Woody Pollack & Dineen Wasylik wearing bike helmets in front of the Boston skyline

Podcasts & PCAs

Woody Pollack & Dineen Wasylik wearing bike helmets in front of the Boston skyline

Woody & Dineen on a bicycle tour of Boston in May, 2019.
It was only 10 miles.
Photo courtesy of Woody Pollack and used with permission.

I am proud to be the featured guest on this week’s Issues on Appeal podcast, where I discussed my approach to analyzing a per curiam affirmance for current and new clients. The idea for this episode of the podcast came initially from one of our Appeals 101 blog posts, Florida Appeals 101: What is a PCA? That blog post turned into an in-house procedure for analyzing these cases — including giving people we did not represent on direct appeal a “second look” at the appellate court’s decision. And that turned into a chat with friend (and podcast founder) Duane Daiker, which eventually turned into this recorded discussion with Duane. Check it out!

One neat thing about this podcast episode is that Duane added a non-appellate conversation with my dear friend from the IP world, Woody Pollack, and the lessons he learned from not finishing an Ironman triathlon (even though he has previously finished a race). I think Woody’s story is a great match for this discussion of analyzing a PCA: There’s some disappointment involved, but also important lessons about how to deal with disappointment and move forward. Plus, we’re both nerds.

Finally, if you missed my earlier appearance on Issues on Appeal, where I talk about using social media for marketing without getting into legal trouble, check out episode 7. I am particularly honored to be the first repeat guest on the podcast!

More Papers Pick Up the Seminole Trademark Brouhaha

I learned a valuable media lesson this week about what reporters want to hear, and what they need to spice up their stories. It turns out that the quote I gave the Tampa Tribune last week — “As a lawyer, I would have a field day if I was representing the school board on that,” because “It’s really hard to make a claim when you have been working side by side for 30 or 50 years.” — is the one the reporters liked the most. This quote was since picked up and republished by a sports columnist for the News Sun, and even nationally by a USA Today blogger.

Of the three quotes chosen by reporters last week, this is one that I wish I had phrased a little differently. But as the saying goes, all press is good press, right?

Media Blitz

Today my phone rang off the hook with reporters looking for an expert on intellectual property law to comment on the issues surrounding the cease and desist letter received by Bradenton Southeast High School, which has competed in high school sports under the name Seminoles for over 30 years. It seems the company that does all of the official licensing of sports memorabilia for many colleges took offense to the Bradenton Southeast Seminoles, on behalf of the much more famous FSU Seminoles.

Now, it isn’t the meanest cease and desist letter I’ve ever seen. And the law does incentivize trademark owners to police their marks or risk losing them. But seriously? It takes a much lighter touch if you are going to c&d a high school that has been using the names and logos for 30 years or more — particularly if you have recruited football players from that high school and sent Bobby Bowden on recruiting trips there. I was quoted explaining the doctrine of acquiescence in the St. Petersburg Times Seminole Watch blog, moderately explained both sides of the story to the Sarasota Herald Tribune (at page 4), and sounding a bit more feisty in the online version of the Tampa Tribune. With perhaps more to come!

Update: Two more papers picked up my quotes.