Communications & Media Intellectual Property

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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EU Trade Mark Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 in force

On 23 March 2016, European Union Trade Mark Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 came into force. The new Regulation amends Community Trade Mark Regulation 207/2009/EC, and makes a number of procedural and substantive changes to EU...more

Is Social Media Sharing of Sports Clips Copyright Infringement? Recent UK Judicial Clarification and International Implications

In our annual review last year “Sports Industry 2015: A Year of Unprecedented Landmark Change”, we predicted that the battle against media piracy would be a key area for rights holders in 2016, highlighting “social media...more

Fair Use Copyright Ruling Stands For Google Books

Last month, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., the long-running copyright case involving Google’s Google Books project. The high court’s refusal to hear the case leaves in place the Second...more

What Happens in the U.S. Stays in the U.S.: IP Dispute Against Canadian Company Will Not be Moved to Canadian Forum

Although motions to dismiss or transfer a case based on a forum non conveniens theory typically focus on the relative merits of two U.S. jurisdictions, this theory may also be applied when a party claims that a case brought...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 see our...more

TVEyes on the Prize: Clarifying the Law of Copyright Fair Use

TVEyes is a media monitoring service, claiming, “to organize the world’s TV and radio broadcasts and make them universally searchable by the spoken word.” Founded in 1999, the service uses innovative “audio mining”...more

China Supreme Court Has Spoken: Long Anticipated Decision on OEMs and Trademark Use

China has been the factory of the world for the past few decades. Countless foreign brand owners have taken advantage of the low-cost manufacturing environment and have flocked to the middle kingdom to source their goods –...more

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Jurisdiction: No “Situs of Injury” Merely Because Copyrighted Material Is Accessible

Because content posted online can be accessed nearly anywhere, courts regularly face the issue of whether they have personal jurisdiction over a defendant who posted material to the web or a social media site. Recently, one...more

The Essentials Of Domain Name Management For Companies

In the traditional scheme of intellectual property, companies tend to manage their trademark, copyright, and patent portfolios, whether in house or through outside counsel. However, it has become increasingly essential for...more

Trademark Review | April 2016

Broad JAWS Registration Devours JAWS Cooking Channel - Mr. Recipe’s applications to register the marks JAWS and JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER were refused based on the earlier registration for JAWS, the movie. Mr. Recipe’s...more

Is Evidence of Confusion Really Necessary to Succeed in a Trademark Infringement Case?

It is not every day that a massive international TV hit show is found to infringe a trade mark. A decision of the English High Court, approved recently by the Court of Appeal, held that the popular 20th Century Fox teenage...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - April 2016

The April 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter discusses (1) the evolving nature of the USPTO's U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual, and how to use this document to craft better...more

News of Note for the Internet-Minded – 4/28/16

Several companies cast an eye toward the Internet of Things, Twitter’s AI gets pretty good at live video, some industry giants get behind the driverless car, and more … Samsung launches a place in the cloud just for...more

Fowling Proprietor Gets Bonked -- Lessons in Avoiding Loss of Trademark Rights

Will Rogers once said “Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.” While he surely didn’t intend it that way, this is sage advice to incipient trademark owners. Consider, if you will, the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The March To The Supreme Court

This week saw developments in the two cases challenging the application of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act to their registration: In re Tam and Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc....more

Vacation rental websites create difficult choices for hotels

In just a few years, vacation rental websites have exploded onto the scene, commanding a significant market presence in the hospitality industry and redefining traditional “vacation rentals.” In particular, websites like...more

Trademark Series: Confusion (Part 2)

By Richard Stobbe So much confusion, so little time. The Trade-marks Act teaches us that the use of one trade-mark causes confusion with another trade-mark if the use of both trade-marks in the same area would likely lead to...more

Launch of New Generic Top Level Domains .store and .shopping

From time to time, new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) become available for registration. Among the many gTLDs newly available is .store. This gTLD is intended to provide brand owners with a domain that is instantly...more

Panera and Great Harvest Argue over Tagline

Panera Bread and the Great Harvest Bread Co. will not be breaking bread together anytime soon. To the contrary, Great Harvest recently filed a trademark lawsuit against Panera over Panera’s “food as it should be” campaign,...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team. Here are some of the...more

The Slants and the Future of Disparaging Trademarks

Trademark and copyright law are in a constant struggle with the right of free expression guaranteed under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This is unavoidable. Copyright laws were enacted to protect authors of...more

Google Books Survives Legal Challenge - Supreme Court Declines to Address Book-Digitization Project

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari over a Second Circuit decision (Authors’ Guild v. Google Inc.) affirming that Google’s project of digitizing, and making available online for searching, tens of millions of...more

Pro Football Calls SCOTUS Audible

As we noted here last week, the Director of the USPTO filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that it review the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision, In re Tam. That decision held Section...more

Million Dollar Martini: How to Shake Up Your Network and Mix Up Big Deals

You’ve taken the traditional marketing routes: ads in the local paper, perhaps a quick spot on the radio or a basic web page. But, how do you mix in that extra ingredient that will put your company on top? What can push your...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

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