Intellectual Property Communications & Media Civil Procedure

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Intellectual Property Law - February 2016

Both Sides Claim Victory in ITC Ruling re Converse's "Chuck Taylors" - Why it matters: On November 17, 2015, an International Trade Commission judge issued an initial ruling in In the Matter of Certain Footwear Products,...more

Twentieth Century Fox Television v. Empire Distribution Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, February 1, 2016

District court rules Fox’s hit television show “Empire” did not infringe or dilute trademark of record label Empire Distribution because Fox’s use of “Empire” was protected by First Amendment....more

Federal Circuit Rejects Disparaging Trademarks’ Ban on First Amendment Grounds

A December ruling by the Federal Circuit emphasized the value of commercial speech through trademark registration, and the case may have implications for the Washington Redskins. The NFL team’s Super Bowl dreams may be over,...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - February 2016

Be Reasonable: The U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Review the Standard for Awarding Attorneys' Fees to the Prevailing Party in Copyright Infringement Suits - Why it matters: On January 15, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court...more

From Runway to Replica: Intellectual Property Strategies for Protecting Fashion Designs

Designers like Alexander Wang, Rebecca Minkoff, and Michael Kors are all gearing up to premier their 2016 fall/winter collections this month during New York Fashion Week. Fashion Week draws more than 230,000 attendees each...more

Naruto v. Slater - USDC, N.D. California, January 28, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement action brought on behalf of macaque monkey who took “selfies” using defendant photographer’s camera, holding that animals lack standing under the Copyright Act....more

Website HTML Is Copyrightable, Even If Look and Feel Is Not

In a notable ruling last month, a California district court ruled that the HTML underlying a custom search results page of an online advertising creation platform is copyrightable. In Media.net Advertising FZ-LLC v....more

2015 U.S. Trademark Developments Every Food and Beverage Lawyer Should Know

In 2015, U.S. courts provided trademark practitioners with several issues to discuss and debate. Identified and summarized below are the top five most discussed issues....more

Katy Perry, Last Year’s Super Bowl, and a Shark with a Mark

With Super Bowl 50 quickly approaching, it’s a perfect excuse to check in on one of the IP issues that made big waves at last year’s “Big Game.” You may recall that the Super Bowl halftime show last year featured Katy Perry...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

Second Circuit Holds Google Books Is Fair Use

In a much anticipated decision, handed down in October of last year, the Second Circuit held Google Books to be a fair use of the copyrighted works Google digitized, catalogued, and offered for on-line searching. The Second...more

Court Issues Sanctions for Manipulation of Email Evidence, Addresses New FRCP 37(e) (New York)

CAT3 v. Black Lineage, 2016 WL 154116 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2016) - In this trademark infringement case, the plaintiff asserted rights to a domain name to sell its clothing products, in addition to an online website and...more

2015 IP Law Year In Review

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (May 26, 2015) - ..Does a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement? NO - ..Inducement requires...more

Balancing Copyright Owners' Rights With ISP Immunities

When an online user violates copyright law, the copyright owner will frequently turn to the user's internet service provider (ISP) for relief. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) includes a safe harbor provision that...more

Should You or Any of Your C&D Team be Caught or Killed the Client will Disavow any Knowledge

Late in December, the attorneys for Metallica sent a Cease and Desist letter to Sandman, a Metallica tribute band playing in Toronto. Sandman lead, Joe Di Taranto, posted a copy of the letter on his Facebook page. After...more

Don’t Let Your Super Bowl Promotion Get Sidelined

Every year at this time clients call who want to take advantage of Super Bowl frenzy, whether by running an online sweepstakes, offering a special deal to customers on Super Sunday, posting memes on their Facebook pages,...more

Trademark Review | January 2016

Federal Circuit Holds Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the...more

Black Ops Mission Accomplished by Federal Trademark Registration

A recent district court decision granting a preliminary injunction in The Brooklyn Brewery Corp. v. Black Ops Brewing, Inc. demonstrates the advantage of owning a federal trademark registration when products bearing the...more

California Supreme Court Denies BOE Petition for Review in Lucent Technologies

Last week, the California Supreme Court denied the State Board of Equalization’s (BOE’s) petition for review in Lucent Technologies, Inc. v. State Bd. of Equalization, No. S230657 (petition for review denied Jan. 20, 2016)....more

Are the San Diego Chargers Moving to Los Angeles?

The Chargers are still in San Diego, but is the team moving to Los Angeles? A clue to the organization’s intentions may be found in its trademark filings. On January 14, 2016, the team filed a trademark application for the...more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - January 2016

Eye on the Courts: IP Cases for Retailers to Note - Why it matters - Retail companies have closely monitored a series of cases from the U.S. Supreme Court on down, which have focused on IP matters covering induced...more

No Second Bite Of The Apple for Square, Inc. – PTAB Applies Estoppel Provision Of 35 U.S.C. §325(e)(1) TO CBM Review

In the case of Square, Inc. v. Unwired Planet, LLC (CMB2015-00148), the PTAB held that the grounds raised by Square, Inc. (Petitioner) to challenge the validity of claims 1-4 of Unwired Planet’s U.S. Patent No. 7,711,100...more

Louis Vuitton and My Other Bag – Do You Get The Joke?

In a recent post, we discussed the trademark parody defense in the context of a California district court decision holding that the owner of the Superman “S” logo had adequately stated infringement claims asserted against a...more

The Complicated Relationship between DMCA Takedown Notices and the Word “Expeditious”

Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. When it comes to acting on copyright infringement takedown notices, just how fast is fast enough for social media platforms? Some recent (and not-so-recent) cases reveal how difficult the question...more

Online Infringement and Norwich Orders: an update

This is a case that became something of a lightning rod in the storm of subscriber privacy rights vs. copyright. As we wrote in our earlier post, a copyright owner can only enforce its rights against online infringement if it...more

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