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These Boots Are Made For Walkin’: Trade Dress and the Distinctive Look of a Boot Sole

Airwair, the owner of the Dr. Martens brand, recently launched a series of lawsuits in the Northern District of California to enforce the trade dress of its “iconic boots and shoes.” One lawsuit was filed in October against...more

To The Relief of Sergeants Everywhere, Forever 21 Challenges Adidas’ Three Stripe Marks

On March 3, Forever 21, Inc. sued Adidas American, Inc. in the Central District of California (2:17-cv-01752), asking for a declaration that its clothing decorated with stripes does not infringe Adidas’ trademarks, and...more

Federal Court of Appeal upholds interlocutory injunction directed at retailers of set-top boxes loaded with copyright-infringing...

As reported previously, the Federal Court issued an interlocutory injunction on June 1, 2016 directed at retailers of set-top boxes that are configured, or “pre-loaded”, with various applications that provide their users with...more

Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

One of the best sports photographs in recent history captured a 2016 incident where Texas Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor hit Toronto Blue Jay José Bautista in the face. That memorable image is at the center of a new...more

Finding of Exceptionality Leaves Unsuccessful Infringement Plaintiff Liable for Over $50 Million in Attorney Fees and Costs

Needless to say, a finding of exceptionality under 35 U.S.C. § 285 can have crippling consequences. Just ask Rembrandt Technologies, LP, which recently was slapped with an order to pay the prevailing defendants in a...more

Your DMCA Safe Harbor Questions Answered

Do you need the answer right now to one particular question about the DMCA and its (so-called) “Safe Harbors”? Here you go! But be warned: we’re painting with a broad brush, so you will have to go further – including seeking...more

Don’t Friend My Friends: Nonsolicitation Agreements Should Account for Social Media Strategies

As social media becomes an important part of many companies’ sales and branding strategies, issues relating to companies’ ability to protect their investments in such strategies are emerging. Indeed, this blog has previously...more

Rare Interlocutory Injunction Issued by Federal Court in Trademark Case

In a significant decision issued last week, Sleep Country Canada Inc v Sears Canada Inc, 2017 FC 148, the Federal Court issued rare interlocutory relief to a Plaintiff in a trademark case. ...more

Sixth Circuit Drops the Beat: Social Media Relevant in Determining Likelihood of Confusion

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence to find that relevant consumers were likely to confuse the sources of his and the...more

The Yellow Pages Live On

Calling the district court’s action an “abuse of discretion,” the 11th Circuit reversed a decision that cut by more than 90 percent a successful copyright infringement plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. Yellow...more

Trademark Infringers Can Limit The Damages They Must Pay If The Trademark Owner Fails To Prove That The Parties' Marketing Areas...

It has long since been the rule that an infringing trademark use may only be prevented in the geographic areas where use of the infringing mark and owner's trademark overlap.i In the recent case of Variety Stores, Inc. v....more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

When Imitation Goes Beyond Flattery

In a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Missouri today, Energizer Brands complained about Spectrum Brands’ “imitation” of its packaging, raising claims of trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, unfair...more

Online Copyright Enforcement Gone Wrong – How To Get it Right

An elderly grandmother. A first-person shooter video game. The two typically have very little in common. Yet both were recently in the headlines of the national news. The story involved an email sent pursuant to Canada’s...more

Why Chinese Companies Need to Exercise Caution When Attending Trade Shows in the United States

Over the past two years, owners of U.S. patents have used Chinese companies' appearances at a trade show as a patent infringement "trap." These patent owners have commenced patent infringement cases against Chinese companies...more

Not Gone with the Wind: IP Rights Despite Public Domain Images

In 2006, Warner Bros. filed suit against A.V.E.L.A., X One X Productions, and ArtNostalgia.com, Inc. (collectively, “AVELA”) for copyright and trademark infringement under the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and state law....more

Consumers Are Unlikely to Confuse Yelp with a Local Property Management Company Using the Same Tagline in Ads, Court Rules

In a ruling that neatly illustrates some of the challenges a company is likely to face when trying to enforce trademark rights in an advertising tagline, a federal judge in the Northern District of California recently denied...more

Tiffany Wins the Generic Battle, and the Spoils of War are Significant

In February of 2013, high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. sued Costco Wholesale Corp. in the federal court for the Southern District of New York for using the designation “Tiffany setting” since 2007 in the sale of two styles of...more

Growing Small Satellite Market Spawning Litigation

Virgin Galactic expanded and continued its attack on its former VP of Propulsion, Thomas Markusic, and his new company, Firefly Space Systems, this month. Markusic co-founded Firefly around the time he left Virgin Galactic,...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Adopts Broader Octane Fitness Standard for Attorneys’ Fees Awards under the Lanham Act

On October 24, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after an en banc rehearing in Sunearth, Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power Co., LTD., adopted the Octane Fitness standard for determining whether a case is...more

Octane Fitness and Highmark Apply to Ninth Circuit Attorney Fee Awards under the Lanham Act

On October 24, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, held that district courts analyzing a request for attorney fees under the Lanham Act should consider the totality of the circumstances, as set forth in...more

Hillary Clinton's IP Litigation Experience

Many people are surprised to learn that Hillary Clinton was an intellectual property attorney when she practiced law from 1977-1992 for the Rose Law Firm. While the New York Times has reported that former colleagues cannot...more

Electronic Frontier Foundation brings suit over anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA

On July 21, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") filed a complaint against various agencies and members of the U.S. government over Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), arguing that this...more

Trademark Review | September 2016

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and BLACK MEN ROCK Deemed Confusingly Similar - This opposition involved a straight-forward likelihood of confusion analysis. Opposer owned a registration for the mark BLACK GIRLS ROCK! for clothing and...more

Trendy Shoemaker Cannot Slay the Fashion King

Plaintiff LVL XIII Brands Inc. (“LVL XIII”) must not have heard of the old saying: “Never strike a king unless you are sure you shall kill him.” The New York start-up sneaker company decided to take on fashion king Louis...more

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