This weekend, I gave a non-traditional trademark lecture here at Michigan Tech, at the Rozsa Center for Performing Arts.
The lecture was part of the “Intellectual Property Controversies” lecture series. The event was moderated by Prof. Michael Bennett from Vassar, and included Danny O’Brien from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Molly Kleinman from the U. of Michigan Library and Prof. Kembrew McCloud from the U. of Iowa.
The event really highlighted the fact that intellectual property is controversial. For example, Kembrew gave a sneak preview of his film “Copyright Criminals”. The film is a about the hip hop artists who “borrowed” from prior artists when they sampled many songs with newly available sampling machines.
It brought to my mind the very funny MTV clip of Vanilla Ice arguing how his bass line for “Ice Ice Baby, was different from David Bowie’s “Under Pressure”.
I’ll write more on what each of the speakers presented at this controversial event. This includes my lecture on non-traditional trademarks, namely how the Chippendale’s dancers are trying to get a trademark on their bow tie and cuffs.
For the bare facts on that unique trademark application, visit the TTAB Blog story.
If you know any intellectual property controversies, please share them. I’d like to discuss them with the community.