Communications & Media Civil Procedure Intellectual Property

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Inter Partes Review Requested for MiMedx Tissue Graft Patent

Tissue Transplant Technology Ltd. and Human Biologics of Texas Ltd. (“the Petitioners”) recently filed a petition with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board requesting inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 8,597,687 (“the ’687...more

Supreme Court Rules on “Tacking” and District Court Distinguishes Dish Network from Aereo

Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank – What You Need to Know - Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that whether two trademarks may be tacked for purposes of determining priority is a question for the jury, because...more

Supreme Court Decides Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, No. 13-1211, holding that whether two trademarks are “legal equivalents” creating a single, continuing commercial impression and may be...more

The US Supreme Court Holds that Juries Should Decide the Issue of Trademark Tacking

In the first substantive trademark decision it has issued in a decade, the US Supreme Court, in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, case number 13-1211 (January 21, 2015), affirmed the Ninth Circuit by holding that whether two...more

Tacking: It’s Not Just for Judges Anymore

The U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t frequently take on trademark cases, so yesterday’s release of its decision in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank should have been pretty exciting. We discussed the case back in June when the...more

Supreme Court Rules that Trademark Tacking is a Question for Juries

Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously held in Hana Financial v. Hana Bank, 574 U.S. ___ (2015), that trademark tacking is a question for juries. Trademark tacking, or the ability to "tack" a new mark to an older mark in...more

Owning the Visual Identity of a Generic Word

Unless you have created a highly stylized, distinctive, graphic representation of a generic designation, perhaps something like the Miller Lite script, don’t bother trying to own or enforce it:   Most likely, you’ll...more

Advertising Law - January 2015

SPECIAL FOCUS: Fifth Circuit Clarifies the Law on False Advertising Involving “Scientific Debates” - In 2013, the Second Circuit issued an important opinion in Ony, Inc. v. Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc., a false...more

Navigating Degrees of Separation: Impermissible Incorporation by Reference

T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Mobile Telecoms. Technologies, LLC - Following a conference call held with respect to three separate proceedings presenting an identical issue, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial...more

Prior Art Reference Does Not “Teach Away” if It Fails to Criticize, Disclaim or Discourage the Claimed Technique

Ultratec, Inc. v. CaptionCall, L.L.C. - Addressing the obviousness issue whether an asserted secondary reference impermissibly changes the principle of operation of a primary reference, the U.S. Patent and Trademark...more

Stan Lee Media, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Company

USCA, Tenth Circuit, December 23, 2014 - Tenth Circuit dismisses Stan Lee Media’s copyright infringement claim against Disney, finding that plaintiff was collaterally estopped from asserting copyright infringement...more

Wonderful End of 2014 for Pom Wonderful

Pom Wonderful received an early New Year’s present from the Ninth Circuit last Tuesday. A lower court had denied Pom Wonderful’s motion to enjoin the company doing business as Pur Beverages from using “pom” on its...more

Unicorns and Beer: A Match Made in Portland

Hipsters and Portland go together like…. hipsters and Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR). So naturally, when PBR decided to host a music festival, they chose Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately for PBR, some of their choices along the way...more

Looking Ahead: Top IP and Technology Trends for 2015

2015 promises to be a challenging year for intellectual property law. Here is Brooks Kushman’s list of significant IP and technology law trends that clients should be prepared for in 2015....more

Lessons from Santa on Trademark Protection

Christmas may be over, but somewhere Santa is already back to work: making his list, and checking it twice. But don’t let Santa hog all of the good ideas, making a list is good advice for companies and their trademarks, too....more

A December for Configuration Trademarks?

Every now and then it’s worth checking in at the USPTO to see what’s cooking in the world of non-traditional product configuration trademarks: As it turns out, the Big Green Egg is seeking to be more than a word mark —...more

Trademark Review - December 2014

The TTAB Sets the Rules for Pleading Abandonment of a Section 66(a) Registration - VENM seeks registration of the mark VENM for dance costumes. Dragon Bleu opposed registration of VENM’s mark based on 3 earlier...more

Practice Tips For Determining Likelihood of Confusion – Factors to Consider When Assigning Similarity of Trademarks

When reviewing any new trademark application, one of the first issues an Examiner will address is whether or not there is a “likelihood of confusion” between the new mark and any other mark that is already registered with the...more

Trademark Trends: Back-to-Back Arguments in Trademark Cases at SCOTUS

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in trademark cases on consecutive days this month. On December 2, 2014, the issue of whether a finding by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of likelihood of confusion precludes...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q4 2014

KIMBLE V. MARVEL ENTERPRISES, INC. Patent Licensing - Cert. Pending - Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., which held “a patentee’s use of a royalty agreement that projects...more

A New Domain Name Dispute Alternative: The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS)

The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) was created as part of ICANN’s new gTLD program. A gTLD (generic top-level domain) is the “suffix” at the end of a domain name, most commonly .com, .org, .info, .biz and .us. Prior to...more

USPTO: Over Half of Applications/Declarations Studied Over-Claim Covered Goods/Services

It has been the practice of some brand owners to include more goods in a use-based trademark application or declaration than were actually being used. Under TTAB precedent such as Medinol v. Neuro Vasx, Inc., 67 USPQ2d 1205,...more

“Crumbs” of Hope for Trademark Licensees

You are a trademark licensee, and your licensor suddenly declares bankruptcy. Then, to make matters worse, the bankruptcy trustee rejects your licensing agreement. What does this mean for you? Although intellectual...more

Increased Use of Summary Disposition in the Federal Court: An Efficient and Cost-Effective Tool to Resolve Trademark Cases

For many years, summary disposition was essentially unavailable in intellectual property cases in the Federal Court of Canada, unless a claim or defence was plainly devoid of merit. For some parties, this presented a...more

American Broadcasting Co. v. Aereo and its Aftermath

The U.S. Copyright Act in 17 USC 106 specifically gives copyright owners the exclusive right to control “performances” of their works. 17 USC 101 defines public performance as including “transmission” of the work. In 17 USC...more

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