Intellectual Property Communications & Media Business Torts

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Has the Supreme Court signaled the end of invalidity opinion letters?

On May 26, 2015, in the case of Commil USA, LLC v. CISCO Systems, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court answered the question of whether a good-faith belief that a patent is invalid shields a party from committing induced...more

Counts v. Meriwether - USDC, C.D. California, June 12, 2015

District court dismisses breach of contract and conversion claims in lawsuit brought by two screenwriters who alleged defendants used script to create television series "New Girl," holding breach of contract claim was...more

IKEA Wins in pimpmyikea.com and Thirty Other Domain Name Challenges

Ikea Systems BV of the Netherlands filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the transfer of multiple domain names registered by Michael Herman, an individual located in North Carolina. These domains...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

Carta de Error! Copyright Takedown Notice To iTunes May Give Rise to Misrepresentation Liability

Section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes parties who issue copyright takedown notices liable for any “knowing” misrepresentations in those notices. However, the Ninth Circuit in Rossi v. Motion Picture...more

Liability for Commercial Speech: A Guide to False Advertising, Commercial Disparagement, and Related Claims

This volume summarizes related bodies of law – false advertising, commercial disparagement, and defamation – that govern the conduct of business communications. It sets forth elements, damages, and related defenses for each...more

First-Ever Award of “Any Damages” for Fraudulent DMCA Takedowns Under Section 512(f)

Under section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), copyright owners are liable for “any damages” stemming from knowingly false accusations of infringement that result in removal of the accused online...more

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 20, 2015

Following jury verdict on Lanham Act claim in favor of entity owned by Bob Marley’s children, Ninth Circuit affirms denial of defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that trial evidence supported jury’s...more

Generic top-level domains – the evolution of trademark protection

In early 2012 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) received over 1,900 applications for unlimited generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Since then, over 325 new TLDs have launched with a total of...more

Fraudulent Procurement Claim Dismissed: No Evidence Trademark Attorney Knew Statement Was False

It is not easy to cancel a federal trademark by way of a fraud claim. Investment services firm Navigator Investments (“NI”) found this out recently when the Rhode Island district court dismissed its fraudulent procurement...more

(Un)licensed to Ill: Three Common Sense Lessons Every Marketing Department Should Learn from Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Co.

As reported by several media outlets in the last few weeks, the Beastie Boys are seeking nearly $2.4 million in attorneys’ fees from Monster Energy Co.—the maker of the eponymous Monster energy drinks—after Monster was found...more

Copyright Alert: Fox v Dish Summary Judgment Rulings

Mixed Outcomes on Copyright and Contract Issues Re: Volition, Time- and Space-Shifting, Intermediate Copying and Commercials-Skipping - In a complex opinion addressing intermingled copyright and contract issues, a...more

Unicorns and Beer: A Match Made in Portland

Hipsters and Portland go together like…. hipsters and Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR). So naturally, when PBR decided to host a music festival, they chose Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately for PBR, some of their choices along the way...more

Trademark Review: Nationstar, L.A.M.B., and Cinderella (November 2014)

Post Bose: The TTAB Cancels a Registration on the Ground of Fraud - Nationstar opposed an application for NATIONSTAR filed by an individual named Mujahid Ahmad. Nationstar claimed Mr. Ahmad committed fraud on the U.S....more

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Sustains Opposition on the Basis of Fraud

Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Mujahid Ahmad - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board) sustained an opposition on the basis of fraud, finding that Ahmad’s...more

New Strings Attached: LinkedIn Contacts Are Now Trade Secrets?

From a birds-eye view, Cellular Accessories For Less, Inc. v. Trinitas, LLC appears to be a typical dispute between an employer and its former employee. However, a closer look reveals an issue new to the world of trade...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014 : District court grants partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on copyright claims against Sirius XM Radio, holding that...more

Lawyers Fighting Over Domain Names Never Looks Good

Law360 reported that two competing DUI defense lawyers are fighting over the domain name www.dontblow.com. Well-known DUI attorney Tyler Flood is the plaintiff. He has been using the domain name www.DoNotBlow.com for almost...more

Seasoning Maker Swamp Dust LLC Files Trademark Complaint Against Competitor Cajun Wholesale

On September 2, 2014, LaGrange, Georgia-based company Swamp Dust, LLC filed a complaint against Louisiana-based Cajun Wholesale Distributing, Inc. and its director Ritchie Allen Romero (collectively, the “Defendants”)...more

Still laughing? The CJEU hands down final judgment in Deckmyn parody case

Following on from the Advocate General’s opinion in the case of Johan Deckmyn [C-201/13], the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its full judgment in the case on 3rd September 2014. The ruling confirms...more

Mattocks v. Black Entertainment Television LLC

Mattocks v. Black Entertainment Television LLC - USDC, S.D. Florida, August 20, 2014 - District court grants defendant BET summary judgment in suit brought by creator of Facebook Fan Page that promoted BET...more

Creating Fake Customer Reviews Site Could Be False Advertising and Trade Libel

As evidenced by the success and robust market capitalization of the consumer review site Yelp, Internet users are increasingly turning to "regular people" as a lodestar for whether to purchase goods or services. This is...more

Federal Circuit Review | June 2014

District Court Improperly Limited Claim To Preferred Embodiment - In GE LIGHTING SOLUTIONS, LLC v. AGILIGHT, INC., Appeal No. 13-1267, the Federal Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part summary judgments of...more

Supreme Court Rules That A Non-Competitor Has Standing To Assert False Advertising Claims

On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a company has standing to assert a false advertising claim against a non-competitor under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act if it can "show economic or reputational injury flowing...more

Legally Compliant Online Promotions - Doing Online Promotions Without Getting Sued

In This Presentation: - User Generated Content ..What, Me Worry? What could go wrong with UGC? - The Communications Decency Act ..Section 230 - The DMCA ..Safe Harbor - Sweepstakes, Contests and...more

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