As I attempt my first blog post for IP Bytes, I am reminded of the overwhelming sense of apprehension I feel every time I sit down to write. What if I don’t choose the right words? What if I bore my audience? Will I look back at this post as a seasoned 3L and cringe at my first attempt at blogging? These questions taunt me as I begin to write.
The first thing my law school classmates asked when I shared that I had a science undergraduate degree was – “Oh, so are you thinking of IP law?”
Surprisingly, I did not even know much about Intellectual Property (IP) law until I came to Loyola. When applying to law school, I heard about Loyola’s prestigious health law program and decided, prematurely, that that’s what I would do. It seemed like the best of both worlds with my background – healthcare in a legal setting. However, it was not until I started 1L that I realized (1) how my true interest is in IP (and specifically patent law!) and (2) how great the IP program is at Loyola.
Donald Trump, a divisive figure in our current political climate, has faced a massive setback with his new social media network “Truth Social.” On August 2nd, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) denied Trump’s application to federally register (which grants federal protection of the trademark) the network’s name as a trademark. This is one of many setbacks that the former President has faced since leaving office. This relatively minor setback could potentially cause major re-branding issues for Truth Social further down the line if his appeal is unsuccessful. If Trump continues using the mark, he may be sued and will eventually have to change the name of his social media network or incur major legal fees.
Before attending law school, I worked as an interior designer in Chicago for about three years. When I started my career, I was excited to be a part of a creative industry to push the limits of design and wow the world with innovation!
As a first generation American, daughter of immigrants, my family’s three options for my future were “doctor, lawyer, or engineer”. There was no flexibility, nor was there any other option for me besides going to grad school.
Since my mom has been a constant source of inspiration, it was long assumed that I would follow in her footsteps, she was my hero. Nightly dinner table conversations of the complex surgeries she was part of left me in awe.
I ended up being pre-med for two years, shadowed an endless number of surgeons, and really thought medicine was what I wanted to pursue. At the time though, I had no idea what was ahead for me in law (cue IP).
If you know me, you know that I love quilting. Something about taking all these tiny, mismatched pieces of fabric and joining them into a cozy blanket is more than a hobby. It is an expression of love.
Can Intellectual Property Protect Board Games?
I love board games and have been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan online during the pandemic. I use a site called colonist.io, which is an offshoot, unaffiliated version of the Settlers of Catan game. During my Intellectual Property (IP) class with Professor Ho earlier this year, I wondered how IP rights extend to board games. When we tend to think of IP, we might think of cool technological inventions for patents or Disney’s Mickey Mouse for copyright. IP generally relates to protecting human created products, names, and expressions, and can give its owner rights to protect these.
In April 2020, I was committed to attending a law school that was not Loyola. After making the tuition deposit, however, something didn’t feel right. I began rethinking whether that school would be the best place to spend the next three years. But where would I go?
My goal was to attend a school with a strong IP program. However, I wanted more than a curriculum. I wanted a community, a place that would make me happy when I walked through the doors every day. After making this realization, I scheduled calls with deans, professors, alumni, and students at other law schools to gain insights into their experiences.