Communications & Media Intellectual Property

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French Trademark Office Will Not Register “PRAY FOR PARIS” Or “JE SUIS PARIS”

After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, the French Trademark Office received so many applications for “JE SUIS CHARLIE” that the Office issued a statement in which it warned that it would not register any...more

A New Lenz: Google Weighs In on Fair Use

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates a liability “safe harbor” for online service providers that post content that may be protected by copyright. It facilitates the takedown of an infringing work by providing a...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

YouTube to Take a Stand for Fair Use

As we have written elsewhere on this blog, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that copyright owners must consider fair use before submitting takedown requests to internet service providers under the Digital...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

Fox News LLC v. TVEyes, Inc.—Does the Courts’ Expansion of Fair Use Copyright Protection Promote the “Progress of Science and...

In 2014, when District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York upheld TVEyes, Inc.’s (“TVEyes”) monitoring service as “fair use” in the face of a copyright infringement claim brought by Fox New...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

Strategies for Safeguarding Your Brand in the Digital Age—Corporate Counsel’s IP Trademark, Copyright & Licensing Counsel Forum

This two-day event did a great job of covering the array of issues that companies navigate related to trademark and domain name protection and enforcement, focusing on some of the unique challenges presented by the growing...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

Domain Name Strategies for Start-Up Companies

Just as it is important for start-up companies to be mindful of early-stage trademark and copyright protection strategies (see our guides entitled “Trademark Strategies for Start-Up Companies” and “Copyright Strategies for...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

Intellectual Property Alert: Federal Circuit Limits ITC Jurisdiction to “Material Things”

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has limited the scope of 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (Section 337) to “material things,” which does not include electronic transmissions of digital data. ClearCorrect Operating, LLC v. ITC,...more

The Give and Take of the 2015 Library of Congress Sec. 1201 Copyright Exemptions

I used to love working on cars. As a teenager I had a 1972 Karmann Ghia, which I could repair, MacGyver-like, with rubber bands, tinfoil, and sticks of chewing gum. But as automotive technology advanced, the prospect of...more

DMCA Loosening the Reins for Education

You may know the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) from the widely deployed DMCA take-down notices that copyright owners use to remove putatively infringing content from the Internet. Enacted in 1998, the DMCA is...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

Advertising Law - November 2015

Fantasy Sports Has a New Teammate: Nevada Gaming Commission - Nevada's Gaming Control Board announced that fantasy sports will be regulated like other forms of gambling, and ordered operators to halt operation in the...more

gTLD Sunrise Periods Now Open

As first reported in our December 2013 newsletter, the first new generic top-level domains (gTLDs, the group of letters after the "dot" in a domain name) have launched their "Sunrise" registration periods. Please contact us...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

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