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Celebrity Trademark Watch: Gene Simmons Claims Exclusive Right In Hand Gesture

Earlier this month, KISS guitarist Gene Simmons filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to register the “devil’s horns” hand gesture, which he routinely flashes at rock shows, as a...more

The PARIS BEACH CLUB Trademark. Get It?

En route to Paris for the spring conference of the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group, I am contemplating trying to pay a visit to the PARIS BEACH CLUB. Paris Beach Club! Get it? It’s a joke because, as everyone of course...more

“I’m With the Band”: Boston Guitarist Can Call Himself “Former Original Member” Without Infringing Trademark

Last week, a federal jury in Boston found that Barry Goudreau, a guitarist who played in an early incarnation of the rock band Boston, did not infringe trademark rights in the band’s name by allowing himself to be identified...more

Trademarks in Telemark: Five Brands and Other Things to Look For at PTMG in Oslo

I am excited to be traveling to Norway next week to attend my first conference of the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group in Oslo. Not having been to PTMG before, I can’t offer much insight on the conference, but since I lived...more

Copyright At The Museum: Musings In Anticipation Of The IPO Dinner At The MOMA

As a fan of modern art, I am looking forward to the dinner reception at next week’s Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which will be held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. As a member of...more

Objective Reasonableness Can Be Central to Fee-Shifting Analysis in Copyright Cases

In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Supreme Court clarified the test for awarding attorney’s fees when applying the Copyright Act’s discretionary fee-shifting provision, 17 U.S.C. § 505. The Court held that the...more

Fair Use Copyright Ruling Stands For Google Books

Last month, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., the long-running copyright case involving Google’s Google Books project. The high court’s refusal to hear the case leaves in place the Second...more

First Circuit Clarifies Rights of Co-Author of Joint Derivative Work to Make Further Derivatives

In a squabble between two psychologists over rights to books about “explosive” children, the First Circuit weighed in this summer with an opinion holding that a work of authorship under the Copyright Act can be simultaneously...more

Don’t Mess with Texas Trademarks

As a native Texan, I always feel a bit nostalgic and homesick around early March. Not only is bluebonnet season (read: spring) around the corner (if only that were true here in Boston!), but March 2 marks Texas Independence...more

3/3/2015  /  Brand , Trademarks

College Football Crowns an Undisputed Champion; But Rights to the Trademark COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF Remain In Dispute

This has been an exciting week in Buckeye Nation – The Ohio State University’s football team won the first-ever college football national championship determined by a playoff system, defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20. It...more

1/15/2015  /  Football , Sports , Trademarks

Turkey Purveyors Try to Gobble Up Trademark Rights

Last year, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we told you about Horace W. Longacre’s unsuccessful attempt to register BAKED TAM as a trademark for its “turkey ham” product in the early 1980s. This year we bring you a related...more

Superman Dodges a Bullet: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Heirs’ Bid to Reclaim Character Copyright

Close on the heels of the settlement between Marvel Comics and Jack Kirby’s heirs, which ended their dispute over copyright in a number of iconic comic book characters, the heirs to one of Superman’s co-creators, artist...more

Superheroes for Hire? Marvel Comics and Jack Kirby Heirs Settle Character Copyright Dispute

As regular readers of this blog will know, comic book superheroes frequently find themselves at the center of legal disputes over copyright in fictional characters. In many cases, both sides agree that the characters in...more

Supreme Court Paves The Way For Lanham Act Claims Against FDA-Regulated Competitors

The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision last week in Pom Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., a case pitting the false advertising provisions of the Lanham Act against the beverage labeling standards of the federal Food Drug...more

Second Circuit Hints At Possible Google Books Outcome In Finding HathiTrust Digital Library Project Protected As Fair Use

Earlier this week, the Second Circuit issued its ruling in the HathiTrust case, a potential precursor to the long-awaited resolution of the more prominent, and related, Google Books case. The decision upholds the district...more

Liability Insurer May Have to Cover Knockoff Jewelry Site for Allegedly Violating Reese Witherspoon’s Right of Publicity

Have you always wanted to own “The One Ring to Rule Them All” of Lord of the Rings fame? Do you dream of an engagement ring just like Kate Middleton’s? Your dreams can come true with a visit to Emitations.com, a website...more

A “Deal with the Devil”? Ghost Rider Creator Asserts that Contract Did not Give Marvel Perpetual Ownership of Copyright in Comic...

As we have previously observed, superheroes often take starring roles in disputes relating to copyright protection for fictional characters. This makes sense, as they frequently appear in long-lived series of works in...more

Second Circuit Overturns Class Certification in Google Books Copyright Challenge

Yesterday the Second Circuit issued its decision undoing the District Court’s certification of a plaintiff class in the long-running lawsuit claiming that the Google Books Library Project violates copyright in millions of...more

Copyright Law Reform Engages Both Courts and Congress

Big changes may be afoot in copyright law these days, via both litigation and legislation. Courts are considering sweeping infringement claims with potentially far-reaching implications, and Congress is beginning the process...more

Viacom’s Copyright Suit against YouTube Again Faces DMCA Roadblocks in the District Court

Following the Second Circuit’s remand order last year on appeal of an initial grant of summary judgment for YouTube, the Southern District of New York has revisited the issues in Viacom’s copyright infringement suit and again...more

Superheroes of Copyright: When Do Fictional Characters Enjoy Copyright Protection?

Several recent cases have highlighted the interesting issue of whether and when fictional characters – as distinct from the works they inhabit – are subject to copyright protection. Over the years, courts have developed two...more

YouTube Not Required to Remove “Innocence of Muslims” Video in Response to Actress’s Takedown Notice

Last week a California federal judge declined to enter a preliminary injunction sought by actress Cindy Lee Garcia, which would have required YouTube to remove the 14-minute anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims” that has...more

12/7/2012  /  Copyright , DMCA , YouTube
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