Wealth of Ideas Blog

An Unexpected Outcome of Legalized Pot - Part B

Submitted by General Patent on Tue, 11/25/2014 - 00:38

Hershey has won a trademark infringement lawsuit against a start-up Colorado-based company that makes marijuana-infused edibles that, the lawsuit alleged, resemble Hershey products. In its lawsuit, Hershey claimed that TinctureBelle manufactured and sold several products – Ganja Joy, Hasheath, Hashees and Dabby Patty – that too closely resembled Hershey's Almond Joy, Heath, Reese's peanut butter cups and York peppermint patty candies. In the settlement, the defendants agrees to no longer use those product names or Hershey’s brown, yellow and orange coloring in the their products packaging.

Here is what we want to know: If smoking pot gives you the muchies, then what must happen after you much on muchies that are pot-infused?

A Different Type of College Rivalry

Submitted by General Patent on Fri, 10/24/2014 - 01:07

The rivalry between Michigan State University and Ohio State University is long-standing and well known. For example, Ann Arbor (where Michigan State University is based) does not celebrate Columbus Day because Ohio State University is in Columbus.

A rivalry of a different sort has broken out. Oklahoma State University recently sued New Mexico State University for copying its “Pistol Pete” mascot. It appears that both state schools have been using similar mascots for years. OSU’s mascot is based on real-life gunslinger Frank Eaton (who, incidentally, we never heard of), since 1930, and since the late Mr. Easton is buried in Oklahoma, it believes it has rights to the name.

Here are the two mascots. Can you tell which belongs to which school?

Pistol Pete OSU             Pistol Pete NMS


They Should Make Him an Offer He Can’t Refuse

Submitted by General Patent on Fri, 10/24/2014 - 01:03

Frank Silvero (who, like Mr. Eaton, we never heard of) appeared in "The Godfather: Part II" and "Goodfellas." He is now suing Fox Television Studios Inc. for $250 million claiming that a character in "The Simpsons" is based on his performances in those two movies. 

Mr. Silvero played Genco Abbandando (we do not know who that is) in the second “Godfather” film, and Frankie Carbone (you guessed it, we do not know who that is) in “Goodfellas.” He claims in his lawsuit that “The Simpson’s” character Louie (sorry, we do not watch the show, so we do not know who that is either) is based on Mr. Silvero’s image and personal. 

We know trying to get out of jury duty is not patriotic, but in this case...

Everybody Does It, So It’s Okay

Submitted by General Patent on Fri, 10/24/2014 - 00:59

That is essentially the defense that singer Robin Thicke and his producer, Pharrell Williams, has put forth in a California federal trial in which they are charged with copyright infringement by the estate of Marvin Gaye. The Gaye estate claims that Thicke and Williams’s hit song “Blurred Lines” infringe on copyrighted material. 

Talk about “blurred lines.” Thicke and Williams defense is that the specific lines of music referenced in the lawsuit have been used by numerous artists over the years. The judge rejected a request by Thicke and Williams for a Summary Judgment, and the case will go to trial.

We know serving on a jury is your civic duty, but in this case...

That’s Why They Call Themselves “Beastie Boys”

Submitted by General Patent on Thu, 09/18/2014 - 03:04

The band Beastie Boys won a $1.7 million jury verdict against Monster Energy Co. in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Beastie Boys asserted that Monster Energy used the group’s songs in a promotional video. 

Monster Energy is appealing the award, cliaming that it was excessive and unsupported by evidence. We have to ask: Is that all you got? The jury thought Beastie Boys provided enough evidence, that’s why they awarded the group $1.7 million!

We also must ask – and we hope this was asked at the trial: Who ever heard of Monster Energy? And how many people actually saw its promotion video?

Jay-Z Tries to Wriggle Out of Copyright Royalties

Submitted by General Patent on Thu, 09/18/2014 - 02:57

Rapper Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records LLC, his record label, lost out in their request for quick dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records owes Dwayne Walker (who claims he helped design the singer’s logo back in 1995 in return for a $3,500 upfront and a 2% royalty on sales) $7 million! 

The question we ask is does the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller family know that Jay-Z is ripping off their family name? And what does rap music have to do with a robber baron oil zillionaire who give most of his fortune to charity?

Thanks to “The Big Bang Theory” Most People Now Know Who Stan Lee Is!

Submitted by General Patent on Thu, 09/18/2014 - 02:56

Back in 2012, Stan Lee Media Inc., owner of the Marvel Comic Book characters created by Mr. Lee – such as Spider Man and the X-Men – sued the Walt Disney Company for copyright infringement. Disney owns Marvel Comics, but Stan Lee Media (with which Stan Lee himself is no longer affiliated) claims it owns the copyrights to the actual characters created by Mr. Lee.

Now, after losing several rounds in court, Stan Lee Media is appealing an award of $240,000 in attorneys' fee to Walt Disney Company. It is clear that Walt Disney Company does not need the $240,000, the company simply wanted to punish Stan Lee Media for bring the lawsuit, and send a message to others thinking about doing the same.

Woody Allen Was Right

Submitted by General Patent on Wed, 08/27/2014 - 02:57

Woody Allen has been oft quoted as saying that “80% of success is showing up.” Well, 100% of failure is NOT showing up. 

Rapper Kanye West was just awarded a default judgment against the operators of a digital currency exchange called “Coinye West.” Mr. West had filed a trademark infringement claim against the operators of Coinye West, but when the defendants failed to show up in court, the judge issued a default judgment in favor of Mr. West and issued a permanent injunction against use of the term “Coinye West.” We can only wonder what the verdict might have been had they shown up in court.

Push-Up Bra Insert Patent Dispute Raises a Critical Issue

Submitted by General Patent on Wed, 08/27/2014 - 02:56

Runberg Inc. (that does business as “Zephyrs”) filed a $5.9 million malpractice lawsuit against law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP claiming that the attorneys’ patent-drafting errors allowed Amazon.com and Victoria’s Secret to infringe its invention for bra push-up inserts. Zephyrs claims that drafting errors rendered U.S. Patent No. 8,216,021 defective, and – worse yet – Zephyrs cannot now sue competitors during the "blackout period" that is in effect while it seeks a reissue of its patent.

Zephyrs claims to have lost $5.9 million in profits, and it also seeks reimbursement for its legal fees and expenses incurred in the reissue application process.

Here is what we want to know: The word “Zephyr” comes from Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind. Lincoln had a model called the “Zephyr,” and Amtrak runs a train from Chicago to San Francisco called the “Zephyr.” And both of those names make sense for those products and services. Why would a lingerie company adopt that name?

Do You Really Want to Go There?

Submitted by General Patent on Wed, 08/27/2014 - 02:53

Owner of the Washington Redskins, Pro-Football Inc., filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the USPTO’s cancellation of its “Redskins” trademark on the grounds that the term is disparaging to Native Americans. The Pro-Football lawsuit claims that the Trademark Office’s decision is “replete with errors of fact and law” and is unconstitutional.

One advantage of attending a baseball game is that when the home team is ahead in the ninth inning, they end the game and everyone goes home. In football, despite how far behind a team is, both teams play out the rest of time on the clock. Hasn’t the clock run out on this? Is this really a fight worth fighting? And won’t Pro-Football just end up red-faced and embarrassed?