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December 2013 Archives

Bar in Missouri Gives Starbuck's the Proverbial Finger Over Trademark Matter

It is a good day to be an intellectual property attorney.  As I do most of my IP work for smaller firms and mid sized businesses. I am familiar with the occasional cease and desist letter from a larger entity that is somehow threatened by the upstart.  I know that this is because the larger business has to actively police its own service and trademarks, but I have often wanted to send back a letter like this small brewery did.  Technically, Starbuck's got what it wanted, but I think we all see who the real winners are in this one.

Judge Rules Sherlock Holmes is in the Public Domain...For Now.

In a potentially unexpected turn of events, a federal judge has issued a ruling which places Sherlock Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, and Professor Moriarty, among others, in the public domain. The ruling declares that the characters, written by Arthur Conan Doyle published prior to January 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law. This means that they can be can be freely used by persons, such as other authors, without paying fees to the Conan Doyle estate.

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