Intellectual Property

Redistributing: The Implications of Assigning Judge Albright’s Docket Across the WDTX

By: Ben Suslavich

Court

On July 25, 2022, the Chief Judge of the Western District of Texas, Orlando L. Garcia, signed an order assigning all new patent suits filed in the Waco Division to all of the remaining district judges in the Western District (with the exception of Judge Guaderrama in El Paso). The reason for this is purported to be “an effort to equitably distribute those cases.” Continue reading »

Lyrical Evidence: The Case Against Young Thug and Gunna

By: Molly Mitchell

Cassette

Two of rap’s most popular artists, Jeffrey Lamar Williams (“Young Thug”) and Sergio Kitchens (“Gunna”), were recently indicted by the Fulton County District Attorney for conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Both artists were indicted along with 27 others in Fulton County on May 8 for the alleged acts of Young Slime Life (“YSL”), an alleged gang that prosecutors hold to be connected to Young Thug’s YSL Records Label. The indictment includes acts that date back to January 2013, and it also accuses other YSL members of armed robbery, murder, attempted murder, and possession of firearms and drugs. Continue reading »

Is the Happiest Place on Earth About to Lose its Smiling Face?

By: Haley Sink

When it comes to Disney, branding is everything. But what happens if one of the most recognizable faces of one of the world’s most recognizable brands falls out of copyright protection and can be used by the masses?

The original version of Mickey Mouse, from the 1928 “Steamboat Willie” cartoon, will go out of U.S. copyright protection in 2024. That is, unless Disney successfully lobbies Congress to extend that protection, like it did in 1976 with the Copyright Act and in 1998 with the Copyright Term Extension Act. Continue reading »

TikTok: A New Copyright Minefield

By: Noelle Henry

TikTok, a video-sharing platform, has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms to date. In fact, some statistics have shown that, in 2021, TikTok overtook Google as the year’s most popular domain. However, as the platform becomes more popular, it opens its doors to a multitude of legal challenges with copyright infringement near the top of the list. TikTok’s intellectual property issues arise largely from the music and choreography on the platform, despite their attempts to mitigate copyright infringement. Continue reading »

Games Without Frontiers: The Increasing Importance of Intellectual Property Rights for the People’s Republic of China

By: James M. Cooper

PDF: Games Without Frontiers: The Increasing Importance of Intellectual Property Rights for the People’s Republic of China

For years, the People’s Republic of China was known as the “Pirate Nation” for its outright theft of Western innovation and acquisition of innovation through mandatory technology transfer from Western companies to Chinese partners. However, this narrative has recently become more complex as China transitioned from an importer to an exporter of intellectual property. Continue reading »

Are Humans Ready? Is the Law Equipped to Handle Artificial Intelligence?

By: Ben Suslavich

In 2015, DeepMind, owned by Alphabet, developed Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) AlphaGo to beat the reigning three-time European Champion, Fan Hui, in the board game “Go.” This victory marked a milestone in the development of AI because of the complexity of the game. Continue reading »

Get Your Chip Together: The Role of Patent Protection in the Global Chip Shortage

By: Ryan Mahabir

Have you noticed a shortage of Ford and Toyota vehicles? Have you had trouble finding a new washing machine? Are you wondering if you will ever get your hands on a PlayStation 5? You are likely not alone in having these thoughts. All of the aforementioned products require semiconductor chips for their electrical components to function properly and to “provide a variety of functions ranging from computing to storage and memory.” Continue reading »

Preventing Trademark Infringement or Stifling Healthy Competition? A Look at 1-800 Contacts and its Keyword Advertising Battle

By: Michaela Cappucci 

Do keyword search terms promote or stifle healthy competition? It is difficult to remember a time when keyword advertising did not dominate the internet. Most search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, maintain keyword advertising programs which allow advertisers to bid on search terms and keywords that drive customers searching for a particular product or service to their website. Continue reading »

Olympics’ Copyright Issue Highlights the IOC’s Outdated IP Licensing Approach

By: Seth Elizondo

As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics concluded for the summer, a new copyright issue came to the forefront of entertainment law. Félix “xQc” Lengyel, one of the most popular content creators on the livestreaming platform Twitch, received a copyright strike under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Continue reading »

“TRIP-ing” Backward: Why a Waiver of IP Protections Will Not Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

By: Benjamin Suslavich

One year ago, the Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law addressed the prospect of compulsory licensing under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS Agreement“). The TRIPS Agreement is an international treaty that came into effect in 1995 and sets out minimum standards of intellectual property (“IP”) protection each signatory country must uphold. Continue reading »