Communications & Media Intellectual Property

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No Small Potatoes: Patenting Spuds in an Era of Gene Silencing

During a 1911 journey—in which he would discover Machu Picchu—Hiram Bingham’s exploration party came across native Peruvians who “lived almost entirely on gruel made from chuño, frozen bitter potatoes. Little else than...more

“Processing System” Does Not Render Claims Indefinite

The Federal Circuit relied on Nautilus to preserve functional language of a method claim in a decision published last Friday. In Cox Comm, Inc. v. Sprint, No. 2016-1013, the Federal Circuit held that the term “processing...more

Can Using Social Media Lead to a Lawsuit? (Part 3)

In this third and final part of this blog series, I will address the intersection of social media and intellectual property rights, as well as how and when social media may be used as evidence during trial....more

Social Copycats: Is a Social Media User Infringing On Your Intellectual Property Rights?

Social media platforms present great opportunity for brands to gain visibility and attract followers.   But what if another user is using your brand name or a confusingly similar brand name to promote a competing business?...more

How Would You Pronounce Infringement?

Last week, we discussed Caribou Coffee’s billboard ad referencing transparency — this week another installment from Caribou’s current Minneapolis skyway billboard campaign: That one made me think of this one, a post from a...more

Virtual Porn – Real Patent Lawsuit

The porn industry is often one of the early adopters for new technologies. VR is no exception. Virtual Immersion Technologies LLC is enforcing its patent against live VR porn operators. The patent 6,409,599 (“the ’599...more

Copyright Alert: The European Union Exposes Websites to Copyright Liability for Linking to Infringing Material of Third Parties

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on September 8, 2016 that websites that merely link to infringing material (instead of copying it) can be liable for copyright infringement. If this decision, GS Media BV v....more

Trademarks, Service Marks, and Trade Dress: Key Facts and Pitfalls to Avoid

1. The Difference Between a Trademark, Service Mark, and Trade Dress. A trademark is any word, term, phase, symbol, logo, design, shape, tag line, background, color, scent, sound, device, or combination thereof that...more

Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet

During recent years, the Internet has become the basic foundational infrastructure for the global movement of data of all kinds. With continued growth at a phenomenal rate, the Internet has moved from a quiet means of...more

Advertising Through Social Media: Ten Tips For FTC & NAD Compliance

Most modern advertising campaigns include social media components. In fact, it is not uncommon today to see products advertised exclusively on social media. For the most part, the same rules that govern traditional...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

ITV & Others v TVCatchup – Advocate General’s opinion makes light work of Court of Appeal’s uncertainty as to the meaning of...

In the previous installment of this dispute, the UK Court of Appeal (CA) referred questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the meaning of the expression ‘access to cable of broadcasting services’ used...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, September 8, 2016

In most recent decision on The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, district court grants Sirius XM partial summary judgment, dismissing plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages, but permits plaintiffs to seek disgorgement of...more

European Commission Adopts New EU Copyright Rules

The Commission’s proposals aim to reform EU Copyright laws as part of its package of proposals towards an EU Digital Single Market. On 14 September 2016 the European Commission (the Commission) adopted new proposals for...more

UK Digital Economy Bill

The UK government has published its Digital Economy Bill, intended to lead to a new Digital Economy Act. Although this is not the first time that the UK has produced legislation on the Digital Economy, the timing of the...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. See our December...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

Have Sense About Scents

In today's marketplace, companies are constantly seeking their moment, day, or --if they are lucky--year on the top of the "best of" list for new, unique, and/or fabulously redesigned goods or services. The sheer number of...more

Legal Concerns for Social Media Influencers: Intellectual Property

Social media “influencers” – individuals who are powerful, popular and relevant enough to influence others within their online social sphere – generate ad dollars, product endorsement opportunities and other revenue streams...more

USA! USA! USA!

When members of Team USA walked into the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony wearing uniforms embroidered with the letters "USA," the uniforms did more than just designate the team members' identity as representatives of the USA....more

12-year-old Awarded Patent for Human-Powered Generator

What started as a science fair project for then 12-year-old George Panousis of Penn Hills has led to a patent two years later. With the help of his father and Lisa Geary of Cohen & Grigsby’s intellectual property group,...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - August 2016

The August 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter explores the guidelines surrounding claims of "Made in the USA" and the use of scents to build strong brand identities. Please see full newsletter...more

Gladys Knight Files Unfair Competition Lawsuit Against Her Son

This Monday, seven-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Gladys Knight commenced a federal unfair competition lawsuit against her own son and his businesses in connection with a chain of Atlanta-area chicken and waffle...more

Litigation Alert: The Ninth Circuit Leaves Pirate Joe’s Saying “Shiver Me Timbers!”

Late last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined a court had jurisdiction to decide a trademark lawsuit filed by a U.S. grocery store against a Canadian reseller where the products at issue were only...more

NLRB Ruling in Social Media Case Provides Useful Guidance for Employers

Drafting a social media policy in compliance with Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “the Act”) has become increasingly challenging for employers, as the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “the...more

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