Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
Thomas A. Ward
Welcome to the winter edition of New Matter for 2017. The cover art of this issue shows Samuel Colt’s revolver patent, which together with the other front covers featured over the last two years illustrates the broad range of subject matter covered by patents, no matter how controversial. In contrast, trademarks have restrictions for moral rights, as illustrated by the recent Slantz case and limitations on trademarks registration for goods and services lawfully used in commerce, e.g., marijuana based products cannot be registered. The difference between the ranges of subject matter allowed for patents versus trademarks in part reflects the fact that patent protection stems directly from the U.S. Constitution rather than the Commerce Clause. Patent protection even exists for the bump-stock that was used by the Las Vegas shooter. Many inventions in the 1800s, particularly preceding and after the civil war were for guns. Along with Samuel Colt, gun inventor names are still commonly recognizable today, for example: Eliphalet Remington, Oliver Winchester, John Browning and Christian Sharps. Even the gun used by the Las Vegas shooter, the AR-15, has its name trade marked by Colt’s Manufacturing IP Holding Company LLC. In summary, American history is influenced greatly by intellectual property, irrespective of whether the acts that make that history are deemed morally acceptable.
This edition of New Matter provides an MCLE Article with one hour ethics credit entitled, "Ethics in Venue Selection after TC Heartland." For those who need additional credits to complete their MCLE requirements by the end of January, we invite you to go to www.calbar.org/self-study to obtain the MCLE hours from this article as well as other stored from past New Matter issues.