A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: apple

Hey That’s My Line! Now Pay Me!

Samsung Apple Ad

By Will Bartholomew

Cut to: A scene outside an Apple Store. A long line waiting for the doors to open. The text on the screen flashes “Los Angeles, California.  Only 7 hours to go.”

Young guy in a grey sweatshirt: “I heard that you have to have an adapter to use the dock on the new one.”

Another young guy in a grey sweatshirt “Yeah, yeah, but they make the coolest adapters!”

Samsung’s latest ad campaign skewers the cult of Apple by featuring hipster-types uttering lines like these. The ads are caustic. They target, grab hold of, and shake for all it’s worth the perception that Apple devotees are snooty, entitled, and clueless about the inferior caliber of their beloved products. The message is like a heat-seeking missile homed-in on the most vulnerable chinks in Apple’s armor.

These ads didn’t spring from the minds of marketing gurus in gleaming Manhattan towers, though. As The Wall Street Journal reports, many of the lines are the brainchildren of regular folks — maybe sitting on their couches, in sweats — posting on Twitter.

I don’t know about you, but if I came up with a real witty zinger, and then saw it in an ad on TV, I’d want some credit.  And compensation. Would I get it?

Is what we post on social networks our intellectual property? When our social networking gems are used by marketers — or in TV shows, movies, books, or music —have they been stolen? Can we sue?  LASIS explains.

(more…)

Comments

3 Comments »

The Mighty “I” in iTunes

iPod

By Pamela Schwartz

So you’ve kicked the bucket; this is unfortunate not only because you’re dead but because it would sure be a shame to let your stellar iTunes collection go to waste. Would it have been possible to bequeath your digital library to your grieving friends and family?

As this article in the Wall Street Journal pointed out, some of your digital treasures could be passed on by your starting a trust or storing your password for your loved ones. But when it comes to iTunes, when you’re dead, so is your collection.  This is because of the iTunes user terms of service, which makes the trust or password-sharing illegal.

We’re here to tell you why, and what could be done about it in the future.

(more…)

Comments

2 Comments »

Genericide: A Trademark Owner’s Worst Nightmare

genericide

By Jillian Raines
Every year, society loses more and more trademarks to genericide. While trademark owners try to raise public awareness of their unique brand through advertising, attempts usually prove futile. Genericide acts fast—one generic use leads to another until the once-protectable trademarks are wiped out from the market. Could one of Apple’s trademarks be next?

Currently, Apple is embroiled in a dispute about the phrase “App Store” (two words), which the company laid claim to in July 2008 through a trademark registration. In January, Microsoft decided to challenge the validity of Apple’s trademark in the phrase, claiming it has become generic. This hasn’t stopped Apple from attempting to enforce its mark, however; last month, Apple sued Amazon for using the phrase “Appstore” (one word) in relation to Google’s Android.

While media sources have been active in covering the current dispute, they have been pretty quiet when it comes to connecting the “App Store” debate to the long history of trademark genericide. (more…)

Comments

2 Comments »

Saber Rattling and the iPad: Truth v. Media Myth About the “iPad” Trademark

By Ted Wills

Used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user,

Within hours of the unveiling of the iPad, Apple’s newest electronic device, word of a possible Apple misstep hit news sites. In addition to the new device’s moniker being the butt of jokes, major media outlets gleefully reported what appeared to be a serious trademark problem for Apple’s nascent iPad brand. The Japanese company Fujtisu already has a device called an iPad. Fujitsu has been seeking a trademark registration for its iPad since 2003. Fujitsu announced that “it is aware of . . . . the possible infringement on our trademark.” Fujitsu’s trademark lawyer, Edward Pennington of Hanify & King, described Apple’s position as “awkward.”

But a closer look at trademark law and Fujitsu and Apple’s legal filings cast doubt on Mr. Pennington’s assessment of Apple’s position and may disappoint the journalists who smell blood in the water. Dan Hunter, an intellectual property professor at New York Law School, believes that Apple will have little difficulty in defending its trademark position for iPad. “Fujitsu will probably do some saber rattling and Apple will do some saber rattling back. But in the end, Apple is in a good position to defend against any infringement claims from Fujitsu.”

(more…)

Comments

No Comments »