All posts by doholden

Patents & Trademarks in the News: Backcountry.com

Snapperhead, an outdoor company with roots in the UP recently made national news when it was sued for trademark infringement by Backcountry.com, a major retailer of outdoor clothing and gear. Backcountry.com objected to Snapperhead’s use of the name “Marquette Backcountry” for its patented ski, which CEO David Ollila invented. Both companies hold federally registered trademarks that include the word “backcountry,” and Backcountry.com argued that since their trademark was issued first, Snapperhead shouldn’t have been granted theirs. Facing hefty legal fees, it’s not uncommon for small businesses to bend to the will of a behemoth rather than defend their intellectual property rights. However, this case took a different path. In interviews, Ollila stated that he was ready to fight Backcountry.com. After several news stories covered this lawsuit and others that Backcountry.com had filed against several small organizations, consumers took action. Outdoor enthusiasts nationwide began shaming the company on social media for playing the role of a corporate bully to small businesses and threatened boycotts. Within days, Backcountry.com backed away from the lawsuit against Snapperhead and others.

For more information on how this case unfolded, check out the following articles:

Backcountry.com sues anyone who uses its namesake. Is it bullying or just business?

Exclusive: Backcountry CEO breaks silence over trademark blowup, drops lawsuit against Marquette Backcountry Skis

And listen to an impassioned interview with Snapperhead Inventions LLC’s David Ollila.

To learn more about trademarks contact the UP’s only Patent and Trademark Resource Center, located in Michigan Tech’s Van Pelt and Opie Library, email library@mtu.edu





OA at Michigan Tech

Open access is alive and growing at Michigan Tech!

This map shows the global reach of open access at Michigan Tech. Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, the university’s digital repository, provides open access to original research, open education resources (or OERs), graduate works, 3D models and more. Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech demonstrates our growing commitment to the benefits of an open exchange of ideas.

To learn more about Digital Commons at Michigan Tech or how you can contribute to open access at the university, contact library@mtu.edu.


Open Access Research

In 2013 the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memorandum requiring major federal research funding agencies to establish requirements for public access to research publications and data. In the years since federal agencies and some of the large private research funding agencies have issued mandates ensuring public access to the research results and data they fund.

While it makes sense that public access to research results should grow from publicly funded research, other benefits from open research are equally important. The public, embodied in the roles of scholars, fellow researchers, consumers and laypersons benefit from transparency in research, proper data management and equity in access.

But how does the researcher benefit? Are there “perks” for the researcher who opens their research results and data to the larger community? Researcher and lecturer Sabine Lengger shares her thoughts on open research and how it’s a win-win for researchers.

What do you think of open research? Join librarians interested in open access for an Open Access Week event in the Library Cafe area on Wednesday, October 23rd at 2:00pm. Be sure to bring your questions and thoughts to engage in a lively discussion. Or join us at Thursday’s C-cubed luncheon where we will have a table and be ready to talk about the ups and downs of open access.


Welcome to OA

Open access or OA is a digital publishing model in which a work is freely available to the user. While the creator of the work retains copyright and right of attribution, the user may generally download, print, share, describe or display the work. The goal of OA is to make information freely available on a global scale in order to further exploration of existing ideas and inform the development of new ones.

In the academic world, open access means free access to research results and research data as well as free use and adaptation of educational tools and resources. This video provides an overview of open access and its importance in a real-world situation.

Want to discuss open access and how it applies at Michigan Tech? Join librarians interested in open access for an Open Access Week event in the Library Cafe area on Wednesday, October 22nd at 2:00pm. Be sure to bring your questions and thoughts to engage in a lively discussion. Or join us at Thursday’s C-cubed luncheon where we will have a table and be ready to talk about the ups and downs of open access.


Protect Your Innovation

Do you have an innovative idea or an innovation that you want to protect and yet promote? How do you know if someone hasn’t already developed something similar?

If you would like to learn more about intellectual property as a business tool, please join us for Protect Your Innovation, a Husky Innovate and Patent and Trademark Resource Center collaborative workshop that will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 9) in Library 244. We will discuss the fundamentals of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, licensing and trade secrets, including how to initiate a prior art discovery with resources here at the Library. Register for the seminar at https://bit.ly/ProtectYourInnovation .

Our workshop will start with an introduction into the practical considerations and trade-offs involved in protecting your idea and how intellectual property protections can be used as a tool to develop your innovation. Michigan Tech’s own IP expert, Licensed Patent Agent and Associate Vice President for Research Administration Jim Baker, and local Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC) SmartZone CEO Dan Jamison will open up the conversation with compelling scenarios and be available for questions throughout the event. Annelise Doll and Katie Edson will provide us with an overview and hands-on search activities available at the local Patent and Trademark Resource Center offered through the US Patent and Trademark Office.

 


Forbidden Books!

Who doesn’t like reading a book deemed so dangerous it shouldn’t be read?

At the end of September every year, the American Library Association and Amnesty International partner together to host Banned Books Week. They highlight books previously and currently challenged in bans across the United States.

In the spirit that people should be able to read whatever they want, the map shows nearly 50 countries with books currently banned (or were banned in the recent past). The map shows that, unfortunately, freedom of information is still being curtailed around the world.

Here is a map and in this linked article you’ll find a brief description of each book and why it’s too dangerous to read.


Constitution Day 2019: Celebrating in Partnership with the Van Pelt and Opie Library, LWVCC, and riseUP

Constitution Day, September 17 annually, commemorates the adoption of the US Constitution, and every year it is celebrated at Michigan Tech and in the community.  This year we celebrate the 19th Amendment, which removed restrictions due to sex from the Constitution.  The 19th reads:  The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

On September 17, 2019 we celebrate the 19th Amendment to the Constitution through the showing of the film, “Iron Jawed Angels,” which tells the tale of the last decade of the seven-decade struggle to gain voting rights for all women citizens in the US.  The film will be shown at 7:30pm in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on Michigan Tech’s campus.  The fight for women’s voting rights peaked during World War I, and the adoption of the 19th Amendment was anything but obvious.  Other hot topics at the time were discriminatory racial practices, prohibition, immigration, labor safety and rights, and industrialization.  Following the film there will be an informative discussion led by Michigan Tech Social Sciences Lecturer, Susanna D. Peters, J.D.  Please join us for this educational event.

The Constitution Day film showing is co-sponsored by the Van Pelt and Opie Library, the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country, and riseUP, recognizing the Importance of Women’s Suffrage Everywhere-Upper Peninsula, a local group organizing a year-long educational program surrounding suffrage rights and acquisition of full citizenship rights by all populations.  More information on these groups will be available at the film showing.