It’s a rare day here at the LOMAP Blog, that I write on a specific practice area. It’s probably become clear to you all by now that we almost never address specific practice area concerns. There’s reasons for that, to name two: (1) if I had to address every law practice management issue as tied to individual practice areas, I’d absolutely be committed within a months’ time; and, (2) I left practice for a reason . . . (imagine I’m whispering:) it’s not that interesting to me.

So, I’ve got to have a special occasion to discuss a practice area-specific matter, is all I’m saying. And, today, I do. (No, it’s not Christmas, yet. That’s just what the grocery store would have you believe.) In my tireless travels in and around Massachusetts, visiting attorneys, attending meetings and functions, etc., I’ve noticed that I have been running into more and more intellectual property attorneys, including patent attorneys. (I don’t quite know why. Perhaps these folks are leaving, or being forced out of, large firms; perhaps there’s a general desire among intellectual property attorneys to open up their own shops; perhaps there are more law students focusing on intellectual property as a career (probably a good idea) . . . but, whatever the reason, here they are, all these intellectual property attorneys, surrounding me. Maybe it’s just that I draw these folks, due to my obvious and deep interest in science. But, the reason doesn’t much matter, for my present purposes, at least, because . . .) Given this apparent, growing trend, I think it wholly appropriate that this blog becomes the temporary medium for passing along an excellent new resource for intellectual property attorneys of any stripe:

My friend, Peter Lando, principal of Cambridge, Massachusetts firm Lando & Anastasi, has recently begun recording and releasing, through Legal Talk Network, the “IP Counsel” podcast, which offers coverage of prevailing intellectual property issues of interest. Peter has long and distinguished experience in the field, as you can see for yourself at his firm profile page, and more generally, by checking out Lando & Anastasi’s website. (Note the sweet url. (Not that one.) Now, that, people, is intellectual property law in action, and at its finest.) The pilot episode of “IP Counsel”, released in September, focused on questions surrounding the definition of patentable subject matter, and featured as a guest Gary Ganzi, Vice President of Intellectual Property for Siemens Water Technologies Corporation. A second episode following, with guest Harry Gwinnell, Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at Cargill, Inc., and addressing the practical question of intellectual property value creation, was released in late October. Peter has, thus far, featured a couple of high-profile and erudite guests, and has supplemented their conversation with his own engaging personality. With future episodes of this program in the offing, both intellectual property attorneys and those interested in the subject would be wise to catch this wave at its crest, and to gain the fresh insight of a new IP Counsel.

(Plus, I’m totally jealous, because Peter’s podcast intro music is jammin’, putting mine much to shame. (Hangs head.))

. . .

Liner Notes

I’m sort of also thankful for the “IP Counsel” podcast because it provides me with an excuse to write about songs that have been tied to intellectual property disputes. Now, this is directly up my alley.

Here we go:

This Song” by George Harrison

. . . is about a case in which a judge decided that George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” infringed on the song “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons. Read more here. Also, enjoy this creepy mash-up, in the spirit of Halloween.

Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice

. . . although this song samples the bassline from the Queen and David Bowie track, “Under Pressure”, the original song and composers were not so credited initially.

The Old Man Down the Road” by John Fogerty

. . . was the subject of an eventual Supreme Court case, emanating from a suit by Fantasy Records, which claimed that Fogerty had plagiarized himself, and that the song “The Old Man Down the Road” was merely Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Run Through the Jungle”, with new lyrics. Read all about the progress of the case here.

U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer

. . . Hammer hurt Rick James, by borrowing, egregiously and blatantly, from (more like copying) “Super Freak”, without permission. The dispute was settled out of court, when James was credited on the song–but only after he stomped on Hammer’s couch with his muddy boots. Read more here.

This last reference is an instance of “sampling”. For more on the history of sampling in the music industry, see here.