Fair Use of Your Competitor’s Trademarks

In my latest article for QuickRead, I discuss the fair use of trademarks.  Sometimes you need to use your competitors’ trademarks to sell your products or services. This is particularly true when you are selling, for example, replacement parts, and need to say that your replacements are compatible with the trademark owners’ products. It can […]

Machines are Taking over? Can a Machine Get a Patent? Update

Update on my article, “Machines are Taking over? Can a Machine Get a Patent?” The answer is, no, not in the United States. The USPTO has issued a final decision holding that only a natural person may get a patent. Machines cannot.  On July 29, 2009, Stephen L. Thaler filed patent applications naming DABUS as […]

Machines Are Taking Over? Can a Machine Get a Patent?

Is it a sign of the times? Are machines taking over? Do you hear the theme music from 2001 A Space Odysey?  Man has been fighting machines since at least at early as John Henry challenged the steam powered rock drilling machine. Dabus (short for “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Science”) is an […]

Protecting Your Creative Content, Thanks to Taylor Swift

Originally published for Music Connection – Link to Original Article. 2020 could be a big year for Taylor Swift fans. It’s the year when the 10-time Grammy winner might completely re-record the first five albums in her best-selling catalogue. Last August, Swift told Good Morning America, “My contract says that starting November 2020 … I can record […]

“Sussex Royal” Trademark Update

Flash of Genius – Spontaneous thoughts from the IP Guy Harry and Meghan have announced they will not use the “Sussex Royal” trademark saga. (Click here for the related article, “Five Royal Trademark Lessons from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex”) In the United Kingdom, use of the word “Royal” is reserved for the royal […]

Obamas Face Setback in Trademark Dispute

The New York Times reported that former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama had filed to register the trademark, “Higher Ground,” for their entertainment company. But they were refused. Hanisya Massey got their first. She registered “Higher Ground” more than ten years earlier. They’re now fighting over who has the right to […]


The English language can be challenging. Words can have different meanings for different readers. Even with great care, words that seem clear can be interpreted in different ways. Let’s not kill all the lawyers. Just understand that language is tough to interpret.