Google Attempts to Fight Patent Trolls with a Pretty Dubious Strategy

Google’s legal team has just announced that they’ll be buying as many patents as possible in order to “remove friction from the patent market” and defeat patent trolls, companies that buy patents just to sue people on bogus charges of infringement. But there’s a big problem with this strategy. »4/27/15 3:29pm4/27/15 3:29pm

Author Suing Joss Whedon, Claims Cabin In The Woods Is Based On His Book

The Cabin in the Woods was one of the most original takes on the "kids encounter scary things in the woods" story that we've seen in ages, but one man is claiming that it's not original at all. Author Peter Gallagher is suing the filmmakers, claiming that the film is infringing on his 2006 novel The Little White Trip:… »4/15/15 4:55pm4/15/15 4:55pm

Why it's so expensive to license the rights to a fictional character

Recently, two seemingly contradictory pieces of copyright law have popped up in the news. One is the case of Jonathan Coulton, whose arrangement of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" was lifted by the producers of Glee. Another is the recent case of a car customizer who was barred from making Batmobiles by a District… »2/27/13 3:00pm2/27/13 3:00pm

Judge rules that it's illegal to sell custom Batmobiles because the Batmobile is itself a fictional character

California resident Mark Towle runs car customizing shop Gotham Garage, which makes replicas of cars from TVs and movies. Naturally, Batmobiles were on the menu, at least until Warner Bros. smacked Towle with a lawsuit for violating its intellectual property. Now a U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew judge has ruled… »2/10/13 7:00pm2/10/13 7:00pm

Archaeologists banned from referring to ancient humanoids as "hobbits"

Homo floresiensis likely stood about 3'6", making this prehistoric human roughly the average height of one of J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbits. For years, Flores Man has been referred to by the nickname "hobbit," contributing to the species' popularity. But one company that owns film rights in The Hobbit has decided that the… »11/04/12 6:00pm11/04/12 6:00pm