Weekly IP Buzz for week ending June 29, 2018
Privacy and Virtual Assistants; IP Protection for Fireworks; Airline Trademarks
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending June 29, 2018.
How Much Does Your Virtual Assistant Know About You?
Amazon recently had to answer to the U.S. Senate after it was confirmed that a product in their virtual assistant line, the Amazon Echo, recorded and then forwarded a private, household conversation to a third party. While there are technical disagreements between the household and Amazon over whether the recording and forwarding of the conversation was unauthorized, Amazon has now had to answer to Congress regarding privacy concerns that have arisen over the incident. Amazon defends their product by claiming that the virtual assistant, Alexa, only woke up, after hearing a word in the conversation that sounded like the wake word, “Alexa.” Read more about privacy and your virtual assistant.
Intellectual Property Protection for Fireworks
Every July 4th, we celebrate an American tradition with food, friends, family, and, of course, fireworks. While fireworks are generally easy to procure, depending on what state you are in, few know about the surprisingly high amount of intellectual property challenges that fireworks manufacturers and vendors face today. The following discusses the IP challenges as well as forms of intellectual property protection for fireworks. One of the first challenges comes from advertising online. While fireworks are a popular search term online, keen observers might notice that searches for fireworks do not yield top hits for vendors and online stores like most search results would. Read more about IP law surrounding fireworks.
Where Do Airline Trademarks Go When Grounded?
Airline acquisitions/mergers have been a relatively common occurrence. Most recently, in 2016, Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America. This was just another acquisition in a long line of airline acquisitions, and with each acquisition, questions arise as to what happens with trademarks associated with the airline being acquired. With the Virgin America acquisition, Alaska Airlines has recently announced that it intends to stop use of the Virgin America name and logo by 2019. Under U.S. trademark law, a mark generally goes abandoned and is free to use by others, if use has been discontinued (usually for at least 3 consecutive years) and the owner cannot demonstrate intent to resume use. Read more about Trademarks.
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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.
Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.