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A Hefty False Advertising Case: When the Competition Calls You Wimpy

If you’re interested in garbage, the crass objectification of male celebrities, or both – or if you consider the two roughly equivalent – have I got a false advertising case for you! Despite their “Don’t Get Mad; Get Glad”...more

Copyright Plaintiffs Keep Trying to Topple Empire. Can Proto-Cookie Succeed Where Others Failed?

Just in time for the Season 3 premiere, let’s take a look back at Empire’s year in IP litigation. Like the fictional Lyon family, which is constantly beset by threats from Feds, old criminal connections, and music...more

The Federal Trademark Statute Assumes Hillary Can’t Win

Today’s example of unintentional sexism comes to us from Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act. On its face, the language of the statute assumes that someone other than Hillary will win the 2016 presidential election – and it won’t...more

Was Shakespeare “Sometimes Like a Lawyer”? Legal Writing With The Bard

William Shakespeare breathed his last on April 23rd, 1616, so this April 23rd marks 400 years since his death. It is also, supposedly, his 452nd birthday. Putting aside the oft-silly conspiracy theories and multitudinous...more

4/18/2016  /  Legal Writing , Young Lawyers

Texas Film Commission Permitted to Slice and Dice Financial Incentives to Machete Films

It’s been a disappointing few months for Machete, Danny Trejo’s “Mexploitation” character created by Robert Rodriguez. After making powerful enemies in Mexico, former Federale Machete found himself a day laborer and...more

The Devil (and the Copyright) is in the Details

Would-be filmmakers often see the ghostly reflection of their own work in allegedly infringing films that actually get made. With many such copyright claims, the devil is – figuratively – in the details, but in the recent...more

TTAB Balks at Parody Argument in Yankees Trademark Case

In honor of Foley Hoag’s new New York office, we here at the Boston office reluctantly present a victory by the New York Yankees — albeit not one won on the baseball diamond. In a trademark opposition that has been...more

Holy Overreach, Batman! Fictional Software Trademark Row Rejected by Supreme Court

When Fortres Grand Corporation saw sales of its software program drop, it blamed – wait for it – Batman. Fortres’ software, called “Clean Slate,” erases user changes to public computers upon reboot, thus returning the...more

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Enforce Your Copyrights!)

The Beastie Boys can look back on 2014 as a year of good copyright outcomes. The preceding years had seen their music used without authorization in two promotional videos, by Goldieblox and Monster Energy, despite the...more

This Porridge is Just Right: Supreme Court Adopts “Zones of Interest” Standing in False Advertising Cases

When we last posted about Lexmark v. Static Control, we expected that the Supreme Court would endorse one of the circuit court tests to determine whether Static Control, the maker of a chip that facilitates printer cartridge...more

Painting on a Borrowed Canvas: When Property Rights Collide with Art

While most artists take pride in creating and protecting their works, many graffiti artists remain necessarily (sometimes famously) anonymous, since their art may also constitute criminal vandalism. In contrast to the...more

11/21/2013  /  Art , Copyright , Vandalism

False Advertising: Supreme Court to Decide Who Can Sue

The Supreme Court has recently agreed to hear argument in Lexmark v. Static Control that will strike at the very heart of false advertising jurisprudence by asking who is allowed to bring false advertising claims. The Lanham...more

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