Intellectual Property Communications & Media Civil Procedure

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Virtual Marking for Patented Articles

The AIA introduced many changes to US patent law, including an amendment to 35 USC 287, which is frequently referred to as the “marking” statute. Marking a patented article provides constructive notice to the public of the...more

Another Step in the Long March from Campbell v. Acuff-Rose toward Fair Use Free-for-All?

TVEyes is a media-monitoring subscription service that “records the entire content of television and radio broadcasts and creates a searchable database of that content.” This service allows subscribers to search keywords or...more

Beer Is Not the New Wine: USPTO Again Rejects Beer Trademark Citing Wine Mark

As the number of craft breweries and craft beer brands grow, many breweries are finding it increasingly difficult to register their marks, not necessarily because there are many new beer trademarks filed with the USPTO (which...more

Gibson Guitar Facing 15 Trademark Opposers

A brand owner’s non-traditional trademark application will sometimes gain the critical attention of multiple direct competitors. Gibson Guitar’s unlucky number is apparently fifteen....more

The PTO vs. The Phantom Marks: A Ghost Story

Don’t read this one before bed. As autumn sets in and Halloween approaches, my mind turns to jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, and phantoms. Phantom marks, that is. Equally incorporeal though perhaps somewhat less...more

Apparel Designs and the “Metaphysics” of Copyright Protection

Metaphysics is usually thought to be the province of philosophers or theologians. A recent decision by a U.S. District Court in Tennessee, Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, 110 U.S.P.Q.2d 1150 (W.D. Tenn. 2014),...more

A Black Hole in the Distinctiveness Continuum for U.S. Trademark Applications

Marks that border the line that divides descriptive from generic often topple into a virtual “black hole” on the distinctiveness continuum. The owner of such a mark may be required to meet an indefinite threshold of proof to...more

Significance of Disclaimers in U.S. Trademark Law

In United States trademark applications, it is not uncommon for an Examining Attorney to issue a disclaimer requirement for descriptive portions of a mark. Disclaimers have particular significance in three steps of the...more

Appearances Aside, “Something More” Still Needed for Trademark Infringement Liability in Keyword Advertising Cases

Search engine optimization is a vital issue for brand owners. When a potential customer searches online for Company A, a well-known brand, Company A naturally wants its own website to be as high in the search results as...more

September 2014: Entertainment Litigation Update

ABC v. Aereo: Supreme Court Holds that Aereo’s System of Streaming Television Broadcasts via the Internet Infringes Copyrights in Programs Broadcast. On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the...more

Don’t Forget the Signature Line

In Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc. v. ADAPTIX, INC., IPR2014-01524, Paper 5, IPR2014-01525, Paper 4 (October 1, 2014), the Board granted a filing date to the petition, but noting the absence of the signer’s name and...more

Lightning Strikes and Patent Owner Gets Additional Discovery

In Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Black Hills Media, LLC, IPR2014-00717, Paper 17, IPR2014-00735, Paper 17 (October 2, 2014), the patent owner presented sufficient information to call into question whether Google was also a...more

Trademark Trial Appeal Board Sustains Fraud Claim

On September 30, 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued a precedential opinion in favor of a Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney client, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC. The...more

European Union – New Practice on black and white and colour trade marks

The protection and enforceability of black and white trademarks in the European Union has been called into question. Trademark owners should review their portfolios to determine whether this change will affect their European...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

Trademark Review - La Quinta Hotels, Kia, and Fab Again (September 2014)

Co-Existence Outside of the U.S. Might be Relevant to Obtaining a Permanent Injunction in U.S. La Quinta has operated LA QUINTA hotels and motels in the United States since 1968. Quinta Real operates QUINTA...more

Update on Injunction Against Google (Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc.)

Last summer, Google was ordered by a Canadian court to de-index certain offending websites which were selling goods that were the subject of an intellectual property (IP) infringement claim (Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack,...more

Trade Secret Plaintiff Goes Three Rounds, Takes a Beating

Last week, New York attorney Douglas R. Dollinger asked the Honorable Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California to reconsider an order sanctioning Dollinger and his client to the tune of $93,365.92 in monetary...more

Dean v. Cameron -- USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 17, 2014

Dean v. Cameron - USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 17, 2014: Court dismisses artist’s copyright infringement suit against defendants, including James Cameron, involved in production and distribution of blockbuster feature...more

California Court of Appeal Rules Models’ Right of Publicity Claims Assignable, Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California Court of Appeal held earlier this month that certain right of publicity claims are freely assignable, and that the Copyright Act does not preempt a right of publicity claim where the defendant has no legal...more

Amici Weigh in With SCOTUS on Likelihood of Confusion Determinations by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

As we reported in our July 2 client alert, the Supreme Court has granted a petition for certiorari seeking a determination of whether likelihood of confusion findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") are...more

Amici Weigh in on “Right to Register v. Right to Use” Trademark Case at Supreme Court

More than three months ago, we sounded the alarm about an important trademark case to consider the interplay between the right to register and the right to use a trademark:...more

Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. - USDC, S.D.N.Y, September 9, 2014

District court finds that TVEyes’ media-monitoring service that continuously records vast amounts of television and radio content and allows subscribers to search transcripts and video clips of that content constitutes fair...more

Will Montana-Based Victory Energize Win Its “Trademark Bully” Charge Against Monster?

Last week more allegations of “trademark bullying” appeared in the headlines. This time, Victory Energize, an energy drink company based in Missoula, Montana, is calling out Monster Energy for sending a cease and desist...more

US Patent and Trademark Office Considering Proposal to Allow Amendments to Trademark Identifications Due to Technological Changes

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is currently considering a proposal to allow amendments to the identifications of goods/services in a trademark registration because of technological changes in how the...more

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