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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

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

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

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

Practice Tips for Copyright Owners in the Wake of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

After considering almost a year’s worth of substantive briefing (including fifteen separate amicus briefs), oral argument, at least ten distinct tests employed in courts throughout the country, as well as numerous novel tests...more

The Top Hits: Fashion Cases with a Big Impact

by Knobbe Martens on

Over the last year, there have been some significant trademark and copyright cases in the fashion industry. Below are summaries of recent cases all brand owners should know and understand. These cases touch on important...more

Comic-Con Invades San Diego

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Thursday, July 20th will mark the start of the 47th annual San Diego Comic-Con International, more commonly known as San Diego Comic-Con or “SDCC”. The convention is a four-day event held every July at the San Diego...more

Is Trademark Use in Google AdWords Trademark Infringement?

by Knobbe Martens on

Does the use of Google AdWords amount to the advertising, promoting, marketing, or offering for sale of goods covered by a registered trademark? Tipsy Elves, LLC. vs. Ugly Christmas Sweater, Inc. is the latest in a string of...more

P. Diddy on Instagram – No Free Pass on Copyright Law

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

As Biggie said “Mo Money Mo Problems” – Last month, a New York-based photojournalist filed suit again Diddy’s record label, Bad Boy Records, for posting a photo of none other than P. Diddy himself on his own Instagram...more

ECJ Strengthens Position of Media Industry in Fight Against Piracy

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

On April 26, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a judgment on the liability of sellers of set-top boxes containing pre-installed add-ons enabling illegal access to motion pictures as well as to Pay-TV and SVoD...more

There are Few Absolutes In Likelihood of Confusion; Apparently Fame isn’t one of Them

In Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, [2016-1089] (May 24, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision denying cancellation of Fairmont’s Reg. No. 4213619 on the mark...more

The Artist Formerly Known As…Warhol

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Lynn Goldsmith is a professional photographer who rose to fame in the 1970’s for her portrait photography, especially for her work with musicians and other entertainers. Her work has appeared on over 100 album covers....more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - June 2017

Ninth Circuit: Website Moderators May Be Agents of ISPs - Why it matters: On April 7, 2017, the Ninth Circuit revived a copyright infringement case filed by a paparazzi group against social media platform LiveJournal that...more

Spotify settles mechanical rights spat for $43.5M

Spotify will pay up to $43.5 million to end a lawsuit filed by a class of song owners who claimed the music streaming giant failed to pay the mechanical rights for songs offered through its service....more

Could the Use of Online Volunteers and Moderators Increase Your Company’s Copyright Liability Exposure?

With over one billion websites on the Internet, and 211 million items of online content created every minute, it should come as no surprise that content curation is one of the hottest trends in the Internet industry. We are...more

The Kardashians Can’t Keep up with Copyright Law

Khloe Kardashian is the latest Kardashian to find herself in court over her activities on social media. The youngest Kardashian sister was sued by a photographer for copyright infringement in Xposure Photos UK Ltd v Khloe...more

Modified set-top boxes and copyright infringement – where do we stand?

by Dentons on

In an important decision for rights holders everywhere, on 26 April 2017, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled that the sale of multimedia devices that have been modified to allow end users to stream pirated content is...more

No Charges by ISP for Performing its Duties Under the Notice and Notice Regime

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Unlike many countries which provide an effective "notice and take down" remedy for copyright owners whose works are wrongly posted on Internet sites, Canada has implemented a "notice and notice" regime. In Voltage Pictures,...more

Have You Been Duped?

by Knobbe Martens on

In the fashion and beauty world, the copying of higher-priced brands is widespread. While in fashion, the term for copies of designer products is “knockoffs,” in beauty, the term is “dupes.” Whether it is a colloquial use of...more

Give Me an E: Cheerleading Uniform Designs Eligible for Copyright Protection

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In a 6–2 decision authored by Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court of the United States provided guidance as to whether aesthetic designs of a cheerleading uniform, such as stripes, chevrons, zigzags and color blocks, are...more

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