"I/P Updates" in the News
and from the October 2006 issue of "The Recycler:"
Bill Heinze, an Atlanta attorney with Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, launched a blog on intellectual-property issues, his specialty. He hoped it would help drum up business.
It's taken energy and time — about 10 or 15 hours a week. Usually blogging from home, Heinze focuses on providing quick summaries of recent case decisions and journal articles. It's exactly the kind of information he thought time-starved lawyers might be looking for.
"My biggest advice is you've got to have something to say that is useful for your audience," Heinze says.
He signed up with a service that converts his blog into newsletter e-mails, sending 18,000 weekly around the nation and across the world.
Heinze figures the blog has helped him attract 20 or 30 new clients over the last two years. Still, it hasn't done as much for his client base as he expected —- and it's cost him billable hours.
As much time as it consumes, "I don't know how much longer I will be able to keep it up," he says.
Printer manufacturers have figured out that it's very difficult to use patents alone to prevent this refillng [of printer artridges]," said Willam F. ("Bill") Heinze, an intellectual property attorney for the law firm Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ''As we just said, there are ways to get around that."
"It's also difficult to use trademarks to protect against it, because someone always says, 'Well, this is not the original product. This is refilled and we scraped the trademarks off so everyone will know it's not an original, so we're not doing trademark infringement.' So what these guys have tried to come up with are electronic security means, the idea being that there is some little code on that printer or cartridge that somehow has to match up with the code on the printer. . .
"In that DMCA case, somebody came up with a little software system to figure out a way to get around the little security encryption system." Security circumvention under the Digital Milennium Copyright Act usually involves sellng CDs or electronic recordings when a security system prohibits resale of copies. "The court looked at that and whether the same provisions should apply to systems for cartridges and the court said 'no,' for a variety of reasons," Heinze said.
"What I thought was interesting about that [decision] is these people saying, 'Well, we can't really stop these refills with patents and we can't do it with trademarks, so what if we try and do it with copyrights? Hey; there's this new law that's perfect.'
Since the court would not apply the DMCA law in this manner, Heinze said many OEMs are up against the wall. "Their plan is to give away the printers and then they can make it up on the cartridges. That's all nice, but if you don't have the patents to back it up, it's really tough."