Communications & Media Conflict of Laws Intellectual Property

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In the Weeds Between Federal and State Law: Brand Name for Legal Marijuana Sales Denied Federal Registration

In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) affirmed a USPTO refusal to register the trademark HERBAL ACCESS on the basis the use of the mark in commerce was unlawful under the Controlled Substances...more

The Polyjuice Potion Is the Worst Prescription When Branding Marijuana Businesses: Lessons Learned From In re Morgan Brown

The recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, In re Morgan Brown, (Herbal Access) denied registration for the Herbal Access mark for a retail store legally selling marijuana products in Washington state. The...more

Cannabis Trademark Strategy in Jeopardy

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Trademark Office (TTAB) just rejected a popular strategy for protecting cannabis-related marks at the federal level. Many forward-thinking cannabis businesses have applied to...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

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

California District Court Puts Baby In A Corner

In the United States, federal laws take precedence over state law and common law causes of action where there is an overlap. This lesson was recently learned again in Lions Gate Entertainment Inc v TD Ameritrade Services...more

CBS Radio Remasters the Art of Not Paying Artists Royalties

Two years ago, a federal judge rocked the music industry in holding that pre-1972 recordings may be protected under state copyright laws and are protected by California copyright law. This holding, in a case brought against...more

The Right of Publicity: How Much Control Do NFL Players Have Over Their Names?

How much control should athletes have over their names? Not an unlimited amount, according to one recent court ruling. Late last month, in Dryer v. National Football League, the Eighth Circuit denied an appeal by three...more

Central District of California Holds That the California Resale Royalty Act Is Preempted by Federal Copyright Law

As previously discussed on this blog, the validity of the California Resale Royalty Act (the “RRA,” Civil Code Section 986), a 1976 law that requires resellers of fine art to pay a royalty of 5 percent to the artists behind...more

POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca Cola Co.: legal battle nearly over, but industry litigation landscape forever changed…

On March 18, 2016, Pom Wonderful LLC made closing arguments in its trial against Coca-Cola for the alleged misleading marketing of a pomegranate-blueberry juice which contained only trace amounts of either pomegranate or...more

Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. v. TD - Ameritrade Services Co. Inc. USDC, C.D. California, March 14, 2016

District court holds Lions Gate's trademark-related claims under Lanham Act and related state law are preempted by Copyright Act in suit over financial services ad campaign that used modified version of famous line "Nobody...more

Litigation Alert: 8th Circuit Clarifies Reach of Copyright Act in Preempting Right of Publicity Claims

8th Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL on former NFL players’ right of publicity claim, finding the claim to be preempted by the Copyright Act. Courts around the country have long struggled to define and...more

Virtual Learning: The Scope of Preemption Under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Companies seeking protection under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) should consider the effects of CUTSA preemption on their litigation strategy. Under the well-known Silvaco Data System v. Intel Corporation...more

Brandmarking - Volume 4, Number 3 - October 2015

Eight Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Creating and Protecting Brand Identity - First in a series. Every entrepreneur knows the importance of establishing a strong brand for a new business or product...more

Uber Takes A Ride Back To State Court: Federal Court Dismisses Conversion Claim, Remands Trade Secret Misappropriation Case Back...

Order on Motion to Remand, Kevin Halpern, et al., v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., 15-cv-02401-JSW (Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley) - Uber has faced its share of challenges of late, from the established taxi...more

TV Catchup and Section 73 – (Nearly) The End of the Road?

The Court of Appeal in England has recently made a second reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the case brought by UK free-to-air broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 against the Internet...more

POM Wonderful: The New Prescription for False Advertising

The ability of private parties to pursue mislabelling claims depends on whether allowing such claims to proceed would conflict with the purpose and intent of federal labelling laws and implementing regulations, such as those...more

Food for Thought: 2014 Litigation Annual Review

Food for Thought reports on significant court decisions affecting the food industry. The focus of this edition is on several food-related cases pertaining to class certification; particularly, on district court decisions...more

The Day the Exception Swallowed the Rule: Is Any Software Patent Eligible After Ultramercial III?

The Supreme Court has consistently cautioned that the judicial exceptions to patent eligibility need to be carefully applied: At the same time, we tread carefully in construing this exclusionary principle lest it...more

California Court of Appeal Rules Models’ Right of Publicity Claims Assignable, Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California Court of Appeal held earlier this month that certain right of publicity claims are freely assignable, and that the Copyright Act does not preempt a right of publicity claim where the defendant has no legal...more

Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. - USDC, S.D.N.Y, September 9, 2014

District court finds that TVEyes’ media-monitoring service that continuously records vast amounts of television and radio content and allows subscribers to search transcripts and video clips of that content constitutes fair...more

Petition for Certiorari Filed Regarding Preclusive Effect of Likelihood of Confusion Findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal...

In advising clients and making strategic decisions about whether to bring or defend inter partes proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB"), trademark practitioners need to consider carefully whether...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- September 12, 2013

Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FilmOn X LLC, USDC, District of Columbia, September 5, 2013 - Adding to split among courts on this issue, D.C. district court issues preliminary injunction against internet television...more

"Rejection of Perpetual, Royalty-Free, Exclusive Trademark License Permitted by Eighth Circuit Ruling: Lewis Brothers Bakeries...

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code generally limits a Chapter 11 debtor-licensor’s ability to reject intellectual property licenses, but trademark licenses are not subject to such limitations. Trademark license agreements that are...more

Two Recent Decisions From Courts of Appeals Address Important Intellectual Property Issues in Bankruptcy

In the last two weeks, the 6th Circuit and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals each issued decisions on important intellectual property issues in bankruptcy. In the first decision, the 6th Circuit held that bankruptcy's...more

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