Twitter’s Trademark Policy Sucks

The odd case of @YarnAttic vs. @TheYarnAttic.

Business cat wants paperwork and ball of yarn.

[Editor’s note: Clocktower Law represents The Yarn Attic LLC of NJ (TheYarnAttic.com) in intellectual property matters and has its client’s permission to publish this article.]

[Editor’s tl;dr note: The @TheYarnAttic Twitter account has been wrongly suspended for 148 days based on an account that no longer exists, based on a brand that no longer exists, based on a trademark that no longer exists. This article highlight flaws in both the USPTO’s trademark application/registration process and Twitter’s trademark/username dispute policy.]

Twitter account suspended! Now what?

On December 2, 2015, The Yarn Attic LLC of NJ (TheYarnAttic.com) received an email from Twitter stating that its account (@TheYarnAttic) had been suspended for an alleged violation of Twitter’s trademark policy (https://support.twitter.com/articles/18367). The trademark complaint was filed by a competitor, Yarn Attic, LLC of NC (YarnAttic.com). TheYarnAttic.com was understandably frustrated by losing one of its social media channels and hired Clocktower Law to help.

Two ways to establish trademark rights.

Trademark use and trademark registration are closely related concepts. There are two ways to establish trademark rights: by using a trademark and by filing a trademark application. By using a trademark in commerce, a trademark owner establishes common law (unregistered) rights. By filing an intent-to-use trademark application, a trademark applicant establishes a de facto use date. In addition, trademark applications are examined by the USPTO in the order in which they are filed, so there are always advantages to being the first to file a trademark application.

While the USPTO (Trademark Office) determines the right to register a trademark, it is ultimately the courts that determine the right to use a trademark. Part of the trademark registration process involves submitting proof of use (called “specimens”) to the Trademark Office (via a Statement of Use (SOU) filing) to demonstrate that the applicant is properly using the trademark.

But what happens when an application is filed with use dates that pre-date the application’s filing date? What proof of use of the earlier dates does the Trademark Office require? Turns out it’s none! A trademark applicant only has to demonstrate current use and can allege the earlier use date. When a trademark applicant (or the applicant’s attorney) submits and electronically signs a trademark application, they are also making the following declaration:

The signatory believes that: if the applicant is filing the application under 15 U.S.C. § 1051(a), the applicant is the owner of the trademark/service mark sought to be registered; the applicant is using the mark in commerce on or in connection with the goods/services in the application; the specimen(s) shows the mark as used on or in connection with the goods/services in the application; and/or if the applicant filed an application under 15 U.S.C. § 1051(b), § 1126(d), and/or § 1126(e), the applicant is entitled to use the mark in commerce; the applicant has a bona fide intention, and is entitled, to use the mark in commerce on or in connection with the goods/services in the application. The signatory believes that to the best of the signatory’s knowledge and belief, no other persons, except, if applicable, concurrent users, have the right to use the mark in commerce, either in the identical form or in such near resemblance as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods/services of such other persons, to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive. The signatory being warned that willful false statements and the like are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, and that such willful false statements and the like may jeopardize the validity of the application or any registration resulting therefrom, declares that all statements made of his/her own knowledge are true and all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true. (Emphasis added.)

In other words, if your trademark application is screwed up, then bad things can happen to you and to your trademark registration.

Which first use matters from a trademark perspective?

Clocktower Law discovered that, although TheYarnAttic.com was the first to use THE YARN ATTIC trademark for online commerce and for brick-and-mortar commerce, YarnAttic.com had both registered its domain name first and filed its trademark application first. However, YarnAttic.com’s trademark application had a fundamental and fatal flaw, namely incorrectly claiming its domain name registration date as its use in commerce date.

The following table is helpful to visualize the chronology of events:

date

TheYarnAttic.com
(first user)

YarnAttic.com
(second user)

2013-02-11

domain name registration date (which
was later wrongly claimed as “use in commerce” of YARN
ATTIC)

https://research.domaintools.com/research/whois-history/search/?q=yarnattic.com

2013-07-20

evidence of no use of YARN ATTIC in
commerce

http://web.archive.org/web/20130720084831/http://yarnattic.com/

2013-10-01

proof of first use of THE YARN ATTIC
for online store commerce

https://www.facebook.com/theyarnattic/posts/186479404870554

2013-12-06

proof of first use of THE YARN ATTIC
for online store commerce

http://web.archive.org/web/20131206083049/http://www.theyarnattic.com/

2014-02-08

second use of YARN ATTIC for online
store commerce

http://web.archive.org/web/20140208105311/http://www.etsy.com/shop/YarnAtticByJH

2014-12-11

proof of first use of THE YARN ATTIC
for physical store commerce

https://www.facebook.com/theyarnattic/photos/a.170525039799324.1073741829.168614923323669/337196016465558/?type=3

2015-03-30

YARN ATTIC trademark filed (with
incorrect “use in commerce” date of 2013-02-11)

https://tsdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casestatus/sn86581186/content

2015-05-22

second use of YARN ATTIC for
physical store commerce

https://www.facebook.com/yarnattic/photos/a.607228029371012.1073741827.577639045663244/828672477226565/?type=3

2015-11-03

YARN ATTIC trademark registered

https://tsdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casestatus/sn86581186/content

2015-12-09

THE YARN ATTIC trademark filed

https://tsdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casestatus/sn86843375/content

2016-04-25

YARN ATTIC trademark canceled

https://tsdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casestatus/sn86581186/content

While registering a domain name is important, mere registration does not qualify as use in commerce for the planned products or services. See Blast Blow Dry Bar LLC v. Blown away LLC d/b/a Blast Blow Dry Bar, Opposition No. 91204769 (January 2, 2014) (registration of domain name insufficient to show use in commerce).

While filing a trademark application is important, mere filing does not trump prior user’s registered or common law rights.

Trying to get the suspended Twitter account unsuspended.

To fix this situation, Clocktower Law did the following three things:

On 2015-12-09, Clocktower Law filed THE YARN ATTIC trademark application (https://tsdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casestatus/sn86843375/content).

Also on 2015-12-09, Clocktower Law sent letters to all of the social media service providers used by TheYarnAttic.com outlining the above chronology, asking them to restore TheYarnAttic.com’s account, and/or asking them not to suspend TheYarnAttic.com’s account (for pending complaints).

On 2015-12-30, Clocktower Law (via its agent) filed a Petition To Cancel (http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qs=86581186) the YARN ATTIC registered with the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

All of TheYarnAttic’s accounts were restored but one: Twitter.

The sad state of Twitter’s trademark policy.

There are so many things wrong with Twitter’s trademark policy (https://support.twitter.com/articles/18367), it is hard to decide where to begin!

First, Twitter’s trademark policy uses the undefined “clear intent to mislead” standard to determine whether it will suspend an account.

Second, Twitter inexplicably pretends that the owners of registered trademarks are inherently more equal (to paraphrase Orwell) than owners of unregistered trademarks. The policy states, “A federal or international trademark registration number is required.” Then, as if tacitly admitting that maybe there is more to the concept of trademark rights than mere registration, the next sentence states, “If the name you are reporting is not a registered mark (e.g., a government agency or non-profit organization), please let us know [the following details].” Since when are non-profits prohibited from getting registered trademarks? And if you are going to recognize the common law rights of non-profits, why not the common law rights of all companies?

Third, Twitter appears to give good faith users a chance to redeem themselves by stating, “When we determine that an account appears to be confusing users, but is not purposefully passing itself off as the trademarked good or service, we give the account holder an opportunity to clear up any potential confusion.” So what is the standard? Is it “clear intent to mislead”? Or “not purposefully passing itself off”? And what evidence must a party use to prove/disprove the “intent” and/or “purposefully” clauses?

Fourth, when your account is suspended, you may appeal, but that’s about it. The only thing that Twitter’s appeal policy (https://support.twitter.com/articles/15790) says is “you can appeal.” No actual procedures or standards are defined. Twitter’s suspended account appeals procedure is about as fair to suspended users as the NFL Commission’s appeals process is to suspended players. I have no evidence than any human being (much less a lawyer) actually read any of the appeals filed in this case.

A renewed call for a Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy (UUDRP).

In January 2009, I called for the creation of a Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy in connection with an article I wrote about how many of the top 100 brands had their usernames squatted on Twitter.

The @TheYarnAttic Twitter fiasco highlights, I hope, the need for such a policy.

On April 26, 2016, in connection with this article, I spent a couple hours creating a draft Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy (UUDRP), which is essentially the UDRP with “domain name” replaced with “username” (plus a few other changes). If there is demand, then maybe I’ll supply what’s missing (such as the UUDRP Rules). But my point is this: It’s really not that difficult to conjure up a fair trademark policy for username disputes.

I can think of many ways Twitter’s trademark policy can fail. What if it’s a battle of two common law trademark owners? What if two owners have identical trademarks in different classes of goods/services? What about trademark registration for the same goods/services in two different countries? What if a Complainant makes a prima facie case of “clear intent to mislead” and that case is rebutted by overwhelming evidence? What if a Complainant makes a prima facie case and the account holder supplies proof of ongoing litigation? Do you think Twitter would let both accounts continue while the courts settle things? I doubt it.

Interestingly, the Twittersquatting problem outlined in my 2009 article still exists today. Another nonsensical line from Twitter’s trademark policy states, “Twitter usernames are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and may not be reserved.” That’s like a restaurant saying, “You can call any number of days or hours ahead, give us your name, and we’ll hold a table for you at the requested time, but we don’t take reservations.” So yes, Twitter usernames can be “reserved” (AKA squatted) because Twitter allows them to be registered on a “first-come, first-served basis.”

Twitter’s flawed trademark policy is not the only bad social networking trademark policy, but it is clearly the worst. TheYarnAttic.com also had its Instagram account temporarily suspended, but Clocktower Law’s appeal was quickly processed and TheYarnAttic.com’s account was restored in only 9 days.

Whither @TheYarnAttic?

As of today, TheYarnAttic.com’s Twitter account (@TheYarnAttic) has been suspended for 148 days.

Since then, multiple complaints and appeals have been filed on behalf of TheYarnAttic.com, all of which have either been rejected or ignored.

As of 2016-03-08, YarnAttic.com has completed re-branding to WinstonWools.com:

On 2016-04-25, the USPTO canceled the YARN ATTIC trademark (https://tsdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casestatus/sn86581186/content).

Yet today, the @TheYarnAttic account remains suspended. Based on an account that no longer exists, based on a brand that no longer exists, based on a trademark that no longer exists.

How much longer must we wait for justice, for the @TheYarnAttic account to be restored?

Finally, some advice for Twitter. It’s really not hard to figure out the right thing to do. Not in this case, not in any case. Follow the letter of your policy (such as it is) but also follow the spirit of your policy. To quote one of my mentors, “If you feel yourself losing sight of reality, fear not. I have the solution: Ask you mother.”

Related Posts


Erik claims to publish the #1 blog about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at ErikJHeels.com. Brevity is not his strong suit.

Erik J. Heels

Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy (UUDRP)

(As Drafted by GiantPeople LLC on April 26, 2016)

1. Purpose. This Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UUDRP”) was created to provide Service Providers whose services include user-created usernames with a standardized method of resolving disputes regarding which user should have the right to use a particular username. The policy is between the Service Provider and its customer (the username holder) and, as such, uses “we” and “our” to refer to the Service Provider and uses “you” and “your” to refer to the customer. The Policy recognizes that usernames are as important as domain names, recognizes that username squatting is a real problem, and is based on (but does not exactly follow) the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) and located at <https://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp/policy>. This Policy is incorporated by reference into your Service Provider’s Terms of Service (“TOS”) and sets forth the terms and conditions in connection with a dispute between you and any party other than us over the creation and use of an Internet username created by you. Proceedings under Paragraph 4 of this Policy will be conducted according to the Rules for Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy (the “UUDRP Rules”), which are available at <UUDRP-RULES-URL>.

2. Your Representations. By creating a username, or by asking us to maintain or renew a username, you hereby represent and warrant to us that (a) the statements that you made in your account with us are complete and accurate; (b) to your knowledge, the creating of the username will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party; (c) you are not creating the username for an unlawful purpose; and (d) you will not knowingly use the username in violation of any applicable laws or regulations. It is your responsibility to determine whether your username infringes or violates someone else’s rights.

3. Cancellations, Transfers, and Changes. We will cancel, transfer, or otherwise make changes to a username under the following circumstances:

(a) Your direction. Subject to the provisions of Paragraph 8, our receipt of written or appropriate electronic instructions from you or your authorized agent to take such action;

(b) Court order. Our receipt of an order from a court or arbitral tribunal, in each case of competent jurisdiction, requiring such action; and/or

(c) Administrative Panel decision. Our receipt of a decision of an Administrative Panel requiring such action in any administrative proceeding to which you were a party and which was conducted under this Policy or a later version of this Policy adopted by GiantPeople LLC. (See Paragraph 4(i) and (k) below.)

We may also cancel, transfer or otherwise make changes to a username in accordance with the terms of your TOS or other legal requirements.

4. Mandatory Administrative Proceeding.

This Paragraph sets forth the type of disputes for which you are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding. These proceedings will be conducted before one of the administrative-dispute-resolution service providers listed at <PROVIDERS-URL> (each, a “Provider”).

(a) Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a “Complainant”) asserts to the Service Provider, in compliance with the UUDRP Rules, that

(i) your username is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the username; OR

(ii) your username is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and your username has been created and is being used in bad faith.

In the administrative proceeding, the Complainant must prove that the elements of paragraph 4(a)(i) OR paragraph 4(a)(ii) are present.

(b) Evidence of Registration and Use in Bad Faith. For the purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(ii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the creation and use of a username in bad faith:

(i) circumstances indicating that you have created or you have acquired the username primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the username to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the username; or

(ii) you have created the username in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding username, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) you have created the username primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the username, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location.

(c) How to Demonstrate Your Rights to and Legitimate Interests in the Username in Responding to a Complaint. When you receive a complaint, you should refer to the UUDRP Rules in determining how your response should be prepared. Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the username for purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(i):

(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the username or a name corresponding to the username in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the username, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the username, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

(d) Selection of Provider. The Complainant shall select the Provider from among those approved by GiantPeople LLC by submitting the complaint to that Provider. The selected Provider will administer the proceeding, except in cases of consolidation as described in Paragraph 4(f).

(e) Initiation of Proceeding and Process and Appointment of Administrative Panel. The UUDRP Rules state the process for initiating and conducting a proceeding and for appointing the panel that will decide the dispute (the “Administrative Panel”).

(f) Consolidation. In the event of multiple disputes between you and a Complainant, either you or the Complainant may petition to consolidate the disputes before a single Administrative Panel. This petition shall be made to the first Administrative Panel appointed to hear a pending dispute between the parties. This Administrative Panel may consolidate before it any or all such disputes in its sole discretion, provided that the disputes being consolidated are governed by this Policy or a later version of this Policy adopted by GiantPeople LLC.

(g) Fees. All fees charged by a Provider in connection with any dispute before an Administrative Panel pursuant to this Policy shall be paid by the Complainant, except in cases where you elect to expand the Administrative Panel from one to three panelists as provided in Paragraph 5(b)(iv) of the UUDRP Rules, in which case all fees will be split evenly by you and the Complainant.

(h) Our Involvement in Administrative Proceedings. We do not, and will not, participate in the administration or conduct of any proceeding before an Administrative Panel. In addition, we will not be liable as a result of any decisions rendered by the Administrative Panel.

(i) Remedies. The remedies available to a Complainant pursuant to any proceeding before an Administrative Panel shall be limited to requiring the cancellation of your username or the transfer of your username to the Complainant.

(j) Notification and Publication. The Provider shall notify us of any decision made by an Administrative Panel with respect to a username you have created with us. All decisions under this Policy will be published in full over the Internet, except when an Administrative Panel determines in an exceptional case to redact portions of its decision.

(k) Availability of Court Proceedings. The mandatory administrative proceeding requirements set forth in Paragraph 4 shall not prevent either you or the Complainant from submitting the dispute to a court of competent jurisdiction for independent resolution before such mandatory administrative proceeding is commenced or after such proceeding is concluded. If an Administrative Panel decides that your username should be canceled or transferred, then we will wait ten (10) business days (as observed in the location of our principal office) after we are informed by the applicable Provider of the Administrative Panel’s decision before implementing that decision. We will then implement the decision unless we have received from you during that ten (10) business day period official documentation (such as a copy of a complaint, file-stamped by the clerk of the court) that you have commenced a lawsuit against the Complainant in a jurisdiction to which the Complainant has submitted under Paragraph 3(b)(xiii) of the UUDRP Rules. (In general, that jurisdiction is either the location of our principal office or of your address as shown in your account with us. See the UUDRP Rules for details.) If we receive such documentation within the ten (10) business day period, then we will not implement the Administrative Panel’s decision, and we will take no further action, until we receive (i) evidence satisfactory to us of a resolution between the parties; (ii) evidence satisfactory to us that your lawsuit has been dismissed or withdrawn; or (iii) a copy of an order from such court dismissing your lawsuit or ordering that you do not have the right to continue to use your username.

5. All Other Disputes and Litigation. All other disputes between you and any party other than us regarding your username that are not brought pursuant to the mandatory administrative proceeding provisions of Paragraph 4 shall be resolved between you and such other party through any court, arbitration, or other proceeding that may be available.

6. Our Involvement in Disputes. We will not participate in any way in any dispute between you and any party other than us regarding the creation and use of your username. You shall not name us as a party or otherwise include us in any such proceeding. In the event that we are named as a party in any such proceeding, we reserve the right to raise any and all defenses deemed appropriate, and to take any other action necessary to defend ourselves.

7. Maintaining the Status Quo. We will not cancel, transfer, activate, deactivate, or otherwise change the status of any username under this Policy except as provided in Paragraph 3 above.

8. Transfers During a Dispute. You may not transfer your username to another holder (i) during a pending administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Paragraph 4 or for a period of fifteen (15) business days (as observed in the location of our principal place of business) after such proceeding is concluded; or (ii) during a pending court proceeding or arbitration commenced regarding your username unless the party to whom the username is being transferred agrees, in writing, to be bound by the decision of the court or arbitrator. We reserve the right to cancel any transfer of a username to another holder that is made in violation of this paragraph.

9. Policy Modifications. We reserve the right to modify this Policy at any time with the permission of GiantPeople LLC. We will post our revised Policy at <SERVICE-PROVIDER-UUDRP-URL> at least thirty (30) calendar days before it becomes effective. Unless this Policy has already been invoked by the submission of a complaint to a Provider, in which event the version of the Policy in effect at the time it was invoked will apply to you until the dispute is over, all such changes will be binding upon you with respect to any username dispute, whether the dispute arose before, on or after the effective date of our change. In the event that you object to a change in this Policy, your sole remedy is to cancel your username with us, provided that you will not be entitled to a refund of any fees you paid to us. The revised Policy will apply to you until you cancel your username.

END of UUDRP v1

Notes

Note 1.  I spent a couple of hours creating this draft Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy (UUDRP), which is essentially the UDRP with “domain name” replaced with “username” (plus a few other changes).  If there is demand, then maybe I’ll supply what’s missing (such as the UUDRP Rules).  But my point is this: It’s really not that difficult to conjure up a fair trademark policy for username disputes.

Note 2.  The main substantive difference between this UUDRP (for usernames) and ICANN’s UDRP (for domain names) is that the UDRP requires a showing of three elements whereas the UUDRP requires a showing of only two.

The UDRP elements are (1) domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, (2) domain name registrant has no legitimate rights, and (3) domain name registrant’s bad faith. As anyone who has undertaken a UDRP complaint will tell you, proving (or even inferring) bad faith can be quite tricky.

Since usernames are easier to create than domain names are to register, and since usernames are typically created at zero cost to the creator while domain names typically cost money to register, we feel that it makes sense for usernames to be easier to recover (by the trademark owner) than domain names. As such, the UUDRP Complainant must show either (1) domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark and username creator has no legitimate rights OR (2) domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark and username creator’s bad faith.

Note 3.  The OpenOffice version of this UUDRP is here:
2016-04-26-giantpeople-uudrp-v1.odt

Note 4.  The PDF redline version of this UUDRP (compared to the source UDRP document) is here:
2016-04-26-giantpeople-uudrp-v1-redline.pdf

External Links: Social Networks’ Trademark Policies


Erik claims to publish the #1 blog about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at ErikJHeels.com. Brevity is not his strong suit.

Erik J. Heels

LawLawLaw #39

Technology, Law, Baseball, Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Two boys holding baseball equipment talking. "When I grow up I'm goona play for the Asterisks."

About LawLawLaw

My name is Erik Heels, and this is my LawLawLawTM newsletter. Since 2001, LawLawLaw has documented trends in technology, law (mostly patents and trademarks), baseball (mostly Red Sox), and music (mostly rock).

Today’s disclaimer du jour of the day #109: Enlarged to show texture.

Thanks for reading!

Clocktower Law Stuff

* I use the latest WordPress default theme on all my websites. (2016-03-31)
I’ve been doing this for a couple of years after realizing (1) that I was spending way too much on web design/redesign and (2) that I needed my websites to keep up with technology (e.g. mobile-friendly, responsive). This website, for example, currently uses the Twenty Sixteen theme. Next year, Twenty Seventeen. I thought I would have more to say about it. But this paragraph will have to do. I have good design, good SEO, good control of costs, and a good process. That’s good enough for me.
https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/08/25/introducing-twenty-sixteen/

* Clocktower Law Client Tamr Offers Free Software License and Data Science Expertise to White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force (2016-03-22)
Companies affiliated with Cancer Moonshot initiative may use Tamr’s data preparation platform to accelerate analysis of clinical research data.
http://www.tamr.com/tamr-offers-free-software-license-data-science-expertise-white-house-cancer-moonshot-task-force/

* Clocktower Law @ Villageworks (2016-02-17)
17 Seconds #21.
As promised, Clocktower Law moved. West Acton Villageworks, located at 525-545 Mass Ave., is a 70,000-square-foot community of independent retail, dining, wellness, learning, non-profit, and professional businesses organized around public lawns and courtyards, shared meeting spaces, and an intimate solar-powered event venue.
http://www.erikjheels.com/5866.html

* Clocktower Law Client Tamr Blogs About What GE Moving To The Hub Means For Boston’s Startup Ecosystem (2016-01-16)
http://www.tamr.com/ge_startup_ecosystem/

Tech Stuff

* Huge Breakthrough: Gravitational Waves Finally Detected, Proving Einstein Was Right (2016-02-12)
This is the most significant technological discovery of my lifetime (so far).
http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/gravitational-waves-detected-proving-einstein-right/

* What are gravitational waves? (2016-02-12)
Good explanation from PHD Comics. This is the most significant technological discovery of my lifetime (so far).
http://kottke.org/16/02/what-are-gravitational-waves

* Gravitational Waves Detected (2016-02-11)
This is the most significant technological discovery of my lifetime (so far).
http://kottke.org/16/02/gravitational-waves-detected

* Bill Gates call Richard Feynman “The Best Teacher I Never Had” (2016-01-30)
And based on the next story, it looks like I’ll need to rely on Feynman to help me catch up!
http://kottke.org/16/01/bill-gates-tribute-to-richard-feynman-the-best-teacher-i-never-had

* 17 Equations That Changed The World (2016-01-28)
Arranged in chronological order. My high school (CEHS, Cape Elizabeth, Maine) education got me through #5 on the list (Euler, 1750). My college (MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts) education got me through #12 on the list (Bolzmann, 1874).
http://kottke.org/16/01/17-equations-that-changed-the-world

Law Stuff

* FBI Has Accessed San Bernardino Shooter’s Phone Without Apple’s Help (2016-03-29)
Should you be relieved that the FBI didn’t need Apple’s help to break the iPhone’s encryption? Or terrified?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-has-accessed-san-bernardino-shooters-phone-without-apples-help/2016/03/28/e593a0e2-f52b-11e5-9804-537defcc3cf6_story.html

* Ohio man may face jail for parodying police on Facebook page. (2016-03-29)
Urg.
http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/odd+news/ohio-man-may-face-jail-for-parodying-police-on-facebook-page/article/461332

* 20% of registered trademarks are at risk due to improper use. (2016-03-17)
17 Seconds #22.
Clocktower Law recently reviewed 100% of the registered trademarks in its docket and discovered that 20% of them are at risk due to incorrect use. “At risk” meaning that it will be difficult to renew these registered trademarks, because the website pages used (as specimens) to register them are no longer available.
http://www.erikjheels.com/5880.html

* The Trademark Reporter’s 2016 “Annual Review of U.S. Trademark Cases” (2016-03-11)
For those of you scoring at home.
http://thettablog.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-trademark-reporters-2016-annual.html

* Antonin Scalia, Justice on the Supreme Court, Dies at 79 (2016-02-13)
Scalia was undeniably a great writer and a principled jurist. I predict that history will prove, however, that his were the wrong principles.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/us/antonin-scalia-death.html

Baseball Stuff

* Jonesy by Jamey Newberg (2016-02-22)
Great stuff from Peter Gammons’s blog about baseball good guy Bob Jones. I also have his 1977 Topps baseball card!
http://www.gammonsdaily.com/jamey-newberg-jonesy/

* IBWAA Selects Ken Griffey, Jr. And Edgar Martinez In 2016 Hall Of Fame Vote (2016-01-06)
HOF results day is a good day for baseball fans during the off-season. Opening day tomorrow!
http://www.gammonsdaily.com/ibwaa-selects-ken-griffey-jr-and-edgar-martinez-in-2016-hall-of-fame-vote/

Music Stuff

* My band, The MCats Band, announces its initial summer schedule. (2016-03-29)
Many of you know that I have been playing in a rock cover band (keyboards, vocals) since 2005. If you’re in the Boston area this summer, [then] we’ll be playing at The Sunset Tiki Bar at Nashoba Valley in Westford, MA, on June 10, July 30, and August 18. (Even if you’re not in Boston this summer, we’ll be playing at the Tiki Bar.)
https://www.facebook.com/MCatsBand/posts/10154668314293696

Random Stuff

* A History Of Japan (2016-03-17)
I’m told it’s pretty accurate. Jason Kottke calls it “the most entertaining history of anything I have ever seen.”
http://kottke.org/16/02/a-history-of-japan

* I, on the other hand, do try to be pedantic about conditionals. I also dislike implied “thens.” (2016-03-07)
If you’re in Boston today, [then] the weather is great!
Even if you’re not in Boston, [then] the weather is great.
http://xkcd.com/1652/

* An Old Stone Tower Becomes A Small House In Hvar, Croatia (2016-03-07)
Tiny houses are officially a thing.
http://smallhousebliss.com/2016/03/07/old-stone-tower-hvar/

* Cuddle Clones Are Plush Replicas of Your Favorite Pets (2016-02-12)
Do I want one? Do I not want one?
http://lifehacker.com/cuddle-clones-are-plush-replicas-of-your-favorite-pets-1758608750

* Heliocentrism vs. Geocentrism (2016-01-01)
What the solar system looks like from an Earth-centric point of view.
http://kottke.org/16/01/heliocentrism-vs-geocentrism

* My niece, Jennifer, has a quilt blog. (2015-12-31)
If you look carefully, you can see Jennifer and my son, Ben Heels, in this blog post.
http://neverjustjennifer.blogspot.com/2015/12/modern-double-cross-finished-quilt.html


P.S. LawLawLaw, available at LawLawLaw.com, is a publication written by Clocktower Law LLC founder Erik J. Heels and published by GiantPeople LLC. The opinions in LawLawLaw do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Clocktower Law, GiantPeople, their employees, or the author. If you don’t share this with friends and family, then who will? Thanks!

P.P.S. Erik claims to publish the #1 blog about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at erikjheels.com. Brevity is not his strong suit.

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