By: H.W. Pfabe | May 25, 2017

I was going to take a break from the “MARVEL at the Law!” series of blog posts, but Marvel is in the news again, providing a great lesson (and dispelling a common misconception) about Trademarks.


Oh, and no, as usual, this is NOT about politics.


On May 12, Marvel applied for three new Trademarks, all to the phrase “Hail Hydra” (as originally reported by at So, why is this significant?


First, let’s start with a little history (stay awake, I’ll keep it short).





“Hail Hydra” is a phrase which first appeared in Strange Tales #135 (published in August of 1965), which was also the first...

By: H.W. Pfabe | May 05, 2017

I was recently having a conversation with one of my clients, who is a very nice and talented comic book artist and writer. We were discussing different elements that can be protected by Copyright, and I mentioned “scènes à faire.”


Coincidentally, just a week later, Marvel brings us our newest installment of “MARVEL at the Law!” with a new court ruling, and another lesson in Intellectual Property Protection.





A scène à faire is a scene or story element which is extremely common to the genre of the story.


It may be so common that it is almost obligatory to include it, but it is at least so common that one cannot look at it and identify a single source that it has been copied...

By: H.W. Pfabe | April 02, 2017

Steven Taylor/ Getty Images and Ninell/ Shutterstock & LinkedIn

Just a short post this week, and it’s another one that is somewhat inspired by recent Washington-related events, but isn’t really about politics at all.


Several weeks ago, WikiLeaks released a large batch of documents which purport to detail the US government’s tactics and abilities for monitoring people through various pieces of technology, including secretly recording conversations that take place near Samsung SmartTVs. Kellyanne Conway then famously commented on microwave ovens being transformed into cameras.


Category: Privacy 

Tags: Vizio TV WikiLeaks 

By: H.W. Pfabe | March 20, 2017

Copyright REUTERS

This post isn't about politics, or Donald Trump.

The picture at the top? Well, that's largely click bait... but it IS actually relevant to what I'm writing about below.

This post is about the (figuratively and literally) shadowy figure in the picture: Mr. Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter.

I've actually been planning to write about Mr. Perlmutter since his court case came to my attention in October of 2016. Then, there were new developments in January of 2017. Now, with President Trump having very publicly announced his dinner meeting with Mr. Perlmutter last night, it seemed like as good a time as any to post.



Mr. Perlmutter is the Chairman of Marvel Entertainment (though he has been referring to himself as CEO ...

Category: Privacy 

Tags: Marvel, Privacy, Property 

By: H.W. Pfabe | January 20, 2017


Pretty big news this week. Big news that no one seems to be noticing, since all eyes are on the incoming President.


I always try to stay on top of news that is relevant to Start-Ups and other early-stage businesses, since they are often the companies whose survival most depends on a proper Intellectual Property Strategy. Additionally, Start-Ups can thrive or die in the blink of an eye as government regulations change.


So, what is the news? Which government entity is now affecting Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs? Believe it or not, it’s the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).





On January 17, 2017, DHS issued a new regulation, referred to as the International Entrepreneur Rule. Why is DHS...