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Showing posts from October, 2011

Legos and the UDRP

Each day I receive an email from the WIPO arbitration center listing decisions under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, or UDRP.  The UDRP is the policy a domain name registrant agrees to upon registration of a domain name which binds them to arbitration for trademark-type disputes.  WIPO's arbitration center hears the most of these disputes, though a few other venues also handle them.  WIPO hosts an extensive resource center for viewing past decisions, notice about policy changes, statistics and substantive discussion and summary of trends in UDRP panel* decisions.

Over the past two years, I've been amazed (though not surprised) at how often Lego disputes come up.  The company is well known as an aggressive protector of their trademark rights.  A huge blow came in 2010 when the European Court of Justice (Europe's highest court) held that there are no trademark rights in the shape of interconnected toy bricks since the shape is necessary to obtain a technic…

Book Discussion: The Penguin and The Leviathan

In The Penguin and the Leviathan, Yochai Benkler does a terrific job of synthesizing a wealth of cross-disciplinary research in support of the idea that collaboration isn't just the new competition, it's the driver of progress we've been ignoring for too long.   In many ways, this book felt like The Starfish and the Spider meets The Tipping Point via a trip through the Harvard Business Review.  Which isn't a bad thing at all.  Despite being a first edition, I did notice a bunch of typos.  Anyways, the title derives from the symbol of Linux, Tux the Penguin, and Hobbes' Leviathian.  A more contemporary mashup might be The Penguins' Leviathan as a nod to the equal, if not enhanced, power of new collaborative enterprises over centralized.

Benkler is able to follow his points through many fields of study and even examples like the 2008 Obama campaign don't seem quite so cliched given his mastery of the topic.  I enjoyed the historical references and challenge t…