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 2!

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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.

  • 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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  • 04.07.2021

    This week on IP Goes Pop! Fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Wesley McMichael joins Michael Snyder to talk about inventors Thomas Edison’s and Nikola Tesla’s “battle of currents”.

    Michael and Wes have an electric conversation about the race to light up the country and the patents that both paved the way for providing power. They explore the difference between the direct current (DC), championed, sometimes to a shocking extreme, by Edison, and alternating current (AC) advocated for by Tesla.

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  • 02.24.2021

    This week on IP Goes Pop! fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Robert Leonard joins host Michael Snyder to talk about artists' rights, and attempts by musicians to regain rights to their original recordings.

    From Taylor Swift to Prince, IP Goes Pop! looks at what’s at stake when giving up rights to master recordings. In this episode, Michael and Rob explore how musicians try to “take back the music” and discuss how different artists navigated disputes over their intellectual property, and how the internet coupled with the likes of TikTok may be turning the industry on its flip-side.

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  • 02.03.2021

    What happens when someone believes a movie is based on their original idea? What sets one Zombie film apart from another? In this episode of IP Goes Pop! intellectual property attorney and host, Michael Snyder, is joined by his fellow shareholder at Volpe Koenig, Joseph Gushue, for a trip to a Hollywood writer’s room.

    Michael and Joe explore the intellectual property issues surrounding the stories that make it to the silver screen, and who really created them.

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  • 01.13.2021

    This week on IP Goes Pop! Volpe Koenig Shareholder Michael Snyder explores what happens when real world intellectual property makes its way into the virtual (video game) world.

    In this episode, Michael looks at the outcomes of two separate cases involving famous major video game franchises, and how their use of real world images ended up in court.

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