Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Innovators: Consider the Benefits of Microlayer Films

Microlayer films are stacks of think extruded layers of plastic materials which can impart unusual properties to an object or a package, including iridescence, mirror-like properties, and high strength. Microlayers are used in some Nike shoes (e.g., the Air Max 360) to provide elastomeric barrier films for air bladders, keeping the air contained much longer than would be possible for most single-component materials. Microlayers add security against thieves in windows reinforced with 3M's Scotchschield® Ultra films. A variety of perfume containers and other packaging have beautiful iridescent coloring from microlayer films. And these are just the beginning of the many applications.

A great article reviewing the potential of microlayer films is "Microlayer Films" New Uses for Hundreds of Layers" by Jan H. Schut in the March 2006 edition of Plastics Technology.

I would encourage you to think creatively about what this versatile technology can do for you and your product ideas.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Legal Protection of Digital Information: Online Treatise by Dr. Lee Hollaar

Professor Lee Hollaar of the University of Utah has written a detailed treatise on protecting digital content. It covers copyright protection and patent protection in significant detail, with information that is applicable to non-digital content as well (i.e., basics of copyright and patent law). His work, "Legal Protection of Digital Information," was published by BNA Books in 2002, but is now available for free online at Digital-Law-Online.info.

From the BNA Books introductory page:
Your complete guide to understanding-and strategically applying-intellectual property law in the dynamic digital age.

* Are computer programs copyrightable?
* What are the four "safe harbors" for network service providers?
* How do "Notice, Takedown, and Put-back" procedures impact your clients?
* What is fair use in the Internet environment?

Gain new insights into intellectual property law in the electronic age-and discover the key to protecting your clients' digital information-with this up-to-date and comprehensive treatise. Dr. Hollaar, registered patent agent, software and hardware developer, and lead technical expert in the Microsoft antitrust suit, has long been active in the interface between computer science and law. Now, the former Fellow with the United States Senate judiciary committee who advised on computer-related issues such as encryption, copyright and patent law, and regulation of the Internet, brings you insider information on the burgeoning area of intellectual property law as it applies to digital material.

Just as the Internet has made knowledge of copyright law important to millions, patents on software and business methods have made it necessary for corporate counsel to understand what is patentable and why. This expansive resource provides an introduction to patent and copyright law in the digital arena; cites key cases that define the scope of what can be patented; and gives incisive interpretations of important copyright and patent statutes, including one of the most complete discussions and analyses of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Drawing on his unique experience, Dr. Hollaar offers practical analysis of patent and copyright law in the electronic age and presents critical information in clear, straightforward language.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two Recommended Blogs on Trademarks

TTABlog® deals with trademark cases handled by the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and contains many lessons on trademark practice. Some of them can be valuable for anyone interested in trademarks. Another blog to consider is the Trademark Blog from the
Law Offices of Martin Schwimmer in Westchester, New York.

One of the significant cases mentioned on Martin Schwimmer's blog involves Adidas and Payless Shoes. Payless is facing a $305 million penalty for infringing the three-strip tennis shoe trademark of Adidas, one of the largest trademark awards ever. See comments at ConcurringOpinions.com/.