Entries by graubartmaster

Another Aspect of Design: Trade Dress

{4:30 minutes to read} In my last post, I discussed the design patent, a form of protection available under the Patent Act to protect designs that are “primarily ornamental” rather than those which – like most inventions one normally thinks of in connection with the Patent Act – are “primarily functional.” Design patent protection can […]

Copyright and Trademark: Titles, Words & Short Phrases

{4:12 minutes to read} It is a truism among intellectual property lawyers that no matter how often one may encounter discussion of a “copyrighted word” or a “copyrighted phrase”—and this notion appears frequently in media—copyright law generally does not protect titles, words, slogans or phrases.[1] In the United States, the Code of Federal Regulations specifically […]

The Blurry Boundaries of Copyright

  {3:54 minutes to read} My practice—and accordingly this blog—focuses on copyright, or at least on what we call  “copyright” in the United States. However, “copyright” is only one segment of a broader spectrum called “intellectual property,” and—as is often the case with segments of a spectrum—the boundaries are somewhat arbitrary, and the subject matter […]

What is Intellectual Property?

{3:54 minutes to read} “Intellectual property” consists—as the name suggests—of “creations of the mind,” and more specifically, of commercially valuable aspects of those creations. [1] As the name also suggests, “intellectual property” is a subcategory of “property.” Unlike, for example, real property (land) or chattel (other tangible property, such as a car or a horse), […]

The Copyright Infringement Class Action: Cost-Effective Recovery for Low-Value Cases

{3:54 minutes to read} No matter the value of an infringement claim, there is no way to enforce a copyright claim except – literally – to make a federal case of it. The federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright disputes,[1] so copyright infringement actions must be brought in the federal courts. Federal courts, unlike […]

Public Performance, Communication & Display: What Is “Public”?

{3:06 minutes to read} As discussed in earlier posts, among the exclusive rights accorded to copyright holders is the right to perform or display their works publicly, or to authorize others to do so.  Consequently, copyright law generally limits the exclusive rights of the copyright holder, and thus permits certain private uses of a protected […]

Public Performance of Music: Dramatic, or Non-Dramatic?

“On entering an opera or concert hall in Paris you come face to face with a long counter, presided over by three gentlemanly-looking individuals in evening dress, to whom your ticket is given, they replacing it with another, by which you are seated.” — New York Musical Courier, Oct. 1894. {4:06 minutes to read} Two […]

Copyright Registration – Fact and Myth

[Time to read: 4.8 mins ] Generally speaking, works published in the US before January 1st, 1978, were only protected by copyright if they were registered at or before publication. Under the current Act, all works are subject to copyright protection from the moment of their creation, regardless of registration.   Unfortunately, this change has […]