The Rule of Six never ceases to amaze me. You know, the one that says that there are only six degrees of separation between every living human being on the planet.
Shortly after I posted the new US Supreme Court nominee mention, I got a FaceBook message from the mother of one of my daughter’s college friends telling me that the Judge Sotomayor’s brother is my friend’s allergist.
So. US Supreme Court Justice David Souter has a potential successor. A female, brainy, bipartisan appellate judge (who was first appointed to the federal bench by President Bush I and appointed to the federal appellate bench by President Clinton) with lots of judicial experience (this is Good) who has a rip-roaring case of juvenile diabetes (this is not so good).
I like her as a potential Supreme Court Justice (the first Hispanic and the third woman in the history of the Court); she’s careful, not flashy and keeps her views to the case at hand, but I wonder how the rigors of life among the Nine Wise Ones will wear on a fragile system. Well, assuming she’s appointed (and appointment, while likely, ain’t certain; she has her detractors on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who are throwing around phrases like “judicial activist with her own agenda”), we shall see.
Congratulations, Judge Sotomayor. May your decisions be sound for a long time to come.
And thank you, Justice Souter, for waiting to retire until after Mr. Obama was sworn in!!!!!
Albert Einstein, who died in 1955, earned $18 million last year.
Charles M. Schulz, whose PEANUTS characters live on in syndicated reprints, earned even more.
Ted Geisel, who will live forever in his timeless Cat in the Hat and Lorax and Sneetches and wacky machinery, earned more yet.
We all know you can’t take it with you, but you can keep earning it even when you’re not here to earn it. Well, not you, but the value of your intellectual property can carry on after you go gently into that good night.
Thus, if you’re the owner of any intellectual property at all, you need to bother protecting it. Whether you benefit from the protection personally or not, your heirs may very well benefit from it.
If the copyright in your work of authorship isn’t registered, register it. It costs $45 in the US, plus the time to fill in the Copyright Office’s #$% form if you do it yourself; it’s a bit more expensive to hire an attorney to do this for you, but you stand a better chance of successfully battling off any challenge that the Copyright Office might mount to your registration.
If the trademark that you’ve been using to designate your goods or services in commerce isn’t registered, register it. This is more involved than is copyright registration and you really should have an attorney do this for you.
While we pay lip service to the common-law rights of an intellectual property owner, registration of intellectual property rights provides significantly — SIGNFICANTLY — more and better protection.
IP can be passed on to another by will. You need to work with your attorney who handles your will and estate in concert with your attorney who handles intellectual property matters (and these are probably two different lawyers) to properly protect and pass on your IP. Your IP is a valuable part of your estate and needs to be treated every bit as decisively as does the dining room table or the computer or the … whatever.