By Julie Nixon
Not long off a plane from fabulous Las Vegas, I reflected that with all my visits to the city there is always something new to see or do to keep the dollars rolling in. Indeed Las Vegas is a city built on new ideas, whether it is new gaming technology or a flashy new attraction in one of the hotels. And these ideas of course need protection from would-be emulators.
The New Silicon Valley?
Helping to attract new ideas in Las Vegas is the “Downtown Project”, a recent move to revitalise the city’s run down downtown area driven by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Part of this project is to establish a startup scene to attract entrepreneurs, with $50 million being used to aid tech startups. Hsieh wants to turn Vegas into an “entrepreneur’s Disneyland”. So far stand out companies include ClippPR, which provides businesses with a way of tracking online activity such as blog mentions, and Hachi which utilizes a proprietary algorithm that examines social networks to determine the best path to introduction, and then facilitates the introduction.
Nevada was the first state in the US to legalize internet gambling in February this year, and the state is expected to maintain a leading edge in the field. Las Vegas based Bally Technologies is at the forefront of online gambling as it gains approval in the US, and the casinos are expected to make significant extra revenues. Online gaming will expand the industry further as new companies enter the field and develop brands and technologies that need protection.
Intellectual Property - a New Frontier
For intellectual property advisors in Las Vegas this is all excellent news, whether it is for patent attorneys filing patents for new technologies, increased patent litigation over how broad patents for internet transactions apply to online gambling, or even increased licensing work if companies decide to licence their brands and/or technologies.
Back to Elvis
Just because I couldn’t have a blog about Vegas and not mention Elvis, it is worth bearing in mind that if you consider heading out there as an Elvis impersonator, Elvis Presley Enterprises feel that unauthorised impersonators are diluting the Elvis brand. However unless you make it big you are unlikely to attract unwanted attention from those who own the legal rights to the Presley name, so your bespangled jump suit should be safe.