Astronomy and Law

Here you will find posts on science, astronomy and intellectual propsrty law.
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How Can You Protect A Website?

Northern California

Websites have a variety of intellectual property protections available.  The basic protection for the website content is copyright.

However, if there is a novel and non-obvious method associated with the website, it may be protectable with a utility patent application.

One of the more interesting ways that may be available for protecting the “look and feel” of a website is by using trade dress. …

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Top Secret Space Plane Returns From 2 Year Mission.


After  NASA shut down the space shuttle program, the U.S. was left with no re-usable spacecraft.  We have plenty of rockets, but nothing quite as useful as the shuttles.

Evidently, the military felt the same way.  The Air Force has been working on the X-37B un-manned spacecraft for almost a decade since it was turned over to them in 2004 by NASA.  The X-37B is the smallest space plane launched…

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How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need help with any Intellectual Property issue, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just advice regarding how best to protect your ideas and your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call (213) 785-8070 and ask for Norman.

- Ex astris, scientia -

I am and avid amateur astronomer and…

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- Ex astris, scientia -

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with…

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Safeway $3.5 Million Patent Verdict Rejected.


The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a $3.5 million patent infringement jury verdict against Blackhawk Network Inc., a subsidiary of Safeway Inc.

InComm, a prepaid product and transaction services company, sued Blackhawk in 2009, alleging that it had infringed two claims of InComm’s patent for a “System and Method for Authorizing Stored Value Card Transactions.”
Blackhawk, based in…

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First Annual Photo Nightscape Award Winners Announce.


The ESO and Ciel et Espace Photos just completed the first Photo Nightscape Awards (PNA),  an international photo nightscape competition to celebrate astrophotography.

Virtual Tour at ESO Very Large Telescope

The ESO will award the winner of the professional category with a trip to Paranal, home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and part of the under construction Paranal-Armazones complex.

Two categories: “Pro” and “Espoir” (Hope) were…

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Fracking Chemicals And Tradesecret Protection.


A US Department of Energy advisory panel has stated that oil and gas companies should not seek trade secret exemptions to conceal the nature of substances added to fluids used in fracking.

Fracking (more formally known as “hydraulic fracturing”), is a process by which fluids (commonly water) are mixed with sand and chemicals and then injected at high pressure into the ground in order to create…

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JPL Open House, Part 3.


The last day of the JPL open house pictures, and some information for citizen scientists that want to find their own planets.


We saw this line for a movie and thought…what the heck, so after a brief stay in line we entered JPL’s Earth Science Center.


As we were waiting for the theater to open, a JPL scientist showed us the interactive NASA mission program that you can download from http://eyes.…

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The NFL, Copyrights and Tattoos Oh My.


Many players in the National Football League, most notably San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, are well known for their ink. The tattoos are so much a part of their persona that they are featured in images and likenesses of the players, including television advertisements and football video games.

As a result, the NFL Players Association is reportedly concerned that the tattoo…

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JPL Open House, Part 2.


There is just too much good stuff at JPL.  I still haven’t gotten through everything and I have gone three times already.


Another scale model spacecraft.  This is of Herschel a collaboration between JPL, NASA and the ESA and was and the largest infrared telescope ever launched.  Last year Herschel’s liquid helium (used to cool the instruments and see cosmic IR) ran out ending the mission.



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