This past December, the feature article in our e-newsletter, Wealth of Ideas, detailed several ways that the America Invents Act has basically backfired on the American patent system. (See "America Invents Act Turns Out to Be a Law of Unintended Consequences".)
Most of us who survived college with our dignity intact are pretty content to put it behind us. But if you're not already happy to have joined the ranks of the grown-ups, this story of an alcohol-fueled trademark dispute might do the trick:
Well, at least business is booming somewhere: The plaintiff-friendly federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas saw a dramatic jump in the number of patent lawsuits filed, from 607 in 2011 to 1,263 in 2012 - a 108 percent increase in just a year.
An artist in Holland just found out that he can't trademark the name of Allah.
Over a year ago, we reported on the patent lawsuits brought by Innovatio IP Ventures LLC against a host of companies that offer free WiFi to their customers. The defendants in that litigation include over 220 individual hotels in Illinois.
We're all for copyright owners' rights, but this one might be stretching a bit: The owners of the copyrights to the late William Faulkner's literary works sued Sony Pictures Classics and a group of movie exhibitors because of two sentences uttered by actor Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's 2011 movie Midnight in Paris.
Sometimes it's nice to take a break from writing about the more serious side of intellectual property - the litigation, the legislation, the precedent-setting cases - and just reflect on how absolutely crazy it looks to people who don't work with patents, trademarks and copyrights.