Communications & Media Intellectual Property

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Role Reversal: David Bullying Goliath?

When claims of trademark infringement make the news, it is often because a billion dollar corporation is suing old man Donaldson’s tavern for trademark infringement (Although, McDonaldson’s might have been a bad choice…). ...more

Do I Need to Dress Up My Fashion Line in a “Trade Dress?”

What is a trade dress? Is this a new fashion trend that Miley Cyrus or Rihanna started? Not exactly. Trade dress law is a subset of trademark law that originally included only the packaging or “dressing” of a...more

Ninth Circuit Allows Delinquent Corporation To Sue And Own Trademarks

In Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina, the Ninth Circuit held that a corporation, whose charter had been suspended by the state of California in 1977, had standing in 2012 to sue and to own trademarks as an...more

Hey Commish, Can You Trademark The (Fantasy Football) League?

All around America, men will soon gather in front of their computers feverishly conducting research, generally wasting time, and participating in one of the manliest things they likely will do for quite some time: their...more

Socially Aware - Volume 5, Issue 5 - August 2014

In This Issue: - Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping - Google Glass Into Europe: A Small Step or a Giant Leap? - Drugs and the Internet: FDA Distributes New...more

IP Protection For Novelty T-Shirts: Copyright Or Trademark?

No matter how sophisticated we are on the outside, on the inside everyone has a favorite novelty t-shirt buried deep in the recesses of their juvenile subconscious. Mine is one that says “Welcome to Philadelphia. Now Go...more

I’m Gumby Dammit — A Flexible Trademark?

The Minnesota History Center is currently promoting its Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s exhibit — my favorite promotional billboard is the one captured above, featuring none other than Gumby....more

Target prevents registration of mark with three-ring design

In Target Brands Inc v Artificer Life Corp (Opposition Nos 91206421 and 91206422), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has upheld Target Brands Inc’s opposition against the registration of a trademark containing a...more

.CHURCH Launching September 17

The number of premium domain names available to churches and related religious organizations is about to increase significantly. On September 17, 2014, the domain name extension .church – a new alternative to domain name...more

Unincorporated Associations Can Protect Unregistered Trademarks Under The Lanham Act

Can an unincorporated association own a trade mark and enforce trademark rights under the Lanham Act? The Ninth Circuit says that it can. (Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina, No. 13-55780, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis...more

The Aereo Crashed: Cheap Internet TV Thwarted

American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. - The Supreme Court of the United States has now determined that internet streaming services directly infringe the copyrights of several television networks. American...more

Redskins Appeal TTAB Ruling

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, the Washington Redskins filed a much-anticipated appeal in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia of a June Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision which resulted in...more

Legal World Goes Bananas Over Monkey Selfie Copyright Dispute

Looks like some copyright monkey business is afoot! Wikipedia, the collaborative free online encyclopedia, and David Slater, a British photographer, are currently in a copyright dispute over a photograph taken by a primate....more

Colors, Words, and Colours: Pink with Envy

It has been nearly a year since we posed the age-old question: Does this Pink Clash with My Pink? Okay, so it’s not that old of a question. In fact, most of you (readers) may not have ever considered the inquiry....more

Pattern of Functional Dots in Absorbent Pad Functional? It’s a Fact Issue

McAirlaids, Inc. v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. - Addressing whether a pattern of dots embossed on an absorbent pad was functional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court’s summary judgment in...more

Cert Alert: Is TTAB Decision on Likelihood of Confusion Preclusive?

B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (in turn affirming a district court decision) finding the mark...more

Monkey in the Middle of Selfie Copyright Dispute

The “selfie” is now so ubiquitous that the word is in the Oxford English Dictionary, you can use it in Scrabble and it has spawned a whole new lexicon. Selfies are no longer the preserve of teens and reality stars; you now...more

The C-word and IP Rights

No, not that c-word. The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights involves a plethora of c-words: copying, counterfeit, copyright, cease-and-desist, CIPO (the Canadian IP Office). But the one I am...more

A “Giant” Decision: Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Denies Registration of “G-Men” to the New York Giants

It’s not just the Redskins anymore! Following the cancellation of the Redskins trademark earlier this summer, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has issued another football related decision regarding the New York Giants’...more

How Not To Market Your Business Online (Even If It Works): Claims Against Fake Review Sites And Stolen Obituary Photos Survive...

Despite celebrity endorsements from the likes of Dennis Miller and Alan Thicke, all that glitters isn’t gold when it comes to the marketing of precious metal investments. In March 2014, American Bullion, Inc., which is in the...more

Using Images Without Permission is No Monkey Business

Who owns the rights to a selfie taken by a monkey? While it sounds like a law school exam, it is based on a real story as reported here by the American Bar Association. According to the article, a monkey picked up the...more

Redskins Ruling is Consistent with TTAB Precedent

In Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office once again canceled various registrations for trademarks used by the Washington Redskins football team as being disparaging to Native Americans. While...more

PTO’s Decision to Cancel Football Team’s “Redskins” Marks May Provide Only a Symbolic Victory

On June 18, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) administrative board held for the second time that six federal trademark registrations owned by the Washington Redskins franchise must be canceled on the grounds...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - August 2014 (Global)

BROADCASTING - US: Following loss before the Supreme Court, Aereo “astonishes” broadcasters with new legal strategy - New York-based Aereo asserts in federal district court that it is entitled to a compulsory license...more

Monkey See, Monkey Do Selfie?

Is photography nowadays really so easy even a monkey can do it? What about a caveman? If Wikimedia is right, the caveman would own a copyright in his selfie (or perhaps Geico, under the work for hire doctrine)...more

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