Inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and marks, titles, and photographs used in trade are all examples of intellectual property (IP).

We as a society deal with a lot of intellectual property-protected goods and services. Multiple IP branches can be used to secure a single product or service. A phone, for example, is protected by design and patent law, as well as copyright and trademark law.

In this post, the author will discuss a few aspects of a podcast that are protected by intellectual property.

So, by the end of this article, you’ll know which of these aspects of your…


A trademark is a symbol, term, or words that have been legally registered or identified as representing a business or product through their use.

Here are a few trademarks that I find to be interesting.

  1. Let’s get ready to rumble

In 1984, Michael Buffer coined the term “Let’s get ready to rumble!” By 1992, he had licensed the term as a (US) federal trademark. The catch has provided $400 million in revenue from trademark licensing as of 2009.

2. Face

Image found on google images

Although it may seem that claiming the word “face” is excessive, Mark Zuckerberg was able to do so following the…


Dr Seuss Enterprises, L.P. (“Seuss Enterprises”) holds the majority of the copyright and trademark rights to Theodor Geisel’s Dr Seuss series of books. Dr Seuss published 47 books, which have sold over 35 million copies around the world. His books use playful rhymes and drawings of fantastic creatures to entertain children. In 1957, The Cat in the Hat was first published.

The Cat NOT in the Hat! was announced by Dove, Inc. in 1995 as a forthcoming book. Dr Juice’s parody, written by Alan Katz and Chris Wrinn. The book was distributed by Penguin Books USA.

The Cat NOT in…


The Slants are an all-Asian-American dance-rock band from the United States. Sometime in March of 2010, the Slants’ creator, Simon Tam (Tam), filed their first application to register “The Slants” as a trademark, which was denied. The band unsuccessfully appealed the decision of the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Tam applied for a second time in 2011 to register the mark THE SLANTS for “Entertainment in the nature of live performances by a musical band,” as the band had been doing so since 2006. The examiner declined to register the mark because it was considered insulting to “people of…


My Other Bag is a company that sells everyday canvas totes with sketches of luxury brand handbags on one side and the phrase “My Other Bag” in big print on the other. Louis Vuitton was not impressed when My Other Bag sold bags that had Louis Vuitton’s trademark.

A complaint was filed by Louis Vuitton, alleging trademark infringement and dilution, among other things. The district court granted summary judgment to My Other Bag, finding that My Other Bag’s items are parodies and therefore not actionable sources of trademark infringement or dilution. …


The short answer is yes. South African patent laws, according to the author, tend to favour pharmaceutical companies rather than the public that needs lifesaving drugs.

Introduction

South Africa as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is required to uphold minimum standards of Intellectual Property (IP) protection as defined by the international agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the ‘TRIPS’ agreement). The TRIPS agreement requires its signatories including SA to grant 20 years of patent protection on products and processes that meet SA’s patentability criteria. [1]

The criteria for patentability in the Patents Act are:

1…


It is quite common especially in this day and age to hear that one person is accusing another of stealing their intellectual property, whether it is a song, show or book. For this piece I will be focusing solely on TV formats and whether they can be protected.

A TV format is the overall concept and branding of a show. The most common TV formats are found in reality shows and games shows, think Big Brother, Idols, Survivor etc.[1]

Between 1997 and 1999, Gwen O’Donnell drafted a screenplay called “The Funk Life” and the show centred around the lives of…


To maintain the validity of a trademark you would need to use it. Failing to do so it could lead to your trademark being expunged.

In this piece, we will be looking at how Billy Batson lost his alter ego to Carol Danvers.

In 1939 CC Beck and Bill Parker created Captain Marvel the alter ego of Billy Batson.

Captain Marvel made his debut appearance in 1940 in Whiz Comic (owned by Fawcett Comics). Captain Marvel was a hit and even outsold Superman. …


Originality is the cornerstone of copyright law. The issue of originality has never been easy to determine. Depending on which country you are from, different standards of originality are used. Accordingly, there is no such thing as a universal standard of originality.

But regardless of which standard of originality one chooses to follow[1], there is no shortage of arguments and disagreement between creatives about what constitutes imitation on one hand and inspiration on the other.

Voltaire once said “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.” It is well known that Joseph Campbell’s “The…


It is common knowledge that Copyright law grants protection to authors for the creation of their original work. Broadly, two types of rights are offered to the author once a work is copyrighted, namely, an economic right and a moral right.

Economic rights give the author the right to exploit the work they created financially and moral rights provide the author with a mechanism to protect the reputation and integrity of their work.

Most people are familiar with the kinds of work that copyright normally protects i.e. books, magazines, newspapers, music, paintings, photographs, films, video games, original databases etc.

In…

Mpho Gama

Nerd at heart

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