Communications & Media Civil Procedure Intellectual Property

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Medina v. Dash Films Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, July 14, 2016

District court dismisses trademark infringement action against Kanye West and others, finding that defendants’ film series title “Loisaidas” is protected by First Amendment because it has artistic relevance, title is not...more

Can You Identify Your Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a type of trademark intellectual property right that can protect almost any unique identifying aesthetic design used by a company, from the shape of a product, to the appearance of a website, to the decor of a...more

Avatar Wins Against Another Copyright Owner… in an Unusual Manner

A recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, ended the hopes and dreams of a copyright owner from receiving a share of the $2.8 billion earned by James Cameron’s Avatar film. In this...more

Is Music Sampling Back En Vogue?

The mere mention of Madonna conjures many images and associations: feminism, reinvention, Kabbala, the cone bra, and her many memorable performances. But today we have yet another thing to associate with the Material Girl: an...more

Clark v. Dashner - USDC, D. New Mexico, June 30, 2016

District court dismisses author’s claims that film “The Maze Runner” and novel of same name infringed on copyright in his book The Maze, holding that similarities between works, including giant maze and robotic creatures, are...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USCA, Eleventh Circuit, June 29, 2016

In most recent decision over The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, Eleventh Circuit asks Florida Supreme Court to determine whether state law recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings and, if so, whether that...more

Second Circuit In Vimeo Narrows The Red Flag Knowledge and Willful Blindness Exceptions To DMCA Safe Harbors

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (“Vimeo”), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the...more

Advertising Law - July 2016

Ad Company's Geotargeting Locates a $1M Penalty - InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company, will pay almost $1 million in civil penalties and implement a comprehensive privacy program to settle charges that...more

“Churrascos” Is Generic for Restaurant Services

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s refusal to register a stylized form of the mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services, finding that...more

Acquiescence Defense – Don’t Try to Use It Too Early

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded a district court decision, finding that the defendant’s attempt to have a trademark infringement lawsuit dismissed at the pleading stage based on an...more

Examiner.com Sails to Victory in DMCA Safe Harbor

Addressing whether the owner of a media website could invoke the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2016

Supreme Court: Status Quo in Cuozzo - Why it matters: On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, where it rejected challenges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes...more

Campaign IP Violations Part 3 – Huckabee’s Campaign Pays Up

In December, we told you about Mike Huckabee’s campaign getting sued for copyright infringement for using “Eye of the Tiger” without permission at a rally supporting Kim Davis, the Tennessee clerk that refused to issue...more

Certification Mark May Be Infringed Despite Nominative Fair Use, Lack of Source Confusion

Addressing the use of a certification mark in connection with information systems training, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and remanded a district court grant of summary judgment for the defendants on...more

Extending the Reach of Octane Fitness Under the Lanham Act **WEB ONLY**

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit adopted and applied the Supreme Court of the United States’ rationale for an award of attorneys’ fees in patent cases to a trademark case. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit aligned...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Sham Citizen Petition Claim, Summary Judgment on False Advertising Claims **WEB ONLY**

Addressing Sherman Act and Lanham Act claims arising out of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ Sherman Act claim...more

Empire State Building Trademark Owner Vanquishes Beer Logo Design

Can you trademark a building design? You can if the building in question is the Empire State Building. In the film classic King Kong, the iconic art deco building is the site of a titanic battle between Kong and the military...more

Quirky Question #283: They Stole Our Stuff, Can We Sue?

Question: My company recently terminated an employee, and we are very worried she accessed her email inappropriately in the days before she was fired. The timing of it all is … well, quirky. Here’s what happened: The...more

Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC - USCA, Second Circuit, June 16, 2016

In copyright infringement suit against user-generated video website Vimeo, Second Circuit holds that DMCA safe harbor protections apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and that Vimeo is entitled to DMCA protections even though...more

The Second Circuit Re-Visits Dawn Donut and the Geographic Scope of Injunctive Relief in Trademark Cases

More than half a century ago, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an influential decision in Dawn Donut Co. v. Hart’s Food Stores, Inc., concerning the proper scope of injunctive relief in a trademark...more

Led Zeppelin Legends Smack Down “Stairway to Heaven” Copyright Suit

This morning in a Los Angeles federal court, a unanimous jury exonerated British rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant—two members of the storied Led Zeppelin rock band—from claims of copyright infringement over the iconic...more

Early Returns (Part 2 of 2): The DTSA Lifts Off

(Editorial Note: This is the second in our two-part series exploring recent litigation under the newly-enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act.) We’ve been tracking the development of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) for...more

Impact of Brexit for Intellectual Property Rights

A British vote to leave the European Union (EU)—the Brexit referendum issue scheduled for a vote June 23, 2016 — would have a significant effect on intellectual property right-holders, such as manufacturers doing business in...more

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