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Alt Legal IP News - Issue #16

Welcome to Alt Legal IP News, a weekly digest of IP news and developments, delivered right to your inbox. 

If you have an article or update you think we’d like, please send submissions to hannah@altlegal.com.
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You can now subscribe to our podcast, Alt Trademarks, on iTunes and Google Play. Our latest episode features Sonia Lakhany, an attorney with a bicoastal IP practice. Sonia discusses her current practice, how she made the decision to go solo, and how IP impacts fictional brands and characters. 

What Is Blockchain, Anyway?

- To understand how intellectual property interacts with blockchain technology, you first must know the answer to one fundamental question. What exactly is the blockchain? This video is a pretty helpful primer. 

- Some say that a company like Mastercard will no longer be necessary if blockchain technology is widely used. Mastercard has other plans

- One industry that is embracing blockchain? Legal marijuana. These users are also one of the first to demonstrate non-monetary uses of blockchain by using it to register strains, something that is far more difficult with the USPTO, especially with trademarks.

- One company is using blockchain to protect IP through copyright by providing cryptographic proof of works. 

- One last thing- are blockchain patents a bad idea
 

An Uncertain Legacy

- Warhol was no stranger to playing with intellectual property. A look into the IP behind converse sneakers adorned with a Brillo pad design reveals that the IP legacy that Warhol left behind is can be quite convoluted. 

- Duran Duran suffered a big blow to their copyright in English court.

- Dennis the Menace is a well known comic in the U.S. but it has an independently created counterpart in the U.K. And in a rare turn of events, at least by today's standards, the creators decided not to dispute the IP rights


(One lesson I've learned from making this newsletter: There's a Simpsons gif for everything.)

Odds and Ends

- Can you believe it is already December? That means its time to begin the year end wrap ups. Here is a comprehensive overview of all the beverage related trademark disputes in 2016. And for good measure, a review of patent developments in 2016.

- The Supreme Court ruled for Samsung in their dispute against Apple, which means Apple probably won't see that $399 million penalty after all. 

- Porsche is in hot water for allegedly creating a fake version of an indie rock song to avoid paying royalties. 

- Nestle wants to patent a new kind of sugar that will taste the same but be less harmful to the rest of your body. 

See you next time!

The Alt Legal Team