IP Goes Pop! Ep #1: It’s an IP Jungle Out There – How Trademarks Brought Down the Self-Proclaimed King of Tigers

Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are often referenced in popular movies, television and songs. IP Goes Pop! explores the interface between intellectual property and popular culture. Who owns the rights to creative expression? How long does a patent last? Do the media get it right when reporting on intellectual property issues? What makes a trade secret truly secret?

Hosted by Volpe Koenig intellectual property attorneys Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, with guest colleagues, inventors, writers, and creators, IP Goes Pop! discusses intellectual property with a pop culture twist.

In Episode One, IP Goes Pop! explores the documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness*, the popular Netflix documentary series about self-titled Joe Exotic. Snyder is joined by fellow Volpe Koenig shareholder John O’Malley, head of the firm’s Trademark Group, to analyze the intellectual property issues that eventually led to Joe Maldonado-Passage (self-proclaimed “Joe Exotic”) losing control of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (a.k.a. the G. W. Zoo). Topics covered include:

  • The background of the G. W. Zoo documentary series and the Intellectual Property issues involved
  • The lead-up to the G. W. Zoo’s downfall
  • Explanation of “Likelihood of Confusion” test for Trademark Infringement
  • Discussion of trademark “disclaimers” in attempting to avoid trademark infringement
  • W. Zoo’s curious actual course of action
  • Big Cat Rescue’s trademark infringement lawsuit
  • Results/Outcomes of the lawsuit
  • Viral trademarks


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