February 12, 2019

With its signature stack of three buns and two beef patties covered in special sauce, there are few fast food items as famous as the Big Mac. That’s why over the years McDonald’s has tried to protect its flagship burger by pursuing legal action against any possible imitators. One of the company’s latest targets was Supermac’s, an Irish chain that sold a suspiciously similar sandwich called the Mighty Mac. Unfortunately for McDonald’s, though, this particular case didn’t go exactly as Continue reading

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January 29, 2019

From December 22, 2018, up until last Friday, the federal government remained shut down due to a budget dispute between the White House and congressional Democrats. During the course of this 35-day shutdown, thousands of federal employees either worked without pay or were sent home until the government reopened. And according to a new report from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the shutdown cost the U.S. economy an estimated $11 billion.

The report says that most of the lost Continue reading

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January 24, 2019

For luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, maintaining an image of elegance and sophistication is essential for success. After all, high-end consumers might not be willing to hand over huge amounts of cash to a company that has fallen out of fashion. In order to remain in control of its image, Louis Vuitton has often been quick to file lawsuits against knockoff businesses that place its signature logo onto poorly made items. Along with targeting bootleggers, however, the company also has Continue reading

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January 15, 2019

Back in 2016 we took a look at the enormous legal fight surrounding talcum powder produced by Johnson & Johnson. At the time, a judge ruled that the company had to pay $72 million to a group of 60 plaintiffs who said they contracted ovarian cancer from using J&J baby powder. But that settlement was far from the end of the pharmaceutical giant’s problems as it continues to face thousands of talc-related lawsuits all over the country.

In fact, Continue reading

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December 4, 2018

A couple of years ago, a pair of video game developers received a deeply worrying email from the British Red Cross. “It has been brought to our attention that in your game ‘Prison Architect’ a red cross emblem is displayed on vehicles,” read the email. “Those responsible may be unaware that use of the red cross emblem is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims.” Little did the two developers know, but their placement of a Continue reading

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November 15, 2018

Last year, Amazon announced that it would build a second headquarters somewhere in the United States. Known as “HQ2,” the project generated instant interest among dozens of cities that wanted to attract the e-commerce giant to their communities. After all, Amazon said the headquarters would bring in at least 50,000 high-paying tech jobs, which could have a significant economic impact anywhere in the country. Cities then offered generous benefits and tax breaks in an effort to woo the company. While Continue reading

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November 13, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, more than 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to protest the search giant’s handling of sexual harassment claims. Along with demands to improve the process for reporting harassment, the protesters also called for Google to end forced employee arbitration. This controversial tactic requires staffers to settle any legal disputes out of court, usually through an independent arbitrator rather than a judge and jury.

Critics of the policy say that this system protects serial harassers by Continue reading

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November 8, 2018

A few months ago, Domino’s began running a TV ad campaign centered on a pretty unusual premise. The commercials showed workmen filling potholes with asphalt which were then spray-painted with the Domino’s logo. “We don’t want to lose any great-tasting pizza to a pothole, ruining a wonderful meal,” read a press release about the campaign. Called “Paving for Pizza,” Domino’s encouraged Americans to contact the company if they wanted some roads repaired in their town free of charge.

“Within the Continue reading

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November 6, 2018

Today millions of Americans will head out to vote in the midterm elections, and hopefully you’ll be one of them. Of course, not everyone can easily find time during the day to perform this important civic duty. According to a Pew Research Center survey from 2014, 35 percent of respondents said they were registered to vote but couldn’t make it to the polls due to “work or school conflicts.” In that particular election year, only 37 percent of eligible voters Continue reading

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September 13, 2018

While songwriters and filmmakers can protect their intellectual property through copyrights, many fashion designers can’t do the same when it comes to their creations. The video below shows why legislators consider clothing to be different from other forms of art and how that affects designers, especially those at the high-end of the market.

Questions:

  1. Why have legislators been reluctant to grant clothing designs the same protection as movies or songs?
  2. Do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright Continue reading
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