January 19, 2010

We have all been reading and hearing about the recent NBC shakeup regarding Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, and now we have an interesting intellectual property ownership twist. Aside from the many millions of dollars changing hands and the desire to maintain a coveted time slot for late-night television, Conan O’Brien is seeking to keep certain intellectual property made famous during his tenure on NBC. The IP concern relates to several characters, including Pimpbot 5000 and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, as well as at least one other character not mentioned here but available at this LINK to Movie|Line’s article as well as this LINK to TMZ’s take on the story. Although Robert Smigel is the man literally behind Truimph, that character had its humble beginnings with Mr. O’Brien but has also gained notoriety with various television specials, videos, CDs, and several YouTube clips. Apparently these characters will live on with Conan wherever he may go, but there will also be strings attached, not limited to a well-publicized non-disparagement clause.

** UPDATE ** - Perhaps Conan's famous characters may not follow him to his new gig, as per this more recent TMZ article available HERE.


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I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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