Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Recently in Intellectual Property Category

This week, President Trump released the "Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence."

And while this had the prospect of going horribly wrong, the E.O. seems to fall flat when it comes to actually doing anything according to several commentators. There's no mandate to act, there's nothing being prohibited, and the whole thing just seems to be a mere suggestion that government agencies redirect spending into AI programs, where possible.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, the "era of move fast and break things is over." And in case you have no idea what this means, that phrase "move fast and break things" is attributed to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and is the mantra of "tech disruptors."

However, now that the public has had enough of tech startups breaking things and then blaming the lack of government infrastructure, tech startups need to make sure legal compliance is a top priority before it's even required. Startups cannot merely disrupt regulated industries by offering the same services without complying with the same regs the rest of the industry has to play by and expect to emerge unscathed.

Technovator's Caveat: Don't Sell Inventions Before Seeking Patents

Technovators sometimes rush to the market with new ideas, hoping for brand recognition before competitors can catch up.

It can work, but there are trade-offs. Without protection for intellectual property, for example, a startup can fall down fast.

Once in a while, the courts and lawyers have to tell innovators to slow down. There's an old rule: the horse is supposed to go before the cart.

Can Robo Dog Serve a Complaint?

One of the coolest things about the future is that you can imagine what it will be like.

Like, how about a robo dog to serve your complaint? Or a lawyer bot to do all your discovery?

Or a judge that dispenses justice like a vending machine? Wait, we already have some of those. But robo dog...

Mickey Mouse, and Friends, Are Falling Into the Public Domain Soon

Mickey Mouse is running out of protection.

In five years, the world's most famous mouse will lose copyright protection. The famed Disney character will then fall into the public domain.

It's not like Mickey Mouse will die. But little did the hero of "Steamboat Willie" know he would run out of steam.

While Facebook might know quite a bit about you and the company you keep (at least digitally), the social giant has filed for a patent that predicts where its users are going, both literally and physically.

The program, dubbed "Offline Trajectories," promises to help Facebook predict where a user will go after logging off based on historical actions by the user, their friends, and complete strangers. And while this level of predictive technology scores rather high on the Big-Brother/creepiness scale, Facebook asserts that the sole purpose of it is to help serve Facebook users with more relevant localized advertising.

The world we live in is getting more and more digital every day. From self-driving cars to virtually virtual everything, it's still shocking to learn that even people are starting to go digital, literally.

Seemingly overnight (or over the past few years, whatever) celebrities have been made into actual holograms, and even more surprisingly, a full body scan isn't even necessary, as Tu-Pac's hologram performed at Coachella way back in 2012 (though the tech has come a long way since and full body scans make so much more possible). People aren't actually being replaced, but rather, preserved, digitally.

Law Firm to Use Software Games for Hiring

Military leaders have long used games for battlefield strategy, and now a law firm is using games as a hiring strategy.

O'Melveny & Myers is evaluating potential associates through games that measure effort, attention, planning, memory, and flexibility. The firm says the artificially intelligent games will help assess candidates "based on potential, not pedigree."

Pymetrics, a New York company, is designing the games to remove potential gender, racial or ethnic bias in employment. It's a battle law firms have been fighting for some time.

A Tribute to HAL, the 13th Greatest Movie Villain of All Time

If you look hard enough, you can find a legal angle anywhere -- even in the eternal reaches of space.

Gerry W. Beyer, who writes for the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog, found cause to pay tribute to the voice of HAL. That would be the "13th Greatest Movie Villain of All Time."

Douglas Rain, the voice-actor for the computer protagonist in 2001 A Space Odyssey, has died. HAL, of course, went with him.

Satan Sues Netflix, and No, It's Not a Horror Flick

The Satanic Temple, a nontheistic religious and activist group, has sued Netflix over the use of the Baphomet statue in the "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina."

If you don't know Sabrina, she's an adolescent who wrestles with her half-witch, half-human nature. So yeah, she's a teenager.

Baphomet is a medieval deity with a human body and a goat's head; that would be Satan. The lawsuit is about copyright and trademark infringement, which of course means hell.