Around the Blawgosphere

Wearing a 'smartwatch' to court | Trademarking a hog call | Better Call Saul--and here's the number

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“I’ve wanted a Dick Tracy watch since I was 8 years old,” lawyer-blogger Rick Georges told MyCase’s Nicole Black in her “Today’s Tech” column at Above the Law. Now, Georges owns a Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch and wears it to court.

In court, “everyone has their smartphone in their hand, and if it goes off it’s confiscated. Not me. My smartwatch sits on my wrist and is connected via bluetooth and allows my watch to pull off anything that happens on my phone. I don’t need a ringer on my watch, and I have it set to vibrate when I receive emails, calls, etc.”

But Georges is even more excited about smartwatches’ future potential, Black writes. “Soon I may be able to teach my smartwatch to give me case citations since it’s a Google app and interfaces with Google Scholar.”

‘Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!’

At DuetsBlog, Tim Sitzmann notes that the University of Arkansas successfully trademarked a sound mark for its “hog call” chant used at sporting events.

The university described its mark this way, Sitzmann writes: “The mark consists of a collegiate cheer which consists of the following words: ‘Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Razorbacks!’”

Its registration on this basis was initially denied. The university then followed up with “a number of news articles showing how long individuals had been doing ‘Hog Call’ chants as evidence of acquired distinctiveness” as well as a video of former University of Arkansas Athletic Director and coach Frank Broyles leading the chant on stage. This won over the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

“This demonstrates one of the frustrating aspects of trademark prosecution, namely, problems due to the subjective nature of the examination procedures,” SItzmann writes.

He also notes that “chants appear to be the hot new item in the trademark world,” considering the recent multiple ownership claims to the “I Believe” chant most recently used by the United States at the World Cup.

Better call …

Legal Cheek’s Alex Aldridge, by way of an Instagram user, took note of a billboard in Albuquerque, New Mexico, featuring lawyer “James M. McGill,” complete with a phone number and a photo—of actor Bob Odenkirk, who played lawyer Saul Goodman on TV’s Breaking Bad. Saul Goodman’s character mentioned during the series that he had changed his name from Jimmy McGill.

The billboard is presumably a publicity stunt (or a prop) for Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spinoff staring Odenkirk as Goodman, which will premiere in 2015.

“Brilliantly, the phone number featured in the ad actually works,” Aldridge writes. If you call 505-842-5662, you’ll reach this message: “Hello! You’ve reached the law offices of James M. McGill Esq., a lawyer you can trust. Kindly leave your information at the tone, and Mr. McGill will phone you promptly.”

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