Category Archives: Housekeeping

I’m Ba-aack.

After my more than yearlong hiatus, I’m back to the blog.  I’ve taken a job as a staff attorney for a justice of a state appellate court in Texas.  Thus, my blogging is restricted by (a) the Code of Judicial Ethics, and (b) the fact that I actually have a paying job.  Even though my day job would not likely to be confused with one regularly dealing with IP issues, my love of these topics hasn’t waned.  So the topics on which I can blog are limited, and my time is limited, but don’t delete me from your rss feed reader list yet.  I hope to bring short thoughts at least bi-weekly.

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Legal job hunting in Texas is tough.

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Happy Groundhog Day

Phil, as shot by ShultzLabs, used pursuant to a CC 2.0 License

Phil, as shot by ShultzLabs in 2007, used pursuant to a CC 2.0 License

Six more weeks of winter. Which, for those of us who live in Texas, is welcomed news.

And at least a few more years of PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL trademark protection.

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I don’t know how they do it.

Many legal blogs post at really odd hours, like 4:30 a.m. or now, 1:46 a.m.  I don’t know how these legal powerhouses are able to be cogent, intelligent, and inciteful at such odd hours.  Usually I’m just thinking about beer or my wife.  Or I’m asleep.

Indeed, I do love the law, and I do love my clients (when I have them) but, excepting the possibility that I misssed a filing deadline, or that my brief will be incomplete, very little keeps me awake at night, especially on weekends.  Legal bloggers, how do you continue throughout the weekend?  What drives you? Do you get random thoughts that you have to share with the world? Or does your mind so constantly focus on the law that nothing can distract you?


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Hello world!

Welcome to Arbitrary and Fanciful, a blog about Trademarks, Branding, Speech, Law, and Society (and a little bit about me on the side).  The name of the blog comes from the trademark “spectrum of distinctiveness” where trademarks are categorized to determine whether they’re immediately protectable, whether the owner has to prove that the word has acquired a special meaning, or “secondary meaning” associated with the word, or whether the mark is protectable at all.  Arbitrary marks, like APPLE for computers, are created when someone uses a word already in existence with goods and services that have no relation whatsoever to the word.  Fanciful marks, like VERIZON for telephone services, are words that are made up out of thin air and have no common dictionary definition.  Arbitrary and fanciful trademarks enjoy the greatest trademark protection–they’re immediately protectable without proof of secondary meaning, and they enjoy a wide scope of protection.  But that’s enough trademark law for today.

I hope that this blog only somewhat follows its namesake.  Expect thoughtful posts about the law that interests me the most– litigation, evidence, procedure; trademarks, copyrights, advertising; free speech, free press, and religion; constitutional law, jurisprudence, and law in society.  There may also be some posts about movies, music, culture, brands and branding, politics, writing and grammar, or the important issues of the day.  While this post doesn’t show it, I hope to provide a fresh insight or two, and perhaps a bit of humor.

WordPress automatically created this post, called “Hello World.”  Those programmers in the house know that a “hello world”  program is generally the first program that a user learns in a new programming language, and therefore I think it’s an appropriate first post title.

You can discover more about me in the about me (in the third person) page, and if this is your first visit to the site, please read the disclaimers on the legalese page. Enjoy links to some of the pages I frequent in my blogroll. Feel free to contact me at kyle at kylekaiser dot com.

Although I have been instrumental in the design and updating of blogs in the past, I am excited to begin this new venture. Of course, with any new venture comes bugs, and please be patient with any redesigns or sketchy features.  Hello world!

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