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Woman with headphones onWe have written in the past about patents in the entertainment field, such as one received by the entertainer Michael Jackson for a shoe for his moonwalking. Patents in the entertainment field can also be directed to devices related to musical instruments, such as tuners or supports, or even new ways of recording. But as the Internet and mobile devices have become more prolific, uses of the Internet and mobile devices lend themselves to new entertainment-related ideas and implementations. Generally, these ideas and implementations have been related to music artists, but these technological developments lend themselves to improvements for fans as well.

Well-known musicians and other entertainers often identify opportunities for innovation in their industry and are able to obtain patent protection for such inventions.  Some obtain patent protection for improvements to musical instruments or to new approaches to their craft.  Here we highlight three well known performers who were each granted one or more patents.

Billboard, the leader in the music industry for charting top artists and music, has partnered with Twitter and unveiled two new charts this week - the Billboard Twitter Trending 140 and the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists.  Since its inception, Billboard has regularly developed new charts in response to changes in the music industry, specifically in the way that fans interact with and consume music.  According to Mashable, music is the most discussed topic on Twitter, with around one billion music-related tweets in 2013.

Spotify has launched a new commission-free service that permits music artists to make their merchandise and live concert tickets available to fans through the Spotify platform.  Through Spotify’s partnership with direct-to-consumer marketing platform, Topspin Media, artists will now be able to link from their Spotify artist page to a webstore, enabling them to provide fans direct access to CDs, vinyl records, t-shirts, posters, stickers, writstbands, and other merchandise through Spotify.  Participating artists will manage “preview” merchandise images, item titles, and descriptions that will be linked to the applicable webstore.  Spotify will moderate submissions to ensure the authenticity of offered merchandise.  It is anticipated that the merchandise offerings will appear on an artist’s page 24 to 48 hours after submission by the artist.  Currently, the service limits artists to offering a maximum of three merchandise items at a time.

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The Sports, Arts and Entertainment Group at Garvey Schubert Barer provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.
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