You often hear that we are in a “Golden Age of Television.” And while there are a lot of high-budget quality shows being made (such as Game of Thrones), television is not the Golden Age that I’m excited about. Instead, my current obsession is taking a step back to the audio-only entertainment era. I cannot get enough of podcasts. One of the great things about podcasts is that you can find one on almost any subject. Here are a few of my favorite trademark podcast episodes that you might want to check out. And I’ll even throw in a copyright podcast episode, as well!
Planet Money – Episode 774: Unspeakable Trademark
The Supreme Court made its ruling on a very significant trademark case in 2017. That case was Matal v. Tam, which asked whether a bar against the registration of disparaging trademarks was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. This story was well covered in the media. One major reason for that was the impact it had on the status of several trademark registrations owned by the Washington Redskins. However, Planet Money did a great job explaining the history of the case on a personal level. It explained how Simon Tam came up with his band name, and how eventually that name landed him in front of the Supreme Court.
99% Invisible – Episode 238: Behind the Scenes with the First Trademarked Sound
You might not realize this, but a sound can also be a trademark. It can also be registered as a trademark with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. While not incredibly common, there are some famous sound marks that you would recognize. This trademark podcast episode from 99% Invisible deals with perhaps the most famous sound mark of all: the NBC chime. You probably just heard ding-DING-ding in your head, didn’t you? And again when you read that? This episode talks about the history of the NBC chime, and how it developed over the years. It’s hard to believe just how long that chime has been around!
Planet Money – Episode 652: The Hydrox Resurrection
This is an awesome trademark podcast episode about big brands, and what happens when they are abandoned. Many people remember Hydrox cookies, which were replaced by Oreos as the preferred chocolate cookie with the cream center. But one man wasn’t satisfied with this. So he decided to resurrect the Hydrox cookie. Not just the cookie itself, but the name HYDROX, too! This is a very interesting story around trademark abandonment, and how the old saying “use it or lose it” can apply in trademark law.
Planet Money – Episode 709: The Quiet Old Lady Who Whispers “Fair Use”
Okay, full disclosure: this episode is not just about trademarks. Instead, I needed a little copyright law help to fill out this list. But this is a really good copyright podcast episode! In it, there is a great discussion of fair use under copyright law. Specifically, how can you take something protected under copyright law and use it in such a way that a fair use defense applies. The example used here is the popular children’s book “Goodnight Moon.” The truth is, even a simple copyright-protected work like a children’s book can be complicated when it comes to applying fair use.
I hope that these trademark podcast episodes help to pique your interest, or at least give you something to listen to on your next long car ride. Of course, if you have any copyright or trademark questions for me, please call me at (314) 479-3668, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.