was also an important player in the creation of the first collecting society.  At that time, the purpose really was to protect author and creator rights, rather than get money to labels and publishing companies.



Roy Orbison's hit song Pretty Woman was the center of the seminal case in parody Campbell v.  Accuff Rose.   The Supreme Court found rap group 2Live Crew's use of the song to be non-infringing because their song parodied Orbison's original.


juicy whip We've all seen the swirling juice machines at our local convenience stores, but did you know they were part of an important patent case?  In Juicy Whip v. Orange Bang the Federal Circuit addressed the "useful" requirement for patents and decided that deceiving people was useful.  (The swirling "juice" in the plastic cases is fake.  The real beverage comes from a concentrate syrup below the machine, just like a regular soda machine.)


coke This, alone, is valued at about 70 billion dollars ($70,000,000,000).  Not the company; just the trademark.  That is the power of a brand.



champagne The geographical indicator "Champagne" is so valuable that land inside the designated Champagne region lines is worth something like 700x the value of the land across the street.  According to my French-Canadian IP professor (who brought us Champagne for the last day of class), most of the stuff from across the street is just as good.

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