Intellectual Property

How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 3: Creativity

November 4, 2010 Academia

Creative argument is essential if you’re going to get a first. Perhaps only unless your tutor or professor doesn’t know the topic well can you get away rehashing old argument and ideas that have been discussed thousands of times before.

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Why do universities not publish student-generated content online for free?

October 14, 2010 IP & Technology Law

Each year across the world, each university demands that its students submit essays and dissertations electronically. But very little of that work is published online for the world to read. If it was so published, the knowledge contained within would be shared with billions of people around the planet. It follows that students would gain greater incentive to make their work of better quality. So, why not publish worldwide? Below are outlined the current trends towards emphasis on virtual learning and information dissemination through social media, followed by suggested reasons for universities not publishing students’ work more for free, concluding with a recommended course of action for all universities throughout the world to consider.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Epilogue

September 22, 2010 Intellectual Property

Epilogue So concludes the first ten chapters of this piece How to Dominate the Internet. If you have any comments or improvements, they would be gratefully received. Part Two: Web Presence Please do look out for How to Dominate the Internet: Book Two: Web Presence, released in the future which shall cover the more technical […]

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 10 of 10: Commercialise your IP

September 7, 2010 Corporate and Commercial

Once you have fortified your brand with various turrets of IP protection, you may wish to commercialise it. Commercialisation can take many forms, the most common of which are selling outright through either share or asset purchase, licensing and franchising, together with many other different species of commercial agreement.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 9 of 10: Further Reading

August 30, 2010 Corporate and Commercial

So that’s a brief introductory guide to protecting your IP online. To learn more about IP law and IP protection, I would recommend strongly that you visit WardblawG’s friends at the award winning IP blog, the IPKat, founded and managed by Professor Jeremy Phillips. Subscription to Jeremy’s Google groups will provide your inbox with a flurry of IP related email gems every day plus pictures of one or two cats in peculiar poses. WardblawG’s Gavin Ward’s cat or, as Jeremy puts it, owner Missy has already made one appearance on Wednesday Whimsies.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your BranD: Chapter 8 of 10: Look and Feel

August 25, 2010 Corporate and Commercial

The approach taken in Navitaire was reaffirmed in the recent decision in Nova v Mazooma Games, where it was similarly held that the reproduction of the look and feel of an existing program in original source code did not infringe copyright in the original program. However, both Navitaire and Nova concern programs with high levels of abstraction and may be limited to their facts. It is therefore entirely possible that the “look and feel” of a program in a future case may be protected if there are less abstract concepts and closer similarities between programs. Thus, we may not have seen the end of “look and feel” protection through copyright.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 7 of 10: Business Method Patents

August 24, 2010 Corporate and Commercial

WardblawG has 30,000 very meaningful hits to its name, although 1000 of which have probably been made by me, my family and friends. Thank you to everyone who has viewed, subscribed and commented. As promised, today’s post is Chapter 7 of 10: Business Method Patents. Chapters 8, 9 and 10 shall follow, with Part 10 being published on my first day as a qualified solicitor in Scotland.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 6 of 10: Design, Right

August 23, 2010 Corporate and Commercial

Once you can sleep at night knowing you have ownership rights, you can decide whether to leave them unregistered or proceed to register them. Unregistered design rights overlap with copyright to an extent and the protection afforded is decent to say the least. Go for registered designs if the design is more complex and vital to your business. If you don’t have the time or the cash for registered designs, just take the cheap practical option of sealing your design in an envelope and mailing them back to yourself through recorded delivery.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 5 of 10: Creative Commons Licences

August 22, 2010 Creative Commons

WardblawG uses one of the most common types of Creative Commons. See the CCL summary page and the full licence for more information. There are other different types of Creative Commons that may be considered.
By saying you grant a certain type of Creative Commons Licence, you are doing just that: no fancy legal documents required, because they’ve already been drafted for you. In case you haven’t discovered by now, WardblawG is a massive fan of freeing up information and keeping it simple. Welcome to FOI 2.0?

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 4 of 10: Copyright

August 21, 2010 Copyright

Next, you might need to pull your hair out over getting copyright protection for your written work. But wait a minute, no you don’t! Copyright is granted to you automatically by the nice people that drafted and agreed the international copyright treaties. Such copyright protection exists for anything you write, generally provided that it is your own material. To avoid plagiarism and copyright breach for using other people’s work, consider referencing them or getting consent from them first: it’s just like being back at university writing thousands of words that nobody will ever read; unless YoublawG them.

As Forest Gump might say, that’s all WardblawG has to say about that.

A branch of copyright and particularly relevant for web 2.0, Creative Commons Licences are the subject of Chapter 5 of this series, which follows this post.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 3 of 10: Trade Marks

August 20, 2010 Intellectual Property

If you take one thing away from this, it should be this practical but general word of advice:

If your business and its model are analogous to another successful and well-protected business and if your brand name is unique, not in the dictionary, not an industry word and not confusingly similar to another business, then take inspiration from the trade mark applications of that other successful business, but do consider every application on its own merits; and

If you are in any doubt about trade mark registrability, research further or seek professional advice from a lawyer, brand protector or trade mark agent. In WardblawG’s experience, trade mark agents are most useful when registrability of your brand as a trade mark is clearly problematic, when you need to overcome objections or field queries from an examiner, or when you have a large portfolio of trade marks to register and maintain.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 2 of 10: Domain Names

August 19, 2010 Domain names

The second step I would suggest is creating at least one domain name, ideally a .com registration reflecting verbatim your brand name. Do this through a reputable host of which there are many.

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Chapter 1 of 10: Branding

August 18, 2010 Branding

Intellectual Property (“IP”) As every business knows or should know, you must develop and protect your IP. For various reasons, this has become even more important throughout the recession. In essence, IP is the outward image of your business and should be protected in a strong manner. Branding First, although it might seem like putting […]

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How to Dominate the Internet: Book One: Protect Your Brand: Prologue

August 18, 2010 Intellectual Property

This blawg was founded on 23 May 2010. I decided that, instead of mainly writing articles for other journals, I would like to write articles to share legal information with a wider audience. I am a proponent of social media networking and believe that law students, lawyers and law firms have a great deal of valuable information that should be shared in an optimal manner.

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A Fresh Wave of Liquor Licensing Hell: the Devil Went Down to Scotland

August 7, 2010 Alcohol Licensing

Having experienced the chaos in September 2009 first-hand, working with some of Scotland’s largest alcohol suppliers and sellers, WardblawG agrees with most of what Mr Johnston has to say and, so, would like to reinforce Tom’s comments and, indeed, add from its MD’s own personal experience of the gruelling inception of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 in Scotland (the “Act”).

Commentators have and will continue to suggest improvements. But what this author would like to see are two main changes: first, a template training module accessible online for free, published by the Scottish government; and, second, the existence of a licensing board that heads up all the other licensing boards in Scotland which provides a real leadership role and which should, hopefully, stop major differences existing between, among other cities and towns, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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August 3, 2010 E-marketing

As WardblawG rockets through the 15,000 hit barrier after just 5 weeks, generating more than £100 in Google Adsense revenue, it is with pleasure that I recommend the webhost I use.

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The Frapes of Wrath: High Court fines £10,000 for Facebook Libel

July 29, 2010 Case Notes

Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that the allegation of paedophilia was serious and could have damaged the plaintiff’s reputation. Now, I don’t know whether Mr Justice Tugendhat has a profile on Facebook or has any idea about social networking sites, but he should be aware, or have been made aware by the defence, that this type of abuse goes on more than he might imagine, albeit not quite as acerbic, indecent and tasteless as in this case. To be clear, the author does not support this sort of bullying in the slightest.

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Law 2.0 Search Engine

July 20, 2010 Banking and Finance

Your tutor said research more with this unique WardblawG search engine:-


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RSSatisfaction-in: A little more conversation

July 20, 2010 E-marketing

As the WardblawG surpasses the 5000 hit mark after only 3 weeks, I have now included two permanent RSS feeds at either side of this blog to “Scots Law” and “Scottish Law” through Google News, which highlight excerpts from quality articles discussing the most recent developments in Scots law, such as through the Scotsman’s or the Herald’s legal journalists.

Similar Google News feeds, as I have already mentioned , can be used to keep track of different clients, industries, technologies, law, and even matters or disputes: A little more action, a little less bark (from clients) and a lot more spark!

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RSS Feeds: the Practical and Legal Considerations

July 5, 2010 Corporate and Commercial

Since starting this blog, I’ve placed emphasis on RSS feeds. Colleagues and readers have been quizzing me on why a legal blog needs RSS feeds and why I don’t spend more time on posts. The reason is that RSS feeds are important tools for modern lawyers and, indeed, professionals around the world. Because of that, I thought it would be useful to set out the practical and legal issues that should be noted and distinguished in order to exploit RSS to its fullest.

In my own experience, RSS feeds avoid the spam-like nature of email updates and allow for fast browsing of updates that suits you, which can help increase your efficiency, productivity, learning and knowledge. Obviously, that demands some initiative on your part, but if you can appreciate how much effort went into each and every post to which the RSS feed links, then it doesn’t take too much effort to get out there and start looking for RSS feeds relevant to you and your clients, such that you can build a collection, much like I have at the foot of this page, for your own personal and commercial purposes.

Alternatively, of course, you could just come to this site to view them all at once. But where’s the fun, (or plug?) in that?

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Alpha Law: Kill or be Killed!

June 26, 2010 Banking and Finance

Written by two US law school professors, it portrays, in no uncertain terms, a rather bleak picture of the landscape of the legal and other top professions…And that was in 2005!

The alpha of any species, by inherent definition, is able to adapt quickly and well to change. It’s now time for lawyers, firms and the profession as a whole to adopt that alpha mentality; for many, it’s time to sink or swim.

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Foreword to the WardblawG: Lawnovation

June 23, 2010 Banking and Finance

With firms and professionals across the UK welcoming web 2.0, which includes new online technologies such as blogs, RSS feeds and even Twitter, so comes the inception, and, I’d like to think, conception of, formerly

Founded by me, Gavin Ward, a trainee solicitor at a Scottish firm in Edinburgh, qualifying in August 2010, former tutor and published author in the Juridical Review, this shall be a new platform for me and, indeed, my colleagues and peers across Scotland and beyond, to discuss, in an open environment without too much fence-sitting, the most important and relevant legal and commercial updates affecting Scottish businesses and law firms, together with other topics of interest to the legal profession.

I hope this creates as much contribution and success as the effort I ,and my colleagues, put into it!

Gavin Ward, 23 June 2010

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