Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with Chubbies shorts at all. I’m simply using the shorts as an analogy.

As a law student, most of my experience with the intellectual property regime has been fairly removed and abstract. But I also happen to have an awesome big brother who is a genius of a businessman. His new business was doing stunningly well, although, he recently got sued. Why? Another company is alleging he has infringed upon their intellectual property.

Chubbies_short_shorts_for_menI was never certain where I stood in the whole IP debate, and I am still not certain where I stand now. But, with one phone call, my brother made me realize that there are serious problems with our current approach to IP. Indeed, there are some forms of “intellectual property” that cause a hell of a lot more harm than good.

Struggling to find something to compare my brother’s situation to, I landed on Chubbies shorts as being a pretty great analogy. Chubbies, the frattiest thing known to mankind, are in pretty hot demand. Now, let’s say my brother — who we can imagine as the model of a frat boy — saw an opportunity in creating his own brand of short shorts.

Since he has pretty good business sense, he made sure to roll out his own brand of shorts in time for Christmas sales. Turns out Chubbies, the brand everyone wanted to put under the tree, couldn’t meet demand, so my brother’s shorts were right there to pick up the slack and he did pretty well for himself throughout the holiday season. Fear not, for he made everyone’s Christmas wish for short shorts come true… and better yet, for half the price. After all, it is always fun to imagine your favorite frat boy donning a pair of Chubbies on christmas morning… (more…)