The Fight Against Cocaine

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Not too long ago, James Kirby, an overly caffeinated inventor, was trying to come up with a name for his new energy drink. It needed to be pithy and chic and capture the essence of the product. Hmmm, he thought, what stimulates and arises the senses more than cocaine? The answer: nothing. So Kirby applied for a U.S. patent on the name and product. Unfortunately, five Cleveland State law students apparently didn't feel very much like studying last month. Instead, they decided it would be -- like so fun -- to file an opposition motion with the U.S. Patent office arguing the patent be denied. The basis? The product was both "immoral and scandalous," not to mention deceptively labeled since it -- shock! -- contained no actual cocaine. (Though it would be really cool if it did.) The Patent Office has since recommended that Kirby's application be denied, citing the brief from the Cleveland State students, who no doubt are feeling pretty smug. But Michael Davis, the professor in the students' trademark class, is apparently not as impressed. Their extra work, he said, would not improve their grades. -- Rebecca Meiser

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