The Official Kunvay Blog

Learn how to navigate copyright and intellectual property ownership smartly so you own your work, and own your future.

What the Winklevoss Twins Can Teach You About Copyright & Intellectual Property So You Don’t Get Zuckerberged

Photo Credit: Cameron Winklevoss at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by Johnnyroee used under CC BY 3.0

Photo Credit: Cameron Winklevoss at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by Johnnyroee used under CC BY 3.0

Do you remember the movie “Social Network” that came out in 2010?

The movie’s main story line revolved around a toxic business relationship and intellectual property dispute that arose between Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, known to the world as the Winklevoss twins, and the future owner of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

The Winklevoss twins were students at Harvard and had hired Zuckerberg as an employee to work on the software of their social network business model and brand “UConnect.”

The twins would later claim that Zuckerberg stole their business model “idea” when he formed his own social network site “Facebook.” The twins sued Zuckerberg in federal court netting them millions of dollars in damages.

Ideas Are Not Copyrightable

Everybody knows that ideas are not copyrightable.

Does that mean then that whenever you have a brilliant and innovative idea for a business, a novel, a car design or have any other flash of true genius in the form of a concept or design that there is no law in place that can work to protect the intellectual property rights in your “idea”?

Is there no way to stop your “idea” from being stolen out from under you by trusted employees or other double dealing interests in situations similar to that of Mark Zuckerberg and those innocent and trusting Winklevoss twins?

The answer is Continue reading

What Apple vs Samsung Means for Creatives and Designers: Imitation vs Inspiration in the Spotlight

The verdict in Apple vs Samsung has brought the patent system sharply into focus.

Some argue the complexity of patent law is unworkable because, arguably, designers, engineers and techies need not only the requisite skills in their own areas of expertise, but also advanced skills at recognizing that a product does not infringe existing patents.

So, what does the verdict actually mean for creatives and designers, and does it matter?

A Monopoly Over Rectangles with Rounded Corners in Question

At this point it is worth looking at what the actual infringements are deemed to be. Samsung’s statement after the verdict ‘that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners’ was rather unfortunate.

Although, the court did find that Samsung had infringed a number of Apple’s patents, rounded corners was not one of them.

The infringements covered the software patents enabling ‘bounce back’, ‘pinch and zoom’ and ‘double tap to zoom’, and the design patents for the front face, the back and icon design.

It can be argued that some of these software patents could be seen as new standard forms in the industry, so why has Apple won a patent case based on some of these features?

Without going into the legal intricacies and without over-simplifying the issue, the key point in the verdict is the ‘willful copying’ of these aspects of Apple’s patents.

Apple Designer’s Choice of Sunflower for Icon Used Against Samsung

Mac Iconographer Susan Kare’s testimony in the witness stand illustrates this, pointing out that her sunflower design for the photograph icon was an Continue reading