Howard Zaharoff is an AV Preeminent rated attorney at Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C., with more than 30 years’ experience in intellectual property, technology, and business law, Howard focuses his practice on representing providers and users of information, content and technology, including software companies, internet and e-commerce businesses, life sciences ventures, publishers, and authors.
The Federal Commission (FTC) released its annual pre-Holiday report (the “Report”) explaining “how companies are increasingly using sophisticated design practices known as ‘dark patterns’ that can trick or manipulate consumers into buying products or services or giving up their privacy.” Although not specifically identified in this Report, sources claim that Santa has been under investigation for increasingly using “dark patterns” to improperly discover when each of the world’s 2 billion children are sleeping or awake, when they’ve been bad or good, and other personally identifiable information (e.g., have they seen mommy kissing Santa Claus).
Dear Mr. Claus: You recently contacted this office to confirm the availability of your proposed “SANTA CLAUS” trademark for use in your business and, if this mark is non-infringing, to assist you in registering it for U.S. and international use. For these purposes you describe your business as “delivering games and toys to good little boys and girls as gifts for Christmas.”
The solution to this intractable puzzle was provided by Santa in the Patent, which describes a grid of enormous, land-based wind turbines running back and forth between the east and west coasts of the United States, arranged alternately parallel and perpendicular to the equator. This grid, claims the Patent, propels a sled that contains an assembly of wind-catching parachutes and, as a backup propulsion system, a team of stimulated ruminants who respond to their catchy Teutonic names. The sled itself is manned by a right jolly old elf who is prevented from being blown off by a sophisticated harnessing process adapted from the airline industry and more fully described in the Patent.