Proof that TV doesn’t harm kids, Butch!

Slate explains how Likelihood of Confusion did it: If anything, the data revealed a small positive uptick in test scores for kids who got to watch more television when they were young. For kids living in households in which English was a second language, or with a mother who had less than a high-school education, the study found that TV had a more sizable positive impact on test scores in reading and general knowledge. Evidently,... Read more

Not Hiring, but…

I (in my role as head of a small law firm) do get a lot of letters and emails of inquiry. It’s interesting to see what comes my way. I get a few very impressive resumes, people I would love to hire. I get a lot of grade-B and worse applicants — people who don’t put their law GPA’s on the resume, for example. Sometimes these are very interesting to look at, but not enough... Read more

Do you mean, PLEASE come arrest me and send me to reeducation camp?

This Google stuff has just gotten so tiring, so all over the place, that I’ve given up on keeping track of it. The piece with giving in to China’s repression of its billion-strong slave labor force is just more than I can handle, or even comment on in an original fashion. But do take a good look at Dean Esmay’s column. Dean isn’t the slyest or the highest-fallutin’ blogger out there, but besides being an early... Read more

Thick and Juicy Hamburgers!!

Trademark rights aren’t supposed to give you a monopoly on commonly used phrases or descriptions. Asks the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pennsylvania: What words can be used to describe [a hamburger]? If you’re are thinking “thick ‘n juicy” or even “thick & juicy,” better think again or you could face a lawsuit. Holten Meat Inc., a Sauget distributor of frozen beef patties, recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in East St.... Read more

The media’s ancien regime

Hugh Hewitt, he of the media Jacobins, confronts the crumbling edifice of the mainstream media at its Versailles — the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism — in the The Weekly Standard: The “blue” nature of the student body is further confirmed by my polling of the class I attended, done with the permission of Shapiro. Six of the 16 were English majors, two studied history, and the balance spread across the humanities. No one... Read more

Blawg Review: Infamy, Praise, Several Butchers’ Aprons

The new Blawg Review is up at Colin Samuels’ Infamy or Praise. Colin explains the origin of his blog’s name — Dante’s Inferno, which is also the source of the title of one of the most influential books in my life (Inferno probably should have influenced me a little more, actually), Solzhenitsyn’s The First Circle. The latter reference is to that circle of Hades “Reserved for the souls of the just people who never knew... Read more

Perpetual Patent Profits?

IPKat writes about that bane of patent examiners — or is it really just a study break for the nerdiest G-men? — perpetual motion machines. The philosophical feline makes an immodest, and very laissez-faire, proposal: The IPKat likes patents for perpetual motion machines (though, embarassingly, he couldn’t find a link to this one). They shouldn’t need to be expensive to examine once you rumble the concept, so the patent office should get good income from... Read more

Lego-ing, going, gone….

The Globe and Mail reports: Danish toy giant Lego System AS was given a sharp lesson in the workings of free-market “creative destruction” yesterday when the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed its case against upstart Mega Bloks Inc. over look-alike toy bricks. Last March we blogged on Lego’s adventures at trying to avoid competition by enforcing its expired IP rights forever around the world. We knew Canada would come through … didn’t we? Read more

Fair Use Still Breathing

The online New York Law Journal reports that the federal court in the Southern District of New York has ruled that a painter who produced a commissioned painting utilizing certain features of a commercial photograph used in a Gucci ad, “in a novel way to impart new information and new aesthetics so that their use was transformative” and protectible as fair use. Bill Patry has the decision. and a link to Koons’s works, which Patry... Read more

Alito on Free Speech

A 2001 Third Circuit opinion from Judge Alito supports even unpopular speech, even in schools: We . . . have found no categorical rule that divests “harassing” speech, as defined by federal anti-discrimination statutes, of First Amendment protection. . . . The public school policy governing speech was ruled overbroad: [Advocates of the policy] could argue that speech creating a “hostile environment” may be banned because it “intrudes upon . . . the rights of... Read more

Great Seal, not Gray Seal!

The editor at Blawg Review sends along this link, in which the White House sent a cease and desist letter to the editors of The Onion instructing them to stop using the presidential seal on its satirical website. I’m surprised the president deems it wise to spend taxpayer money for his lawyer to write letters to The Onion,” Scott Dikkers, editor in chief, wrote to Mr. Dixton. He suggested the money be used instead for... Read more

Trademarks Bring World Peace?

The online Prague Daily Monitor reports Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan told CTK that he is not opposed to Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek’s idea of Czechs and Slovaks using “Czechoslovakia” as a trademark to promote both countries abroad, but will wait for concrete proposals. “If a rational, very concrete way were found, I think it could be useful,” Kukan told CTK in New York on Monday. Wow. This brings questions of geographic misdescriptiveness to... Read more