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A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer 2015: Our Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages

Just in time for the holiday season, we present our second annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer. Whether you are planning a holiday party or just having some friends over, you are probably in the market for some liquid...more

In re Allegiance Staffing – The Rare “Any Other Established Fact”

In this case, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reversed the refusal to register Applicant’s ALLEGIANCE STAFFING mark (disclaiming STAFFING) for temporary employment agency service on the basis of likelihood of confusion...more

ISPs That Ignore Notices From “Copyright Trolls” Risk Losing DMCA Safe Harbor Protections

Representing copyright owners attempting to enforce online infringement is often routine, but can sometimes prove challenging. This tends to be the case when a content owner is trying to address large scale infringement of...more

Down Stream from Aereo: FilmOn Pulled by Different Legal Currents

Last year in American Broad. Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., the Supreme Court dealt a significant victory to the broadcast industry when it concluded that Aereo’s online streaming services infringed the broadcasters’ copyrighted...more

The Genericide of the Turkey Stick: Another Thanksgiving Trademark Tale

For the past few years, the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog has marked Thanksgiving with a note about the history of turkey trademarks. Last year, we discussed the ownership of GOBBLE GOBBLE, and before that we told you why...more

Are Things Getting Nutty at the USPTO?

As we enter the Thanksgiving and holiday season this year, it is particularly apropos to ponder the following question: Is the TTAB going nuts? Congress tells us that the PTO cannot register trademarks that are scandalous...more

ITC Section 337 Update – November 2015

Federal Circuit Panel Rules Commission Lacks Jurisdiction Over Digital Transmissions – On November 10, 2015, the Federal Circuit issued a 2-1 panel opinion in ClearCorrect Operating LLC v. ITC, Appeal No. 2014-1527, reversing...more

A Purr-fect Opinion on Copyright Registrations

Order Granting Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, Epikhin et al. v. Game Insight N.A., et al., 5:14-cv-4383 (Judge Lucy Koh) - Cat videos are one of the most popular types of user-uploaded Internet videos. It is...more

Google Books and Fair Use: From Implausible to Inevitable?

A for-profit corporation scans millions of in-copyright books and permanently stores their full contents in its database, all without seeking permission or paying the books’ authors or publishers. Over ten years ago, when...more

Getting The Deal Through - Trademarks 2016: United States

1. Ownership of marks - Who may apply? An application may be filed by any person or legal entity that uses or intends to use a mark in connection with goods sold or distributed, or services transacted, in United...more

Brandmarking: The Naked Truth About Wine And Beer - November 2015 • Volume 4, Number 5

In January 2009, an Australian company named Innvopak Systems applied to register WINEBUD as a trademark for (three guesses?) wine. Perhaps anticipating trouble, Innvopak expressly stated in its application – not once but...more

TTAB finds confusion between Winebud wine and Bud beer | World Trademark Review

In Anheuser-Busch LLC v Innvopak Systems Pty Ltd (Case No 91194148, August 19 2015) (precedential), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has found that the applicant’s mark WINEBUD for wine is confusingly similar to...more

Unflattering Photo—A Blogger’s Paradise? - Raanan Katz v. Irina Chevaldina

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant based on an assertion of fair use of an unflattering, candid headshot photograph of plaintiff....more

The Second Circuit Turns the Page on Plaintiffs’ Google Books Copyright Suit

Another important copyright decision is in—this time from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Plaintiffs—authors of copyright protected books—brought an action for infringement against Google,...more

Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Issuing DMCA Takedown Notification - Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders must consider the fair-use doctrine prior to issuing a takedown notification under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Lenz v. Universal...more

9th Circuit Cannot Make Up Its Mind

In a drama that certainly has not seen its curtain drop, the 9th Circuit has changed its mind twice on the same issue in the same case during a 19 month span. This story began in 2011 when Multi Time Machine, Inc. (“MTM”), a...more

Fourth Age Limited v. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, October 28, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s holding that Warner Bros. can assert counterclaims against estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in action over right to make digital merchandise based on Tolkien’s books, as counterclaims were...more


In appealing the cancellation of six trademarks, the Washington Redskins filed their opening brief in the Fourth Circuit this week. Cancellation of the team’s REDSKINS trademarks was upheld by a federal district court in...more

BUY NOW: Use in Commerce for Mobile Applications

For a mobile application developer, clearing the Apple® App Store's® often lengthy approval process and seeing the mobile application available for purchase may seem like the last necessary step to establish use of the name...more

Garçon to FanDuel: Check please!

What are a veteran NFL player’s name, image, and likeness worth in the burgeoning (but recently beleaguered-by-lawsuits) daily fantasy sports gaming industry? NFL wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s putative class action lawsuit...more

Boston Marathon Can’t Stop MARATHON MONDAY Trademark Registration

In 1897, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) first organized the Boston Marathon and has been running the event ever since. The world famous race has been held on the third Monday of April every year since 1969, and it is...more

GoDaddy victorious in dispute over OSCARS and ACADEMY AWARDS marks | World Trademark Review

In Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences v, the US District Court for the Central District of California has entered judgment in defendant GoDaddy’s favour, holding that plaintiff Academy of Motion Picture...more

Third Circuit Announces Coverage-Defeating First Publication Rule

On October 23, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a ruling that may make it more difficult for Pennsylvania policyholders to obtain coverage for the misappropriation of advertising ideas...more

Amazon Wins Ruling on Results for Searches on Brands It Doesn’t Sell

On October 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled that online retailer Amazon does not violate the Lanham Act when, in response to a search for a brand it doesn’t sell, it returns a results page that fails to disclose that fact...more

The Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. USCA Second Circuit, October 16, 2015

Second Circuit affirms district court's holding that Google's creation of searchable, digital copies of tens of millions of books constitutes fair use under Copyright Act, because Google's search service merely provides...more

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