The BB-8 Droid in “Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens” – Not Just a Figment of CGI Imagination


If you are one of the millions eagerly anticipating the release of “Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens,” then you may have seen BB-8, a rolling robot that is set to make its first film appearance in the Star Wars® movie franchise. While robots have appeared in prior Star Wars movies, BB-8 is believed to be the first actually portrayed by a real remote-controlled robot, rather than by an actor or a puppet or by using special effects, such as CGI. You may ask, how is this possible? Well, the answer may lie...
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Boeing Files Patent for Star Wars-Type Force Field


Space ships that appear in Star Wars movies famously utilize non-material force shields to deflect laser blasts from other ships. Recently, Boeing filed a patent for a military vehicle shield that would work much the same way: not visible to the naked eye and capable of deflecting other non-material forces.   The patent calls for “[a] method and system for attenuating a shockwave propagating through a first medium by heating a selected region of the first fluid medium rapidly to create a second, transient medium that...
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Avoid the Dark Side of Trademark Infringement – Know Your Star Wars Trademarks


With the upcoming release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, the market has been flooded with products related to the movie – everything from clothing to action figures to limited edition ice cream flavors (The Dark Side, dark chocolate ice cream with espresso fudge brownies, cocoa crispy pieces, and white chocolate morsels, and The Light Side, marshmallow ice cream with crispy pieces). In honor of the mass marketing, now is a good time to look at some of the federal trademarks associated with the Star...
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Disney Wrests Back Control of Star Wars Domain Names in the UK


The Walt Disney Company, which acquired Lucasfilm and the rights to the Star Wars franchise for more than $4.06 billion in 2012, is getting its ducks in a row for “Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens,” which comes out December 18, 2015. As part of that process, it recently wrested back control of several Star Wars domain names in the United Kingdom from a third party who previously owned them. Costume retailer ABSCISSA.COM Limited first purchased StarWars.co.uk back in 2003 after it alleged Lucasfilms let its...
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Businesses Beware: The Hackers that Stole Christmas


With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and numerous events held during the holiday season quickly approaching, some hackers are looking forward to stealing personal information from consumers. While consumers realize they are at risk, businesses that offer eCommerce should also realize they are at risk of losing money and at risk of being held liable for consumers’ stolen personal information. According to IPWatchdog.com, “[a] LexisNexis study on online fraud found that large e-commerce companies saw an uptick in fraud...
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Patent on Loading Screen Mini Games in Video Games Expires


If you’ve ever played video games, you know the worst part can be waiting for the game to load. Nothing happens. The screen sits immobile, reads “now loading,” or perhaps features a fact or tip about the game. And that is because technology company Namco Bandai has held a patent on mini games within those loading screens since 1995. But on Friday, that patent finally expired, paving the way for other gaming companies to make the video game loading screen a little more interesting. The patent, US 5718632 A,...
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Thanksgiving: Pilgrims, Turkey, Family…and Trademarks?


It’s Thanksgiving and, like many Americans, your Turkey Day will likely be filled with family, lots- no, too much!- food, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and football. These are not only traditions for many Americans but they also are the subjects of Thanksgiving-themed trademark registrations or applications. Between gorging yourself on Aunt Linda’s famous pie or pretending to laugh at same jokes that Uncle Steve tells every year, enjoy this list of Thanksgiving-inspired trademarks. Happy Thanksgiving...
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