Insight September 28, 2011
Apple is known for innovation. Above on the left is Apple’s revolutionary touch-screen device. Above on the right is a portion of the patent for this device. Apple’s introduced the iPhone on January 9, 2007 (has it only been five years?). On the very same day, it filed a federal trademark registration application for MULTI-TOUCH. Since I know you’re dying to know, the IPHONE trademark registration application was filed on September 26, 2006, although not by Apple. It was filed by a company named Ocean Telecom Services, which applied based on its foreign registration of the IPHONE mark in Trinidad and Tobago. Ocean Telecom merged with Apple on October 5, 2007, and Apple took over ten pending IPHONE trademark registration applications from Ocean Telecom.
Insight September 26, 2011
On June 28, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed an amendment to the California tax code which would impose on large Internet retailers the obligation to collect sales tax (technically “use” tax – but for our purposes, it’s equivalent to sales tax) from California customers. Initially, Amazon took the battle to a new level by attempting to get a referendum on the California ballot to have the sales tax law reversed. In the end, for reasons that remain a bit mysterious, Amazon entered into an agreement with California on September 9, 2011 whereby California would postpone enforcement of the new sales tax law for one year in exchange for Amazon agreeing to drop its bid to bring a referendum to overturn the new law. Internet legal issues can change quickly, but this turnabout seems without precedent.
Insight Yaacov P. Silberman · August 30, 2011
In my previous blog post, I provided a brief overview of cloud computing and how it is used by lawyers. I noted that its use is expanding beyond virtual law firms and alternative law firms to include Big Law, too, even including AmLaw 100 law firms. In this post, I will discuss some of the main ethical issues stemming from lawyers’ use of cloud computing and other virtual law technologies.
Insight August 22, 2011
Last week, Google announced its plans to acquire Motorola Mobility, effecting a vertical integration from the Android operating system into hardware. Investors responded by shaving roughly 13% off Google’s value—roughly twice as much as the NASDAQ lost and three times as much as the Dow.
Insight Yaacov P. Silberman · August 19, 2011
Understanding Cloud Computing and It's Use by Lawyers
The use of cloud-computing technologies and other virtual law tech by lawyers and law firms is on an upward trend. Not only are alternative law firms or virtual law firms leveraging this technology, but Big Law is also jumping into the fray, with many conventional law firms including AmLaw 100 firms taking advantage.
Insight August 17, 2011
I’m a patent attorney. As a result, I get a lot of questions from people about patents. Questions like: "Do you think this idea is patentable?"; "Do I need to hire an attorney?"; or "How much will it cost to file a patent?"
I’ve always enjoyed interacting with inventors. They are often very excited about their ideas and love teaching others about their innovations. When inventors come to me with a great idea that has potential commercial value, I often encourage them to look into pursuing a patent.
Insight August 16, 2011
Google is one of the worlds most intriguing companies. From its humble beginnings as a search engine company, Google has leveraged its mastery of the elusive formula for monetizing web traffic into a force capable of tangling with China—making it considerably stronger than our own State Department by some measures. Its recent announcement that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobile makes it heir to a grand tradition of American manufacturing—not to mention possessor of a valuable trove of intellectual property, and a sudden direct competitor to stylish hardware king, Apple.
Insight August 13, 2011
Gold has a long history of being many things to many people. To some, it is a shiny bauble, to others a commodity, and to still others a currency. To financial economists, gold is the traditional hedge against inflation. This month, however, it appears to have assumed a new role: The gold market is now the mirror image of the broad equity markets. And while the tight inverse correlation in day-to-day trading is unlikely to persist for long, this general relationship may be around for quite some time. Why? Because headlines notwithstanding, the rapid rise in gold prices is not a short-term speculative bubble, but rather a necessary consequence of our previous bubbles and an appropriate response to the shakiness of sovereign debt.
Insight Robin Powers · August 11, 2011
On August 5, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) announced that it downgraded the United States to a AA+ rating from its longstanding AAA status. The immediate effects of S&P's downgrade are likely to be modest, largely because it was expected and at least partly discounted in advance. But for participants in the derivatives markets, the downgrade is another source of potential stress on top of the unknowns under Dodd-Frank.