While I should be writing posts on the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
(a/k/a Patent Reform) and its effects on startups (there really is at
least one new provision that benefits startups, I swear!), I have been
spending my free time checking out fall TV. I have never been a fan of Two and a Half Men, but I will admit that the addition of Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk)
has had me watching the first three episodes. For whatever reason, I
am rooting for the Iowa-native and startup investor to succeed.
Even though the latest two episodes may have Kutcher in hot water
with CBS, the trademark attorney in me liked the creative plugs he has
given to several startup companies. In both of these episodes,
Kutcher's character is seen with a laptop decorated with the logos of Foursquare, Hipmunk, Chegg, Flipboard and GroupMe,
all of which are startup companies that Kutcher invests in or
indirectly does work for. I caught the Foursquare trademark on the
first viewing and then rewound and paused to see if I could figure out
After the first episode with the laptop aired, many believed that
Kutcher would be in trouble with CBS for the prop because CBS wasn't
paid for the plugs, but the same laptop showed up again in the latest
episode. I'm still not sure how I feel about the show, but I plan on
watching at least for awhile longer to see if the laptop keeps
reappearing or if Kutcher comes up with other ways to promote startups.
He plays an internet billionaire, so it seems like there's ample
opportunity for future plugs.