Communications & Media Intellectual Property Civil Remedies

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Consumers Are Unlikely to Confuse Yelp with a Local Property Management Company Using the Same Tagline in Ads, Court Rules

In a ruling that neatly illustrates some of the challenges a company is likely to face when trying to enforce trademark rights in an advertising tagline, a federal judge in the Northern District of California recently denied...more

Tiffany Wins the Generic Battle, and the Spoils of War are Significant

In February of 2013, high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. sued Costco Wholesale Corp. in the federal court for the Southern District of New York for using the designation “Tiffany setting” since 2007 in the sale of two styles of...more

Growing Small Satellite Market Spawning Litigation

Virgin Galactic expanded and continued its attack on its former VP of Propulsion, Thomas Markusic, and his new company, Firefly Space Systems, this month. Markusic co-founded Firefly around the time he left Virgin Galactic,...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Adopts Broader Octane Fitness Standard for Attorneys’ Fees Awards under the Lanham Act

On October 24, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after an en banc rehearing in Sunearth, Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power Co., LTD., adopted the Octane Fitness standard for determining whether a case is...more

Octane Fitness and Highmark Apply to Ninth Circuit Attorney Fee Awards under the Lanham Act

On October 24, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, held that district courts analyzing a request for attorney fees under the Lanham Act should consider the totality of the circumstances, as set forth in...more

Hillary Clinton's IP Litigation Experience

Many people are surprised to learn that Hillary Clinton was an intellectual property attorney when she practiced law from 1977-1992 for the Rose Law Firm. While the New York Times has reported that former colleagues cannot...more

Electronic Frontier Foundation brings suit over anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA

On July 21, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") filed a complaint against various agencies and members of the U.S. government over Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), arguing that this...more

Trademark Review | September 2016

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and BLACK MEN ROCK Deemed Confusingly Similar - This opposition involved a straight-forward likelihood of confusion analysis. Opposer owned a registration for the mark BLACK GIRLS ROCK! for clothing and...more

Trendy Shoemaker Cannot Slay the Fashion King

Plaintiff LVL XIII Brands Inc. (“LVL XIII”) must not have heard of the old saying: “Never strike a king unless you are sure you shall kill him.” The New York start-up sneaker company decided to take on fashion king Louis...more

Sprint v. Comcast: District Court Denies Request for Attorney's Fees Pending Appeal to the Federal Circuit

Plaintiff Sprint Communications Company brought suit against Defendants Comcast Cable Communications, LLC and Comcast IP Phone, LLC alleging infringement of six of its patents related to telecommunications and data...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Summer 2016

Supreme Court Expands Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement and Eliminates the Federal Circuit’s ‘Seagate Test’ - In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court...more

FTC Targets Brand Owner Policing Search Ad Keywords

This Monday, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC” or “Commission”) commenced an administrative proceeding against 1-800 Contacts, Inc. (“1-800 Contacts”), alleging that the online contact lens retailer had entered into...more

Miss Trademark USA: Beauty Pageant Naming Disputes

Just this month, two disputes over the trademark rights to beauty pageant names were resolved, pending appeal. In World Pageants LLC v. Miss G-String International LLC, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) dismissed...more

Not What the Doctor Ordered: Injunction Ruled Too Narrow in Trademark Infringement Case

Addressing the scope of injunctive relief awarded in a trademark infringement case, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s finding of a likelihood of confusion, but vacated, reversed and...more

“Gossip Cop” Held To Willfully Infringe Copyrighted Photos

In BWP Media USA v. Gossip Cop Media, a case sure to bring cheer to paparazzi and tabloid publishers everywhere, a judge in the Southern District of New York has found after a bench trial that a gossip website willfully...more

Political campaigns face copyright and robocall liabilities

Though it seems to come as a surprise to many of them, politicians — even presidential candidates — have to live with the same intellectual property and communications laws that bedevil the rest of us....more

MACCOFFEE Found Likely To Ride Coat-Tails Of McDonald’s EU ‘Mc’ Family Of Trademarks

On July 5, 2016, the European General Court rendered an interesting decision illustrating the broad protection enjoyed by those trademarks with “a reputation in the EU.”...more

#Trademarks?: Hashtags as Trademarks Revisited

Since our previous article on the emerging issue of trademark rights in hashtags, the use of hashtags in social media marketing has continued to grow. Described as the “ignition keys to a social media keyword search,”...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Extending the Reach of Octane Fitness Under the Lanham Act **WEB ONLY**

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit adopted and applied the Supreme Court of the United States’ rationale for an award of attorneys’ fees in patent cases to a trademark case. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit aligned...more

Trade secrets law in the Internet age

How do you maintain a trade secret in the Internet age? As in the punch line to an old joke, “VERY CAREFULLY.”...more

The Second Circuit Re-Visits Dawn Donut and the Geographic Scope of Injunctive Relief in Trademark Cases

More than half a century ago, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an influential decision in Dawn Donut Co. v. Hart’s Food Stores, Inc., concerning the proper scope of injunctive relief in a trademark...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees to Successful Copyright Litigants.

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, clarified the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act. This is the second time the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, No....more

Righting Copyright Wrongs Remains Elusive – Kirtsaeng Leaves Fee Awards to District Court Discretion

On June 16, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., No. 15-375, resolved a circuit court split by reaffirming the test district courts should use to determine whether to award attorney’s fees...more

Design Patents and Trade Dress

I often get asked by clients to discuss the differences between design patents and trade dress. Both are intellectual property protections that protect similar aspects of a product—the appearance and aesthetic features. Last...more

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