May 13, 2010

I will be on this guy’s show this evening.*


A Supreme Court decision that I would love to see

May 5, 2010

Brought to you by the Onion.

And Now For Something Completely Different

May 4, 2010

In the City of Brotherly Love, Philly fans boo the tasing of an asshat running on the field.  Then there is no pleasing you, Philadelphia.

Worst. Oral argument. Ever.

April 20, 2010

By J. DeVoy

Oral arguments are strange things.  With enough practice, they can be sharp and flawless tools of advocacy, but trying to use them too soon can lead to disaster.  I had a case of the latter during a moot court practice last year.  Eager to enhance my argument, I tried to go completely without notes for my second or third practice.  I also had the added challenge of appearing before my coach and two faculty practice judges.

I brought my legal pad just to be safe.  I had no intention of needing or using it, but thought that having a hedge against total failure would be a good idea.  It was an exciting argument about designated protest areas, personal preferences being doled out by public employees, and secondary effects of government actions that restricted free speech.

My teammate and I were representing the Petitioner, the local government that promulgated this rule.  He went first.  I went over my argument in my head as he spoke, trying to pay attention to the questions the judges were asking.  He, too, was trying to practice without notes for the first time.

Thirteen minutes elapsed and it was my turn to shine.  I took my pad up with me to the podium, addressed the court and began.  It went well for about a minute until I started arguing a different government speech issue regarding employees and political statements.  Whoops.

I caught myself as quickly as I could and turned to my notepad.  The first page had nothing to do with my argument.  “No big deal,” I thought, flipping to the second page, showing no signs that anything was amiss.  Still nothing.  Another flip of the page, this time faster, and still no argument.  I did this again and again, hoping against hope to see the word “Petitioner” emblazoned on the top of any of them.  I brought the wrong pad.  Instead of my legal pad with notes for moot court, I had brought my “idea” pad, which contained so many things utterly useless for my argument.  The beginnings of a screenplay about a Ph.D. student who has his life ruined after discovering and trying to publicize his findings that IQ is 100% genetic.  Ideas for underserved ice cream flavors, such as “Pomegranate Mango” and “Gin.”  People on whom I sought revenge for minor slights both real and imagined.  An analysis on the relative merits of putting Rachel Starr on the front of my annual winter holiday card to family members and whether doing so would constitute fair use.  Not a word about secondary effects.

Inspiration needed to come, and fast, as the time window for looking deliberately contemplative had long expired.  I hoped to summon the advocacy skills of Johnny Cochran, Andrew Rima or Marc Randazza.  All that came to mind were parole hearings, specifically John Lovitz’s in Trapped in Paradise and Charles Manson’s from 1992.  I had no option but to work with what I had.

“Counsel, how are the secondary effects of public safety at all relevant in this case and not an ad hoc justification for the City’s actions?” Asked the judge.

“Well, people are like dinosaurs on the ground, constantly living in fear of the Pterodactyl, which could fly.  It could fly and rain death and pain upon them at any time because other dinosaurs could not, and only the most heavily armored, like the Stegosaurus, could even fathom protecting themselves.  But the public, like the dinosaurs that had brains the size of chestnuts, cannot fathom anything, and it is up to government to do the thinking.  Here, the city wanted to reverse the equities and make the people like the Pterodactyl, taking wing and flying high, high above their collective problems, namely the inevitable bloody clash of protesters and counter-protesters.”  What was I even saying?

“Counselor…what?”  She seemed genuinely confused.  But, I might have been on the way to dazzling her beyond understanding what was happening.

We reach an impasse here, your honor, moving pawn four, er, bishop four to seven.  All the oceans’ contents, if they were the city’s tears, they would not be enough to express the remorse of the city in taking this action.  But it was necessary because public safety in the face of potential rioting is part and parcel of other restrictions this court has affirmed for the sake of public welfare under the secondary effects doctrine, including petty crime and prostitution.  Surely this is as valid, affecting the welfare of the person, as constitutionally permissible restrictions designed to maintain property values based solely on the secondary effects of otherwise permissible speech.”  I was beginning to believe myself and even find my legs.  Alas, it was not to be.

“Bishop…Chess? Dinosaurs? What are you talking about, how does this relate to the regulation of a protest on public property?”  She just wasn’t letting up.  Not that I was giving her any reason to, but this was disheartening.

I decided to stun the bench in a final desperate effort.  “Your Honor, this is about decency, basic human decency, and the right of the state to enforce it when it can limit violence even if it means limiting speech.  This is about what’s right!”  With that, I made a dramatic hand motion that flung my pad at the bench, where it struck with a thud.  The tribunal clearly was rattled.  To this day, I can only imagine the mortified look on my teammate’s face as it happened.

“Counselor, what is the meaning of this?” The lead judge asked, barely below a scream.  “WHAT IS THIS?!”

Defeated, I paused to muster all the aloofness I was capable of and said, “the Aristocrats.”

H/T: Derangement and Description, for giving me an idea I never would have thought of otherwise.

P.S. – None of this actually happened.

Awesome Prank

April 15, 2010

HP Computers are Racist?

December 24, 2009

This is pretty hilarious.

I just have to wonder though… maybe this is a good thing. I mean, if we can teach computers to be racist, perhaps they will soon develop a full spectrum of emotions. Maybe this is just the beginning of computer consciousness!

Oh wait. Maybe this is not a good thing.

Maybe… just maybe, Desi and Wanda discovered the first computer that became self-aware. Maybe this is the first piece of Skynet. Oh no. Desi and Wanda! Destroy that computer NOW!

Maybe it isn’t that HP computers are racist, Desi. Maybe… just maybe…. negroes have developed cloaking abilities! Or, maybe they just have natural cloaking capabilities, and then maybe all astronauts will be black one day… you know, so the Romulans can’t see them.

The Sexbot revolution (hopefully) will not be televised

December 20, 2009

By J. DeVoy

It’s coming!

As far back as 2007, Marc blogged about the coming of full artificial intimacy.  The topic has been hotly debated in some spheres, and predicted to be the great equalizer for men who choose not to date the women available to them.  In just a few short years, the technology needed for these electric mistresses has improved drastically.

At In Mala Fide, Ferdinand Bardamu discusses this recent piece in h+ Magazine.  It turns out that the technology’s promise is better than ever.

Remember the most convulsive, brain-ripping climax you ever had? The one that left you with “I could die happy now” satiety? Sexbots will electrocute our flesh with climaxes twice as gigantic because they’ll be more desirable, patient, eager, and altruistic than their meat-bag competition, plus they’ll be uploaded with supreme sex-skills from millennia of erotic manuals, archives and academic experiments, andtheir anatomy will feature sexplosive devices.

Of course, this idea is hardly new.  But these robots’ first real-life steps are being made out of the lab, with some trepidation, all over the world.

Cinema has already depicted very desirable stars as Sexbots — a “mecha gigilo” (Jude Law in “A.I.”) and a “pleasure model” (Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner). Now tech is getting close to producing mainstream sexbots. “First Android” in Germany offers male & female models that breathe, are warm, and have heartbeats that thump louder with sex. In Toronto, inventor Le Trung has fashioned “Aiko” — he claims she’s not for sex, but she can have an orgasm, her name translates as “love child” and her measurements are 32″ 23″ 33″.


Wild G-Spot Vibrator

And men are typecast as tech-obsessed?

This poses a dilemma for even the biggest gender egalitarians.  Given the wide variety of sex toys that exist for women, one would assume there’d be more acceptance of men achieving parity in this arena.  Still, the specter of the double standard looms large.  Some men fear that women will act to stop research and development of all sexbot technology to retain their control in the Matrix-like sexual market.  Men with the current equivalent of sexbots, Real Dolls, are typecast as moribund losers incapable of human interaction.  It doesn’t help that a documentary about their owners fed this impression.  Recent news about one man’s marriage to a 2D anime character isn’t removing the stigma, either.

In contrast, women broadcast their sexuality and are rewarded for doing so.  For some women, advertising their sexual appetite through their conspicuous ownership and use of various devices may be an effective mating strategy.  And surely every heterosexual male has become acquainted with the shrieking misery thrill of his wife, girlfriend or significant other’s sex toy party escapades.  Based on conversations with past hosts, the woman who has her friends over can reap substantial rewards in terms of products, cash and other incentives.

Men have their own depravity in the form of bachelor parties…but can they really compare to the liberation women enjoy?  Can anyone envision a modern America where men celebrate their sexual preferences and genitalia as freely as women do?  This has nothing to do with law, but the norms and standards governing day-to-day interactions — “policy” in law school speak — would be different if men advertised their preferences the same way as women.

When that day comes, there will be a market for these robots outside the cloistered basements of single men.

Once, twice, three times a loser

December 16, 2009

By J. DeVoy

Straight from the “it could be worse” file, some guy started a facebook group seeking 1,170,000 members so his girlfriend, Caroline, would marry him.

While bizarre enough on its own, this is his third and final attempt to win her hand in marriage.  He first proposed six months before the group’s creation and again two weeks before starting it.  Apparently not taking the hint, Caroline told him she would say yes if he created a facebook group that had 1,170,000 members.

What happened next is unclear from timeline of line breaks formed by equal signs and periods.  Users contacted the founder’s friends named Caroline – all three of them – and chastised the putative heartbreaker.  Caroline then declined the proposal a third and final time, despite the group’s meteoric rise to 1,436,419 members.

Custom dictates that a woman return the man’s ring when breaking off an engagement, and some states require it by law, but I think our persistent lothario doesn’t have any recourse in this case.  Unless he feels bold and sues for detrimental reliance under Restatement § 90, he’s likely out of luck.  The issue of damages alone would make this complaint lulz-worthy, since he’d be demanding cash money for publicizing his own awkward situation.  Restoring individual dignity is a bit outside the scope of a court’s equitable power.

Because going back in time and never creating the group isn’t an option, deleting it is the next best thing.  The faster it’s removed, the less likely it is to be preserved forever by Google’s cache or  At the same time, there’s merit to letting it exist as a cautionary tale to star-crossed lovers; a wrecked ship between the Scylla and Charybdis of love and ambition to warn others who would do the same.

A Likelihood of Confusion and Cameltoe Camouflaging

December 4, 2009

By: Zac Papantoniou

H/T to Ryan Gile at Las Vegas Trademark Attorney Blog, for bringing this trademark infringement suit involving cameltoe-covering undies to light, and thus making it clearly visible for us here at the Legal Satyricon to find (Note – Due to the nature of this case, and my juvenile sense of humor, I take no responsibility for making really bad puns).

Ryan Gile wrote an interesting post yesterday, regarding a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiff and defendant in the suit are competing makers of cameltoe covering underwear for women, who both (at some point) have used a variation of the word “camouflage” to identify the brand of their respective products.

According to the complaint, Ruby Tuesday Designs, LLC (the Plaintiff) has been engaged in selling its cameltoe-masking undergarments under the mark KAMELFLAGE since March 2009. The Plaintiff is suing Camelflage, LLC, who registered the domain name “” on May 27, 2009; two days later, the Defendant also applied to the USPTO for registration of the word mark CAMELFLAGE (for undergarments and other apparel) stating that the mark’s first date of use-in-commerce was March 15, 2009. The Defendant is currently selling its version of cameltoe-masking undies through their aforementioned website using the CAMELFLAGE mark. The story leading up to the filing of the suit has some amusing twists and turns (which Gile has done a superb job of detailing in his post on the matter), not to mention plenty of references to cameltoes, so if you want a few laughs (and some case analysis) check out Gile’s take on the suit.

As for my take on the matter . . . I would give at least $100 to be in that courtroom, as the judge attempts to keep a straight face while listening to a couple of attorneys argue for/against a likelihood of confusion in the context of cameltoe camouflaging apparel.

Mickey Mouse sues Donald Duck

November 19, 2009

Yes, really.

The sad thing is, its not the dumbest complaint I’ve ever seen filed in the Southern District of Flori-duh.

November 18, 2009

This must be one of the strangest, but (to me at least) funniest public hobbies on the internet.

Christopher Jorgensen writes letters with just the right dash of snark and silliness and sends them off to various companies and famous people, and then posts their replies. He has suggested a urine absorbent thong line for Victoria’s secret, called hooey on 2,000 flushes (he only got 1,864 flushes), and informed Robitussin that their product makes a great cocktail ingredient. All had really funny replies.

Needless to say, most targets of his Jackass Letters don’t get the prank, and wind up seeming humorless or silly. Mr. Jorgensen even sent yours truly a letter. Lulz ensued.

His site really is a funny corner of teh interwebs. Check it out. You might waste hours over there, so you’ve been warned.

Even Sarah Palin is Awesome Sometimes

November 17, 2009

Srsly, would you rather eat THIS or
a savory platter of sunflower seeds and ice cubes with a dressing made of hippie tears?

In her “book,” Palin throws a little unoriginal wit at prey vegetarians.

“If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore: If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?” (source)

I say “unoriginal,” because I had a T-Shirt that said that back in 1989. Nevertheless, it is nice to see that Palin and I agree on something. I still think that Palin is dumber than veganism, but its nice to see two forces of stupidity duke it out.

Gov. Schwarzenegger tells the California legislature how he really feels

October 28, 2009

The Governator sent, along with some unsigned bills, the following letter to California lawmakers.

Arnold's Letter

Check out the first letter of each line


Immoral or Scandalous Matter?

October 14, 2009

by Jason Fischer

One of the "peculiarities" of U.S. trademark law is that the government has a stick up its collective ass about recognizing trademarks that may be suggestive of dick-and-fart humor.  Section 2 of the Lanham Act (the federal statute that creates trademark rights) provides:

No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it —

  • (a) Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter . . . .

15 U.S.C. § 1052 (2008).


Presumably, you can decide for yourself whether the above image is offensive or (as I did) worthy of a snicker or three.  It looks like, from the license plate and unfamiliar make/model of the van, this company is doing business overseas, but rest assured this mark would never appear on the principal register of trademarks in this country.  Now, don’t misunderstand me; if this business opened up an office on this side of pond, they could likely prevent others from using the same mark, based on any common law rights that could be established, but our federal government would never give them the benefits of a federal registration for the mark.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Wait; isn’t that the whole point of trademark law — preventing others from using your mark?"  That is true, but the game gets much, MUCH easier when you have a federal registration.  Establishing common law rights is generally an extremely lengthy and expensive evidentiary process, which involves paying your attorney to prepare and file a phone-book-sized amount of paperwork in any infringement suit.  Compare that with the single sheet that must be presented by the owner of a federally registered trademark, and you begin to see some of the benefits of registration.

Lots of hardcore civil libertarians that I know pound the table and froth at the mouth while denouncing the puritanical nature of our trademark regime.  Even though I don’t get as worked up, personally, I do happen to agree.  What difference does it make that someone wants to call their business "Butt Drilling"?  Do we really need the federal government to discourage that guy from doing what he wants with his entrepreneurial humor?  Should we be shielded from this "attack of immorality" at the expense of his freedom?  Trust me, plenty has already been written on whether there is even a rational basis for Section 2(a), by people way smarter than I — enough that I won’t bore you with any more.  Suffice it to say, it is something that must be given careful consideration when choosing your brand.

This story has also been published on The Tactical IP Blog.

Stormtroopers’ 9/11

September 21, 2009