by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 1st 2010 5:58am
Ah, the world of intellectual property law is getting more and more ridiculous. The latest is that patent lawyer Carl Oppedahl has been allowed to trademark a 16-second musical introduction. The USPTO had initially pointed out that with a song that long, it seemed like it should be covered by copyright, not trademarks. But Oppedahl pushed them on this, pointing out that other long recordings have been trademarked as well. Still, if this catches on, it could become an issue. You could see a potential case where a musician could try to get around compulsory license rules for covers by claiming trademark on the work, and using that to block others from performing the song. That would set up quite an epic court battle, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it come to pass before too long.
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