Communications & Media Intellectual Property Civil Procedure

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Trademark Review | June 2015

Is PRETZEL CRISPS a Generic Term? Federal Circuit Resets Standard for Genericness - In an earlier precedential decision, the TTAB held there was a dichotomy in the standard for determining whether an applied-for mark...more

Federal Circuit: Lack of Bona Fide Intent to Use at the Time of Filing Fatal to Trademark Application

In a recent ruling the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) sustaining an opposition against a trademark application on the grounds that the applicant failed to prove that it...more

No Coke, Pepsi. No Infringement, Summary Judgment?

2015 was the 40th anniversary for the NBC comedy series, Saturday Night Live (SNL). After 40 years, a television show is bound to have a cultural impact. And one of the series’ most well known sketches involves Olympia...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2015

California’s Eraser Law: What IP Attorneys and Owners Need to Know - Hector recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is anxious about his upcoming job interview. He is about to enter the adult world. But he has also got...more

Richard Prince Once Again Pushes The Limits Of Fair Use

Richard Prince is either on the very edge of fair use or is engaging in blatant copyright infringement. Unlike most however, Prince has been down this road before; accused of infringement and a defense based entirely on fair...more

Copyright levies on memory cards for mobile phones: another landmark decision from the CJEU (Case C-463/12)

Questions of copyright levies are hotly debated, since the decision as to whether such levies have to be payed or not has a significant influence on the price of the affected technical products and the movement of these goods...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Injunction Against Google (Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc.)

Apparently Google does not appreciate being ordered by a Canadian court to remove worldwide search results. In Update on Injunction Against Google (Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc.) we reviewed a 2014 decision in which...more

The Adoption of a Competitor's Trademarks as Search Terms In Google AdWords May Not Be Such a Great Idea

Google AdWords and similar services display highly prioritized links as search results when someone enters a predetermined search term into a search engine. It wasn’t long after such services became available that companies...more

Michael Jordan Defends His Right to Remain in Court to Protect His Likeness

On March 19, 2015, Wilson Elser published “Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer,” an Alert concerning a case in which Michael Jordan was denied summary judgment on his...more

Walt Disney's TM Case Could be Heard by the Supreme Court

Back in February of 2014, Walt Disney Co. (“Disney”) successfully upheld its cancellation proceeding of a registration for a rival PLAYDOM mark on the grounds that the owner, David Couture (“Couture”), was not using the mark...more

Who’s on First? Depends if Fair Use is on Second and Public Domain is on Third

Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” brings back memories of my seventh-grade talent show where I performed the routine with Brandon Berry at Atascocita Middle School. I can’t remember if we won second or third place —...more

Design Patent Case Digest: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Decision Date: May 18, 2015 - Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - Patents: D593,087; D604,305; D618,677 - Holding: Judgment of trade dress dilution REVERSED; judgment of patent validity and...more

Good-Faith Belief of Invalidity Not a Defense to Inducement

In its recent ruling in Commil USA v. Cisco Systems, 575 U.S. __ (2015), the Supreme Court addressed the knowledge requirement for a claim of inducing patent infringement, holding that defendants in a patent case could not...more

Trade Dress Updates: “Beauty” does not cut it

A recent decision of the US Federal Court (see: Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. May 18, 2015) reviewed the jury decision in Apple’s famous infringement lawsuit against Samsung. You may recall that Apple’s 2011...more

3 things you must get right when you first register your brand

Applying to register a trademark is a simple process. You fill out a form at uspto.gov, enter your credit card information and click submit. It seems so easy that you may wonder why LegalZoom should even charge a fee for...more

Summary of Recent Precedential Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Decisions

In the past two months, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has issued three opinions citable as Board precedent. The following is a brief summary of each opinion and its precedential impact....more

Is Picking A Fight The Way To Win It?

Complaint Filed, Elevengear LLC v. Eclipse IP, LLC, Case No. 3:15-cv-02278-WHA - When a patent owner comes to the table, one possible response is to raise the stakes. That’s the path that Elevengear LLC chose when it...more

False Advertising Bombs and Firecrackers

On May 13, 2015, in Conopco, Inc. v. Wells Enterprises, Inc., the Southern District of New York denied a motion to dismiss a claim for false advertising which arose from a claim that an ice-pop product was “original.” Wells...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Offering of Services Alone Insufficient Basis for § 1(a) Trademark Application - David Couture v. Playdom, Inc.

Addressing for the first time whether the offering of a service was sufficient “use in commerce” under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB)...more

Aspects of Private Social Media Groups May Be Protectable Under Illinois Trade Secret Law

In Illinois federal court, a plaintiff alleged aspects of their LinkedIn group were trade secrets misappropriated by the defendant. The defendant moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court denied the motion in...more

Trademark Review | May 2015

Attorneys’ Fees Might be More Readily Granted in Trademark Cases - Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court relaxed the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in patent infringement cases. Octane...more

News Flash – Oracle v. Google Copyright Case

In its brief filed on May 26, 2015, the US Solicitor General (SG) advised the US Supreme Court to not hear Google’s appeal of a decision, from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, holding that copyright protection...more

The First Amendment Trumps Trademark Rights in Radiance Found, Inc. v. NAACP

When a pro-life columnist publicized a biting article criticizing the NAACP’s stance on abortion rights, the NAACP retaliated with a cease and desist letter accusing the columnist of trademark infringement. When the dust...more

Pretzel Logic: Federal Circuit holds that TTAB Failed to Consider Mark as a Whole

An application to register PRETZEL CRISPS as a mark will live another day, thanks to a Federal Circuit opinion reversing a TTAB decision that had canceled the mark on grounds of genericness....more

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