Designs for patents

The ‘Patent Trial and Appeal Board’ (‘PTAB’) has 174 administrative judges, who hear appeals of actions by the USPTO, such as denials of patent applications.  In the past, the USPTO has been accused of packing the PTAB panels with handpicked judges to reach a desired result in a particular case. Panels of the PTAB also […]

Copyright

If one of your electronic car components fails or your cell phone dies, good luck getting it fixed or even diagnosed by a third party.  Your auto mechanic may not have the tools to diagnose the problem (and can’t get them) and good luck finding a third party to repair your cell phone.  Folks have […]

Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc: I know that Mickey Mouse is still enjoying copyright protection because of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and that once copyrights expire, characters become “public domain”. How can you explain some of the direct knockoffs I have seen at the Halloween stores, like “A-Lad-In A Costume?” Signed, Perplexed Papa Dear PP […]

  Here’s a familiar situation: the shuffling figure, arms outstretched moving slowly toward you, emitting indecipherable moans, munching on what could be human brains…  And the universal question: Is that a zombie or is it your teenage offspring?  The answer will determine whether you dispatch it in the most grisly way imaginable or feed it mac-and-cheese. […]

Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc: Barry Pincus sang, “I write the songs” back in 1975. (You probably know Barry as Manilow. But Bruce Johnston (of Beach Boys fame) actually wrote “I Write the Songs”, and it was first recorded by The Captain and Tennille (who were more famous for “Muskrat Love” which, it seems, was a favorite of […]