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Communications & Media Intellectual Property

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.

Supreme Court Holds Statute Banning Registration of Disparaging Marks Violates the First Amendment

by Brinks Gilson & Lione on

This past Monday, June 19, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). Section...more

Patent Holders Can Evade CBM by Disclaiming CBM Claims

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing petitioner’s urging that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) import the district court “time of filing” rule to institution decisions for covered business method (CBM) reviews, the PTAB once again held that...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | June 2017 #4

NAD Says Aldi Should Change Savings Claims Ads - The National Advertising Division (NAD) has recommended that Aldi, Inc. discontinue advertising based on a “market basket” comparison that claims consumers could save more...more

Social Links: SCOTUS strikes down law banning sex offenders from social media, denies cert in “dancing baby” case; Germany may...

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a North Carolina law that the state has used to prosecute more than 1,000 sex offenders for posting on social media is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment....more

Siding with The Slants: Ban on Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional

by Jones Day on

Asian rock band The Slants is no longer "The Band Who Must Not Be Named," as they titled their most recent album. On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Matal v. Tam, striking a provision of the Lanham Act,...more

“I googled it”: Generic Words and Trademark Rights

by Field Law on

A registered trademark can suffer "genericide" if it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous with a product or service....more

Supreme Court Holds that First Amendment Protects Disparaging Trademarks

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court emphasized the importance of broad free speech protection in striking down a statute that allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to refuse registration of disparaging trademarks....more

Captain Morgan makes Admiral Nelson’s walk the plank

by Smart & Biggar on

Smart & Biggar prevails at trial on behalf of Diageo in trade dress case. On June 12, 2017, the Federal Court issued its 99-page decision in Diageo Canada Inc v Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc et al, 2017 FC 571. The Court...more

4 Common Reasons for a Trademark Registration Refusal

by Revision Legal on

When someone applies for a federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is possible for the trademark registration application to be refused. While this is often disappointing,...more

The Covfefe Kerfuffle and the Rush to Register Trending Terms

While many of us are working our way through the flood of thought-provoking analysis of Matal v. Tam, I’m taking a break with some lighter fare, namely, covfefe. In case you missed it, the viral non-word “covfefe” was born...more

EU Retail News - June 2017

by Bryan Cave on

2017 is shaping up to be the year that the UK's Committee of Advertising Practice ("CAP") puts its foot down on how companies can advertise to children online. In recent months, CAP has published a multitude of guidance to...more

Matal v. Tam: Trademark Disparagement Clause Held Unconstitutional

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in an 8–0 decision that the disparagement clause in the Trademark statute—which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute”...more

A Good Day for Free Speech Advocates: Supreme Court Holds Unconstitutional Federal Trademark Law’s Anti-Disparagement Provision

by Snell & Wilmer on

In Matal v. Tam, the United States Supreme Court held unconstitutional, under the First Amendment, the “disparagement clause” of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), which permits denial of a trademark registration application by the United...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Statute Banning Disparaging Trademarks

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam unanimously held that a portion of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), the Lanham Act provision that prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . persons, living or...more

Your trademarks now can (but needn’t) be offensive

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

If you want to — though we don’t encourage it — you can now disparage ethnic groups in your federally registered trademarks. Indeed, the Supreme Court has unanimously given you a constitutional right to select, and obtain...more

In Landmark Decision, the Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Provision of the Lanham Act that Prohibits Registration of Disparaging...

by Payne & Fears on

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S._ (2017), unanimously struck down the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1052(a), on grounds that it violates the Free Speech Clause...more

THE SLANTS Decision Affects More than a 2(a) and an (R)

In Monday’s decision in the newly minted, Matal v. Tam case, the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit decision that the Trademark Office’s refusal to register THE SLANTS mark on disparagement grounds was...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Slants Rock Band

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) invalidated a 70-year-old provision of U.S. trademark law that previously barred registration of “offensive” trademarks. The high court held that the federal...more

Upon Further Review: Supreme Court Ruling Means “Redskins” Trademark Registrations Are Still In Play

by Jackson Walker on

This week the U.S. Supreme Court held the “disparagement clause” – a federal trademark provision that prohibits the registration of a trademark “which may disparage” . . . persons, . . . , institutions, . . . beliefs, or...more

MBHB Snippets: A review of developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 15, Issue 2

Preparing patent applications for examination at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires proficient writing, detailed knowledge of the requirements of the Patent Act, and technical acumen. Once a patent...more

Trademark Law & Genericide: Google's Not Dead Yet

by Lewitt Hackman on

Domain name registration is usually a good first step to cement trade name and mark ownership. In a previous blog we reminded readers that possession, even in Intellectual Property matters, is nine-tenths of the law...more

Section 2(a), a Happy-Talk Clause, Really?

We can be certain of one thing for sure, the Supreme Court’s decision today, striking down the disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act will be analyzed for some time....more

Above the Clouds: Jeweler’s Trade Secret Spat Highlights Risk of Employee-Controlled Cloud Storage

We have discussed before the importance of maintaining internal policies and procedures to protect the security and integrity of cloud-based repositories. A recent case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland...more

Speedy Justice: Ttab Reverses Refusal To Register CROSBY QUIC-TAG

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in In re The Crosby Group LLC, Serial 86780353 (April 17 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the applicant’s CROSBY QUIC-TAG...more

Ukraine: The rules regarding a combat of Internet piracy entered into force (Ukrainian)

by Dentons on

On 26 April 2017 amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights” (the Law) and a number of other normative acts adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the VR of Ukraine) on 23 March 2017 and aimed at...more

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