Susan Neuberger Weller

Susan Neuberger Weller

Mintz Levin

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Houston, We Have a Problem: City Petitions the US Supreme Court to Register Its Official Seal as a Trademark

The City of Houston, Texas has filed a Petition For Writ Of Certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to interpret Section 2(b) of the Lanham Act to determine whether it prohibits a government...more

1/8/2014 - Lanham Act Municipalities SCOTUS Trademarks

Can an Emoticon be Protected as a Trademark?

Gap Inc. and Diane Von Furstenberg’s company DVF Studio have asked the federal court in the Southern District of New York to rule on whether the heart emoticon <3 can be protected as a trademark. Their declaratory judgment...more

1/7/2014 - Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Sarah Palin and North Jersey Media Group Battle Over “Fair Use” of Famous 9/11 Photo

The iconic “Raising the Flag at Ground Zero” photo of firemen raising an American flag on September 11, 2001, which appeared on the cover of The Record newspaper and other newspapers on September 12, is at the heart of a...more

12/19/2013 - Copyright Fair Use Photographs

Willful Infringement of Copyright in Haitian Earthquake Photographs Cost AFP and Getty $1.2 Million

A federal jury in New York has found Agence France-Presse and Getty Images Inc. willful in their infringement of Daniel Morel’s copyrights in eight photographs of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and ordered them to pay damages of...more

12/9/2013 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Earthquakes

How Much “Intent” is Enough to Support an “Intent to Use” Trademark Application?

For many years now, the US Trademark Office has accepted trademark applications based upon a “bona fide intent to use” the applied-for mark on all the goods and/or to provide all of the services listed in the application at...more

11/6/2013 - Intent Intent-to-Use Trademark Office Trademarks USPTO

TTAB Refuses to Register “The Slants,” Finding it to be “Disparaging”

Racial and ethnic disparagement is a hot topic at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board these days. While a decision is still pending in the latest cancellation action involving the long disputed WASHINGTON REDSKINS...more

10/28/2013 - Registration Slurs Trade Trademark Act Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Oops! Assignment Of Intent-To-Use Trademark Applications: Easy But Not Simple

The language in the Trademark Act is very clear on the issue of assignment of intent-to-use applications. In a recently issued precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has held, once again, that Section...more

8/23/2013 - Intent-to-Use Patent Applications Trademark Act Trademarks USPTO

The (Best) Method to the Madness Behind Choosing a Company Name or Mark

The Wall Street Journal ran a print article on July 18, 2013 titled “What’s Behind Those Quirky Startup Names?” in which the author Lindsey Gellman discussed the derivation behind unique startup names such as Mibblio, Kaggle,...more

7/23/2013 - Brand Color Marks Marketing Trade Names Trademarks

Hells Angels and Toys “R” Us Settle “Death Head” Trademark Litigation

When I think of the Hells Angels, what immediately comes to mind is a notorious gang of men in leather on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the 1960’s counterculture, and news reports of illicit activity. When I think of Toys “R”...more

7/12/2013 - Harley-Davidson Hells Angels Logos Toys R Us Trademark Litigation Trademark Policing Trademarks USPTO

RG3 and Common Law Trademark Rights: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Following in the footsteps of many sports and entertainment celebrities, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III, through his company Thr3escompany LLC, filed a number of US trademark and service mark...more

7/9/2013 - Color Marks Fluid Trademarks Trademark Litigation Trademark Policing Trademarks

Copyright Infringement Damages Upheld in File Sharing Case

The Tenebaum copyright infringement file sharing case, about which we first reported in an earlier blog, reached another milestone this week when the First Circuit upheld the jury’s $675, 000 damages award. Tenenbaum had been...more

7/1/2013 - Copyright Damages Digital Downloads File Sharing Infringement Music The Copyright Act

Contributory Infringement and Copyrights: If It Involves Your Customer, It Could be Your Problem Too

Right on the heels of our blog on trademarks and contributory infringement, comes a case in which the court refused to dismiss a claim against Amazon for sales by third parties of allegedly infringing photographs on its site....more

6/24/2013 - Amazon Contributory Infringement Copyright Infringement Trademarks

Counterfeits, Trademark Infringement, and Contributory Liability: Your Vendors are Your Problem

Counterfeit goods seem to be everywhere, and efforts to police their ubiquitous existence often seem futile. However, a recent decision involving counterfeit Coach products should inspire those who host vendors of counterfeit...more

6/19/2013 - Coach Inc Contributory Infringement Counterfeiting Fashion Industry Infringement Trademarks Vendors

More About Trademark Surnames: The Borghese Dispute

Right on the heels of our surname blog comes a New York Times article on a long-running trademark litigation over rights to the Borghese surname. The Borgheses hail from an Italian noble family and their using the family...more

6/18/2013 - Cosmetics Marketing Surnames Trademarks

Louboutin Sees Red Again: Protecting Color as a Trademark

Christian Louboutin filed suit last week in Federal District Court in New York against Charles Jourdan Fashion Footwear and unnamed companies and John and Jane Does for trademark counterfeiting and infringement and other...more

6/12/2013 - Christian Louboutin Counterfeiting Fashion Design Fashion Industry Infringement Red Sole Shoes Trademarks

Why Can’t I Use My Own Name?: Trademarks and Surnames

There are many “myths” that float about in the general public about what can and cannot function as a trademark. For example, people often tell me that they “know” that “common words” can never be protected as trademarks....more

6/6/2013 - Surnames Trademarks

Laches, Acquiescence, and Trademark Injunctions - Who Should Be Upstream Without a (Greek) Paddle?

On May 8, a long time manufacturer of ceremonial paddles marketed to fraternities and sororities filed a petition for certiorari with the US Supreme Court seeking relief from an injunction barring him from using Greek...more

5/22/2013 - Infringement Injunctions Laches Trademarks

The Issues of Trademark Infringement and Dilution Go “Wild”

Those of us in a certain age bracket will remember Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” television program that first began in 1963. The Emmy Award-winning show’s first run ended in 1986, and the show went into production again...more

5/20/2013 - Dilution Infringement Television Shows Trade Names Trademarks

The New Generic Top-Level Domains and the New Trademark Clearinghouse: Deciding Whether to Register Your Brands

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) is the organization that oversees domain names worldwide. It recently began accepting new applications for expanding the number of generic top-level domains...more

5/17/2013 - Domain Names Generic gTLD ICANN Trademark Clearinghouse

Are Dr. Dre’s Claims of Likelihood of Confusion and Dilution Enough to “Beat” His Opponents?

Rapper Dr. Dre and the company he co-founded, Beats Electronics, LLC, are on the offensive at the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board challenging a multitude of third-party applications for marks which consist of or contain...more

3/13/2013 - Beats Electronics Celebrities Dilution Dr. Dre Likelihood of Confusion Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks

David Can Beat Goliath in the Trademark World… Just Ask Mixed Chicks!

On November 2, 2012, a federal jury in the Central District of California awarded Mixed Chicks LLC, a beauty supply company for mixed-race women, www.mixedchicks.net, $839,535 in actual damages and $7,275,000 in punitive...more

12/10/2012 - Willful Infringement

How Do You or Don’t You State a Case for A Declaratory Judgment in a Trademark Dispute?

Ever since the US Supreme Court in MedImmune, Inc. v. Genetech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 127 S, Ct, 764, 166 L. Ed.604 (2007) threw out the “reasonable apprehension” test as defining the grounds for bringing a declaratory judgment...more

12/6/2012 - Declaratory Judgments Trademarks

Some Companies Must Do More To Protect Brand Identity By Susan Neuberger Weller

Originally published in Law360 on December 03, 2012. Every business has a name. An LLC and a corporation have names that have been approved and registered by, at least, one secretary of state’s office. For many...more

12/5/2012 - Trademarks

Lululemon and Calvin Klein Settle Yoga Pants Design Litigation

As we reported previously, Lululemon, an exercise apparel company, filed suit against Calvin Klein and its supplier G-III Apparel Group for infringement of three Lululemon design patents for yoga pants....more

11/27/2012 - Design Patent

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