The AmeriKat is celebrating her 2nd birthday this week (she will leave you to calculate her age in Kat years). During the past few days she has cast her mind back to reminisce over the past two years in music, film, politics, and law. When she was a fresh kitten, the radios were booming with Madonna, Queen, Beastie Boys and Peter Gabriel and movie theaters were welcoming audiences to watch Top Gun, Pretty in Pink and Aliens. And in law, in the January that the AmeriKat was born, Kodak lost a patent infringement case with Polaroid, a loss which signalled Kodak's exit from the instant camera business. Today, we may still have Madonna booming away, but this time it is through our iPods. Patent law has also come a long way from the instant camera days. Nowadays our patent wars focus on mobile phone technology, albeit still concerning their camera technology as well as their touch-screen capabilities. This brief journey down memory lane just goes to show that over the past two *cough* years, everything changes, but everything stays the same be it in music or in IP law.
MJ's estate increases litigious activities - Last week, Michael Jackson's estate sued a website who is selling a book written by the singer's mother, Katherine Jackson, alleging copyright infringement. As reported by the Associated Press, Howard Mann, who operates the domain name www.jacksonsecretvault.com (picture, right - a shot of the allegedly infringing website left) is on the recieving end of the suit that alleges that he and the website are infringing copyright and are also liable under unfair competition laws. The complaint is reported to allege that the site is using the late singer's likeness and sketches that he drew and is said to creating a fasle endorsement by virtue of the inclusion of a "special thanks" to the estate. In a statement, the estate's attorney Howard Weitzman said that
"The Estate had hoped Mann would voluntarily cease his conduct but that was not to be. People who trade off of Michael's personality, copyrights and trademarks should not be allowed to exploit the legacy of one of the world's most recognized talents for their own benefit."
"will greatly expand the usefulness of the PPH program to applicants and the offices. The new PCT-PPH pilot is scheduled to launch on January 24, 2011. The PPH pilot program and the PCT-PPH pilot program between the USPTO and IPAU are both currently scheduled to continue until April 13, 2012."