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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  • 12.07.2022

    Who holds the patent on gravity? Who collects the royalties for the speed of light? In this episode of IP Goes Pop!, Volpe Koenig Shareholders and podcasts hosts, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, explore what intellectual property (trade secrets, trademarks, patents and copyrights) cannot protect. Hint- some things excluded from IP protection include the Laws of Nature such as gravity, the speed of light and even Einstein’s theory of relativity E=MC2. Abstract ideas are another. But what other “can’t”s stand between you, your idea, and protections for it?

    To set the table, this episode begins with a pop culture journey through famous “Can’t” songs and movies. Moving into the intellectual property segment of the show your hosts explore the question ‘Why can't intellectual property rights protect everything?’

    In some ways, in order to understand what you can protect you first need to learn what you cannot protect. Intellectual property rights are designed to protect concepts like ideas, inventions, creative works, processes and methods, formulas, brand names, and more. Intellectual property rights cannot be used to protect other concepts like mathematical algorithms and natural phenomenon. Also, with the possible exceptions of trade secrets (if kept secret) and trademarks (if continuously used), intellectual property rights are limited in scope and duration. In other words, after a patent, trademark or copyright expires or is abandoned, your intellectual property rights are no longer protected.

    In this episode, you will learn some nuances of intellectual property law such as legal reverse engineering and proper vs. improper means of acquiring a trade secret.

    Michael and Joe break down some of the reasons why some ideas may be better suited for trademark, patent, or copyright protection instead of trade secret protection. If you’ve ever wanted to know what you can and cannot do in the IP world, this episode is for you!

  • 10.28.2022

    IP Goes Pop! is back with its second annual Spooktacular! In this episode, things get much spookier as we pit the top four Halloween Monsters against each other. Listen in for a breakdown of these famous characters and archetypes. Play along as your co-hosts, Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue rank Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster, Werewolves, and Mummies. What powers or abilities do they have that set them apart from each other? What movie or television show made them Halloween staples, and do these movies stand the test of time? Find out who rates highest on the jack-o-lantern meter to be crowned the spookiest monster of Halloween.  And gain valuable insights into the methods and tools needed to protect yourself from these scary creatures on the night of the big 3-1.

  • 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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