IP Goes Pop!

Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are often referenced in popular movies, television and songs. IP Goes Pop explores the interface between intellectual property and popular culture. Who owns the rights to creative expression? How long does a patent last? Do the media get it right when reporting on intellectual property issues? What makes a trade secret truly secret? Hosted by Volpe Koenig intellectual property attorneys Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, with guest colleagues, inventors, writers, and creators, this lively podcast discusses intellectual property with a pop culture twist.

Now in Season 3!

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  • 04.28.2022

    IP Goes POP! takes you out to the ball game (and the blockchain) for this episode of the podcast that looks at the shift from “collectible trading cards” to “collectable NFTs”. Podcast co-hosts, Volpe Koenig Shareholders, and intellectual property lawyers, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue round the bases and pull out their most memorable sports cards as they slide home to talk about the intellectual property (IP) of baseball cards, collecting, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

    The days of digging through the attic in search of that hidden box of your grandpa's old sports cards may be dwindling, but they are not gone. In some cases, these antique cards remain valuable assets for their owners, who can be thought of as holders of fine art. Some lock their cards away in vaults for safety or display them on their walls, behind glass cases, taken out only under the protection of silk gloves. But, how does the price of a 1959 Mickey Mantle or mint condition Honus Wagner baseball card (approximately 60 in remaining in existence) compare to a modern-day digital version of a trading card, such as the NBA Top Shot NFTs, with clips anyone can view online? Is the future of baseball cards still something you can touch with your hands or will it reside digitally on your phone?  Our panel discusses the basics of what an NFT is and how this blockchain technology is shaping the future of the analog trading card business.

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  • 04.06.2022

    “We solemnly swear we are up to….intellectual property!” From the words that laid out a fictional universe on the page, to a real-world merchandising, film, and interactive theme park experience, the Harry Potter universe has become a pop culture staple of the last two decades. In this episode of the IP Goes Pop!® podcast, hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, put on their ‘sorting hats’ and pull back the curtain to reveal the intellectual property (IP) of the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’.

    What can the world of wizards, witches, and magic teach us about real-world intellectual property? The global franchise that is the Harry Potter universe has been both a pioneer and target of IP litigation.

    When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, there are no magic spells, potions, or wands to be waved. There are, however, trademarks, patents, and copyrights that each provide IP protection for you or your company, in order to protect a brand, work of authorship, or idea.

    This episode will provide some observations for creating a fictional world that has aspects protectable in the real world.

    IP Law is not magic, but it can be quite complex. No one can predict what projects or ideas will become a global phenomenon, but everyone can take the steps to protect their IP.

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  • 03.16.2022

    This episode of IP Goes POP! traces the development of a brand from its inception to a seminal trademark.

    No matter the size of a business, it is important to grow your brand and establish goodwill in your name - and for that you need a strong trademark. In this podcast episode, IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Volpe Koenig Shareholders, and intellectual property lawyers, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, welcome Philadelphia's own Pete Ciarrocchi, founder of Chickie’s & Pete’s Sports Bar and Crab House.

    In this episode, you will hear how Pete built his business, and what all business owners should know about building their brand, as well as the steps involved in protecting a brand. On the show, Pete shares the history of Chickie’s & Pete’s from a stool-less corner bar, tucked away in a former North Philadelphia row-home, to a franchise and regional staple of Philadelphia and beyond, home to the CRABFRIES® seasoned french fries (a Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant staple and federally registered and protected trademark).

  • 02.09.2022

    American football is a sport that permeates the popular culture scene, but what intellectual property is involved between the end-zones? In this episode of the IP Goes Pop! podcast we explore the movies, toys, patents, and trademarks that have shaped the sport in modern times. From the technology built into the players’ helmets, to the glowing first-down line you see on television, intellectual property has a huge impact on the way we interface with football.

    As we look ahead to the big game, join co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joe Gushue, along with their guest, IP Watchdog President and CEO, Gene Quinn, as they break down the IP that has shaped the sport. In this episode, Michael, Joe, and Gene kick things off by discussing famous football films and their influence on the generations that grew up with them. Then the panel examines the impact of iconic football-related toys, starting with the first “soft” football and ending with modern-day video games.

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  • 02.02.2022

    What do Bambi, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh all have in common? Besides remaining lovable pop-culture icons, these cartoon characters are all part of copyrighted works entering the public domain. In our first episode of season three, IP Goes Pop! co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, are back for a journey into the public domain. With the help of their fellow Shareholder John O’Malley, they walk through the history of copyright term (how long copyrights last), how and when copyrighted works enter the public domain, and the way this area of law continues to evolve as famous and high-value works enter the public domain.

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  • 12.22.2021

    Sometimes you have to ask the critical questions, like: Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? How can you turn your holiday invention into a patent-protected idea? In our first-ever IP Goes Pop! Snow-Tacular™, co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joe Gushue, unwrap the iconic pop culture movies, traditions, and intellectual property disputes around the most wonderful time of the year.

    Grab your hot cocoa and rethink how you turn on your holiday lights, because in this episode, Michael and Joe are joined by registered Patent Agent and “friend of the podcast” Robert Ballarini, holder of two patents for holiday-themed inventions. Bob shares the inspiration behind his inventions, the process of applying for a patent, and how no idea is too outrageous for the holidays.

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  • 12.08.2021

    From the iconic Air Jordans to the Reebok Pumps to the undeniable influence of the Chuck Taylor All-Stars, sneakers have become pop-culture currency. As their status has shifted from a piece of sports equipment, meant to be scuffed up, into collectors’ items that are kept in pristine conditions, sneaker culture has become a multi-billion dollar market. So how do you, as a brand or consumer, guarantee your shoes are authentic and not just well-done knock-offs? What intellectual property (IP) protections are there for shoes and how do these protections help you in a global market?

    This week on IP Goes Pop! co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, are joined by former New Balance Senior Counsel of Intellectual Property and Global Brand Protection, Dan McKinnon. Dan, who is currently CEO of Proof Authentication, Corp., shares his experience in dealing with the ever-shifting world of counterfeit products, and the IP challenges that arise in the face of, what Dan calls, “parasite brands.”

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  • 11.11.2021

    Why would a company, from the largest to the smallest, spend years building a reputation using its trademarked name and logo, and then suddenly decide to make a complete change? This week on IP Goes Pop! we explore some famous “rebrands,” the ones that worked, the ones that may not have worked. The podcast also looks at what we can learn from Facebook’s rebrand to “Meta” (announced October 2021) and what makes it so unique.

    Join Volpe Koenig Shareholders and IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, along with fellow Volpe Koenig shareholder John O’Malley, as they explore famous rebrands and the intellectual property (IP) implications that can come with them. Our panel discusses common motives that may lead a company to undergo a rebrand and the key pieces of IP that can determine how strong and successful a company’s rebrand becomes.

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  • 10.27.2021

    In this spooktacular episode of IP Goes Pop! treat yourself to the intellectual property (IP) of Halloween. From the disputes surrounding the iconic Halloween mask to the similarities, and important differences, between some people’s favorite friendly ghost, Casper, and the ghost in the Ghostbusters logo, who ya gonna call but IP Goes Pop hosts, and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue?

    So, grab your flashlight and your “fun” sized candy bars, as we take you through three cases in intellectual property law that might spook anyone to check their forms and contracts twice. We promise there's no tricks, only treats, on this episode!

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  • 10.13.2021

    This week IP Goes Pop! takes to the skies to explore intellectual property in the world of aviation. From the first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC, to the advancements in aircraft that came out of World War I, what patents have taken to the skies since the Wright Brothers first took flight in 1903?

     In this episode Volpe Koenig Shareholders and IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, are joined by fellow Volpe Koenig attorney (and seasoned pilot) Tom Mattioli. If you’ve ever wondered why we use the word “fuselage” for the body of an aircraft, fasten your seatbelt as Michael, Joe, and Tom take you on the turbulent journey of the intellectual property that got us into the skies.

  • 09.01.2021

    How do comedians protect their jokes or their delivery style? This week IP Goes Pop! goes to the comedy club to find the line between creative freedom and stolen (or borrowed) laughs. Join Volpe Koenig Shareholders and hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue as they welcome Volpe Koenig alum and comedy fan Aneesh Mehta, Senior Corporate Counsel for Experiences and Devices at Microsoft.  

    Michael, Joe, and Aneesh reminisce about comedy shows they have attended, and look at the legal protections a comedian may have, or not have, in performing a joke or an entire routine. From common themes, such as food, marriage, and having kids, to unique topics and styles, IP Goes Pop! stands up for the intellectual property behind the laughs and looks at the ways audience and comedian expectations have shifted over time.   

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  • 08.11.2021

    When popular television, movie, or comic book characters are recast into three-dimensional, bendable, transformable toys, what intellectual property considerations go into their design? This week the panel on IP Goes Pop! takes apart iconic action figures, past and present, to explore the patents, design patents, licensing, and other intellectual property surrounding these valued toys and collectibles.

    Join Volpe Koenig Shareholders and co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, along with fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Randy Huis, as they explore the evolution of celebrated action figures and the intellectual property behind them. From the technological innovations involved in G.I. Joe’s “Kung Fu Grip”, to the Transformers action figures’ unique ability to change from robot to animal to vehicle etc., each new wave of toys and characters brings with them new IP challenges and opportunities. But remember to keep them in the original packaging!

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  • 07.21.2021

    This week IP Goes Pop! carries a torch for IP at the Olympics. Join co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, for a relay through the intellectual property involved in putting on a global athletic competition that sometimes turns its top competitors into household names and “brands.”

    In this episode, Michael and Joe dive into the trademarked words, phrases and logos owned or controlled by the International, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees and the rights surrounding them. They also look at the long tradition the Olympics has in driving technological innovation and the way athletes can promote themselves before, during, and after the games.

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  • 06.30.2021

    This week on IP Goes Pop! fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Ryan O’Donnell joins co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue to explore the technical world of the TV show Silicon Valley, the intellectual property (IP) challenges faced by fictional compression algorithm company Pied Piper, and how realistic those challenges are to those of real world tech start-ups.

    Michael, Joe, and Ryan consider “what they could have done” in connection with the IP tropes presented through some of the IP-heavy Silicon Valley episodes. They compare and contrast what happens in the show with the way real-world start-ups approach similar scenarios. From patent clearance and licensing, to trademarks, to copyrights, to identifying the different legal entities involved in possible IP disputes, this podcast episode underscores how important it is to know your IP rights from the start of any venture.

  • 06.09.2021

    This week on IP Goes Pop! Volpe Koenig attorney and Ph.D., Douglas Bucklin joins co-hosts and shareholders Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue to travel back in time, and somehow also to the future, to explore intellectual property interests in the area of genetic engineering.

    In this episode, Michael, Joe, and Doug discuss, among other pop culture icons, the Jurassic Park movies and how the genetic engineering in those movies relates to science and intellectual property in the real world. They also explore the current status and methodologies of genetic engineering, how intellectual property laws consider DNA, and how close science may be to bringing back the dinosaurs…

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  • 05.19.2021

    What is an NFT (Non-Fungible Token)? How are they created? Why would you collect digital files that anyone can obtain or view for free? This week on IP Goes Pop! fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Joseph Gushue returns to the podcast and joins Michael Snyder to talk about the ABCs of NFTs.

    Michael and Joe break down some of the technical jargon behind NFTs and the basics of the blockchain, as they explore the current trends and future prospects of this technology and how it could impact the pop culture world.

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