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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  • 09.28.2022

    In this episode, IP Goes Pop! co-hosts and Volpe Koenig shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue take you through their first round of pop culture “game-changers.” That is, who were the people, artists, or innovators where the world was never the same after them. Game changers exist in so many pop culture areas, including movies, music, television, and sports. In the world of patents and inventions, game changers from hundreds of years ago still impact our lives every day.

    While the age of the tinkering in the garage or basement and coming up with an invention that changes the world may be much less likely today, this episode looks at the history of how a few brilliant minds saw a problem and set forth solving--not just for themselves, but for an entire world.

    Michael and Joe set the table with their choices for iconic pop-culture game changers in basketball, music fandoms, special effects, TV shows, and stand-up comedy. These were legends that helped redefine their crafts. This episode then takes us further back into patent history than IP Goes Pop! has ever gone before. Michael and Joe dig deep into the patent archives and pull out some exceptional early inventions that are still relevant now. You will hear the story of each inventor, the background of their invention, and how their innovations impacted the larger culture.

    In many ways, pop culture is defined by constant change. You never know from whom, from where, or how innovations will come about, but you can rest assured IP Goes Pop! will be there to walk you through the intellectual property game changers that continue to influence our world and the ways we interact with it.

    This episode may inspire a listener to put an idea into practice that could end up making everyone’s life better or easier. The next game-changing invention could be just around the corner of curiosity and problem solving.

  • 08.10.2022

    This week on IP Goes Pop! co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue are joined by fellow intellectual property attorney and Volpe Koenig Shareholder, Randy Huis, to once again visit the town of Springfield in the fictional, but full of real fun, world of The Simpsons. Patents on candy, robots, and other inventions that may sound more like they are out of a writer’s room rather than based on an inventor’s technical notebook get filed with the Patent Office every day.

    In this episode listeners will get a taste of just how much intellectual property can come out of, or be inspired by, popular culture.

  • 07.20.2022

    Young or “prodigy" inventors. We see them fictionalized in movies and we hear about the real child inventors and entrepreneurs who make it onto Shark Tank each season. But in the real world, what programs are in place to encourage young inventors, new entrepreneurs, and small businesses to create and protect their ideas? Where can they turn to for reliable information and assistance on available protections for an idea, invention, or a revolutionary business venture, and how to go about securing those protections?

    This episode of IP Goes Pop! virtually visits the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an inside look at the many available resources, World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, and how inventors of any age can bring their ideas into the world.

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  • 06.08.2022

    Volpe Koenig intellectual property attorneys and IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue team up once again, traveling to where worlds collide, taking us into the complex legal negotiations that bring beloved pop-culture characters from different franchises or “universes” together. Such crossovers can mix movie or TV characters or stories to the delight of fans. But can super heroes like Batman and Spider-Man crossover to team up and fight crime together? And who will they fight?

    The amount of effort that goes into creating and protecting iconic movie, television, or comic book characters in alternate or rival universes is staggering.  In this episode of IP Goes Pop! you might be surprised to learn what it takes to see your favorite characters “crossover” into other worlds.

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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.

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