Last Week in IP: Vaccines & Cher

Every Friday, staff member Robert Voakes writes a roundup of IP stories of the week. His opinions are his own. 

Lawmakers Say Moderna Deal May Let Gov’t Share Vax Recipe

A group of lawmakers want to share the ingredient list and manufacturing instructions to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine with developing nations across the globe. Under 10% of people in economically challenged countries are vaccinated. Whatever America can do to share the vaccine with the world must be done. You don’t end a global pandemic by hoarding resources. Let’s get this done and distributed globally, regardless of economic status!

https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/1431010/lawmakers-say-moderna-deal-may-let-gov-t-share-vax-recipe


Cher Says Sonny’s Widow Can’t Turn Back Time On Royalties

Cher is going after Sonny Bono’s widow for royalties from the infamous duo’s hits from the 60s and 70s. Cher is referencing a 1978 agreement which granted her 50% of all royalties. Mary Bono is claiming that a termination notice in 2016 terminated Cher’s rights to the music. I have a feeling Cher will come out on top here, but it’s a toss-up. 

Fun fact about Sonny Bono: After being elected to Congress, he was the key figure in trying to develop and restore the Sultan Sea in California. If you ever want to see an ecological disaster, check out any of the various documentaries on the Sultan Sea. Interesting stuff, and people there still believe that if he had not tragically passed away he would have saved that town/lake. Personally, I think it may have been too far gone at that point, but you never know what could have happened.

https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/1431167/cher-says-sonny-s-widow-can-t-turn-back-time-on-royalties


Phanatic’s ‘Free Agent’ Fight Ends In IP Suit Deal With Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies mascot “Phanatic” was threatening to invoke the Copyright Act’s termination right and terminate the deal with the Philllies over use of the mascot. In essence, the Phanatic mascot was trying to become a “free agent” and shop his services to the other MLB teams. It would have been a tragedy to see one of MLB’s most recognizable mascots trading jerseys, so glad to see them come to some sort of resolution. The deal they were threatening to leave was signed in 1984, and exchanged the right to use Phanatic “forever” for a measly $215,000. This is after renegotiating a 1978 deal that only paid the creators $2,000.