The most epic patent diagram in history, No Dank in the Bank, and other legal news to ponder from Cape Law Firm

No Dank for the Bank of Oklahoma

Branding by cannabis businesses run the gamut from austere to health-conscious to downright funny. It’s hard to blame the folks using satire in their cannabis branding efforts since it remains federally “dangerous” and illegal. But a recent trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the Bank of Oklahoma is a reminder that a sense of humor is not universal. The suit was filed against a Tulsa-area cannabis dispensary named “Dank of Oklahoma” (for those in the know, “dank” refers to sticky, superbly potent cannabis). Among other things, the Bank alleged that prospective banking and financial customers would be confused about the source of the defendant’s cannabis and the Banks’ endorsement of the dispensary’s products. Granted, the dispensary was probably pushing the envelope by using arguably similar fonts and a polygon logo. But it is unlikely that bank customers would be fooled into thinking the Bank of Oklahoma was the source of the dispensary’s marijuana. The Bank also alleged claims of trademark dilution by blurring and tarnishment which likely would have had more traction in court. The case settled with a consent injunction about 3 months after it was filed.

Rock icon Eddie Van Halen owned the baddest patent diagram ever!

The world lost a legendary rock guitarist this week with the passing of Eddie Van Halen. Besides being the genius shredder anchoring lead guitar in the band Van Halen, Eddie was also an inventor with 3 patents to his name. Nearly all patents require at least one diagram of the invention, and Eddie’s patent for a “musical instrument support” contains the coolest drawing in the history of US patents. The invention was directed to a support on the back of stringed instruments (like guitars) which would allow the player to play hands-free in order to “create new techniques and sounds previously unknown to any player.” One of the patent’s diagrams looks an awful lot like a young Eddie riffing some epic sound. You can see the diagram on Google Patents here.

Cape Law Firm’s Frequently (or Randomly) Asked Questions

“What qualifies as a Trade Secret?”

Trade secrets are arguably the most valuable of all the intellectual property regimes. But what makes something a trade secret? It boils down to three things:

  • Information (formulas, methods, compilations, techniques, etc.)
  • The “information” is valuable because it isn’t generally known
  • Reasonable efforts are made to keep the information secret

Whether something qualifies for trade secret protection often focuses on the efforts to keep it a secret. Entire businesses have been built on trade secrets – some famous examples include the Coca-Cola formulaWD-40Krispy Kreme doughnut recipeColonel Sander’s 11 herbs and spices.

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