Saturday, July 29, 2017

USPTO and Java v8 update 144 build 01

    Just a few days ago, I wrote about a new Java update (see link).

    I wasn't expecting another update for a while, when I received this message.  It turns out that on July 26th, they released another update to Java v8 update 144 build 01.

- Henry Park

Friday, July 28, 2017

Trademark - Coca-Cola Zero Sugar

     I like Coca-Cola.  When I heard that Coke was launching a "new" product, my interest was piqued.  What would they do?

     I feel let down. 

     It isn't a new product.  They reformulated an existing product, and repackaged it (link).

Old packaging
New packaging
     Apart from small tweaks to the formula, its appears that they added more red to the black packaging, and changed the name from "Coca-Cola Zero" to "Coca-Cola Zero Sugar". From a trade dress perspective, retaining the black and adding more red makes sense.  However, from a name perspective, adding a generic descriptor or, at best, a merely descriptive descriptor to the name doesn't make sense.

- Henry Park

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Pirate Bay - Walking the plank of copyright infringement

     Last month, on June 14, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that The Pirate Bay website directly infringed the copyrights of various copyrightholders (InfoCuria link). 

     The Pirate Bay argued that it did not link or host any infringing content.  Rather, it hosted BitTorrent "tracker" files.  These .torrent files tell a user which other BitTorrent users to link to in order to download a file, and do not participate in the downloading of a file.  Additionally, The Pirate Bay argued that the trackers were uploaded by its users, and that it should be protected by safe harbor provisions.

    The ECJ rejected both of these arguments (link, at paragraphs 30-35, 36-37).  The ECJ went on to find that
in circumstances such as those at issue in the main proceedings, the making available and management, on the internet, of a sharing platform which, by means of indexation of metadata referring to protected works and the provision of a search engine, allows users of that platform to locate those works and to share them in the context of a peer-to-peer network
(link at paragraphs 47-48) constitutes a "communication to the public" in violation of a copyright holder's rights under Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.

     As there are no further appeals possible, The Pirate Bay may be nearing the end. It shouldn't take long for copyright holders to request that ISPs within the EU block user access to the The Pirate Bay.

- Henry Park

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

College throwdown - OSU

  vs. vs. 

    Ohio State University recently filed another federal trademark application for the "OSU" mark.  The OSU mark currently is used by Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Oregon State.

     Apparently there is a concurrent use agreement between Ohio State and Oklahoma State for their respective federal registrations (see Reg No. 1121595 and 1121596).  Oregon State does not have a federal registration for the OSU mark.

     Will Oklahoma State demure to Ohio State for this application?  Probably not (see link).  But, given the existing agreement between these two parties, it would be safe to assume that another agreement will be reached.

- Henry Park

Friday, July 21, 2017

Chimpanzees are not monkeys

     In an earlier set of posts, I wrote about a case where an attorney in New York was arguing that two chimpanzees should be treated as a legal persons (link 1) and how the New York court ruled against that attorney (link 2).

     I opened up my copy of the Bostonia magazine, the Boston University alumni magazine, and there is an article about that case (see Bostonia Magazine link).  As it happens to turn out, the attorney who argued that case, Steven Wise, is a BU Law graduate from 1976.

- Henry Park

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

USPTO and Java v8 update 141 build 15

    On my Macintosh, I received a notice that there is an updated version of Java v8 update 141 build 15 (released on July 18).


     Because I am now accessing the USPTO website using Java Web Start (see my post on connecting to the USPTO with Web Start), I'm not concerned about installing updates.

- Henry Park

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Business Perspective on Horse Racing Partnerships

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash.
     Horse racing partnerships have increasingly become a part of the “sport of kings”. It is well recognized that horse racing partnerships allow for greater inclusion of participation for the general public; no longer is the “sport of kings” limited to the great racing families of Kentucky or the very wealthy. In 2017, each leg of the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont Stakes) was won by horses owned by horse racing partnerships.  Horse racing partnerships appeal to a wide audience of people who have different desires and familiarity regarding horse racing and therefore, it is important to appreciate the business aspects of horse racing partnerships. The greater inclusion of the general public propels the need for education on the important aspects of the business issues of a partnership.

     In selecting a partnership, a potential member needs to consider many aspects, but two considerations stand out: communication and victory.  A member should maintain an open dialogue with the partnership manager so that the member can continually expand its knowledge and experience regarding key decisions, such as 1) selecting a horse to purchase; there are different issues involved in purchasing a yearling versus a two-year-old, 2) whether to purchase through a private sale or claim, 3) selecting a trainer, and 4) selecting races to give the horses and members the best opportunities for victory.  Victory for the members is not limited to financial gain but must recognize the social and entertainment aspects of the sport.  Most partnerships include members who enjoy racing and the ability to attend the track meetings, participate in the paddock and be involved in the discussion and development of the horses (recognizing this may be a limited amount as the manager must have “final decision” ability).

     As a general overview, the business issues regarding partnerships can be divided into three groups.  First, decisions regarding the amount to be paid for a horse, the percentage of ownership a partner may want of the horse and recognizing the “mark up” to the partnership members to cover the expenses and evaluating a horse prior to purchase. Second, the members of the partnership must understand the level of communication and participation they desire regarding the development of the horse and racing. While the partnership manager will have the final decision, being in a partnership wherein the manager appreciates and considers the comments of each member makes the experience more enjoyable and fulfills a great sense of satisfaction. Third, understanding a member’s status and goals, such as whether the member is in the midst of a busy career, a retiree or investor. By understanding these, you can maximize the business benefit of the partnership venture through tax deductions, business expenses, investment accounts, etc. Recognizing these key business issues provide the “bridge” which serves as a conduit to provide beneficial business advantages simultaneously with enjoyment of horse racing.

     Being a lifelong horse racing enthusiast and having a legal practice that includes gaming law, and more particularly equine law (directed to thoroughbred and standard bred issues), it was imperative for me to become involved with a partnership that recognized my limited time to participate but also allowed me to use my legal experience to contribute to my investment in the partnership. In my particular situation, I invested in Zilla Racing Stables (  The approach taken by Zilla, and its manager Michael Piazza, allows me to continually learn the aspects of selecting and training horses while giving me a thorough understanding of the business and legal issues involved in horse racing. Michael Piazza provides a continuous flow of information to the members of the partnership regarding the partnership’s horses and horse racing generally, answers specific questions, and is the conduit to the trainers, grooms and bloodstock agents to provide an understanding of the issues of the sport.

     The evolution of horse racing partnerships has provided an opportunity for racing enthusiasts, such as myself, to participate at various levels that can be coordinated with their personal and business goals.  Potential members should obtain an appreciation of each particular partnership and match its characteristics to  their specific needs.

- Joseph J. DiDonato

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The soaring cost of a college education

     I've seen the stories about how expensive a college education had become.  But, the cost didn't sink in until I saw this chart showing the rise in tuition at the University of Minnesota, my alma mater.

Thus, over 25 years, the annual tuition for a undergraduate resident increased almost five times.

For comparison sake, here is the annual change in inflation over the same period of time (from here).  As you can see, tuition increases were almost always much greater than inflation.

- Henry Park

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

In memory of all those who have gone before us. Let us not forget their sacrifice.

- Henry Park

This photo was taken by a colleague Brian R. Fitzgerald.  More of his photos are available, here.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Trademark - Chuck Norris

     When I was a kid, there were lots of Chuck Norris jokes.  You know the ones where Chuck Norris dominates someone or something (see link for Chuck Norris jokes).

      When I was in Iceland, I saw this establishment.

     I guess Chuck Norris has set his sights on the restaurant industry.

- Henry Park