Intellectual Property Communications & Media Civil Remedies

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Fourth Circuit Cleans Up Damages Award in Paper Towel Dispute and Sets Standard for the Award of Fees in Trademark Cases

In Georgia-Pac. Consumer Products LP v. von Drehle Corp., ___ F.3d ___, 2015 WL 1404765 (4th Cir. Mar. 30, 2015), as amended (Apr. 15, 2015), the Fourth Circuit reversed a damages award and clarified the standard for damages...more

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

Status Updates - April 2015 #5

Photo negative. Daniel Morel, the photojournalist who was awarded $1.2 million in damages from news agencies that distributed his iconic Haiti earthquake pictures without his permission after he posted those pictures on...more

Even In The UK, Think Twice Before Using Celebrity Endorsements

A recent legal case in the UK between singer Rhianna and fashion retailer Topshop has highlighted differences between publicity rights in the UK and some US jurisdictions. Rhianna sued Topshop for its sale of a t-shirt...more

A New Weapon to Combat Cybersquatting: File Suit against Domain Registrars and Hosting Companies

Cybersquatting, under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a...more

Bob Marley’s Heirs Lanham Act Win Upheld - Fifty-Six Hope Road Music v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc.

Addressing the issue of when the use of a celebrity’s likeness or persona in connection with a product constitutes a false endorsement that is actionable under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...more

Don't Underestimate the Importance of TTAB Proceedings

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., heightens the importance of often-neglected trademark conflict administrative proceedings in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board....more

Court Rules On Post-Trial Motions Following Willful Infringement Verdict

Stark, C.J. Plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees is denied. Defendant’s motion for JMOL is granted in part and denied in part. Plaintiff’s motion to alter or amend judgment is granted in part and denied in part. Argument...more

Media Companies Snipe at Potential Expansion of Defamation Risk in Ventura v. Kyle

“A Navy SEAL and a professional wrestler walk into a bar and begin to argue politics …” sounds like the beginning of a pretty good bar fight story. The story only gets more promising when you learn that the SEAL was the...more

IP Newsflash - April 2015

DISTRICT COURT CASES - Patent Directed to Online Auction Held Invalid Under § 101 - A district court recently granted a defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that a patent directed to an...more

The CJEU tells us “More” on live broadcasting

An interesting ruling on live streaming of sports events has been issued by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in the C More Entertainment AB v Linus Sandberg case on 26 March 2015 (C-279/13). ...more

Supreme Court Holds That TTAB Rulings Can Have Preclusive Effect in Court

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries, ruling that decisions of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) on “likelihood of confusion” in trademark opposition proceedings can...more

Supreme Court: An Administrative Ruling on Confusion Can Be the Last Word in Trademark Litigation

Trademark disputes often focus on whether two marks create a “likelihood of confusion” with one another. That issue can come up before a court considering trademark infringement; before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...more

Supreme Court Seals Tight a TTAB Decision

In a recent case that will raise the stakes for companies involved in contentious administrative trademark proceedings, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the administrative tribunal, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...more

The Pirate Bay blocked in Portugal

A recent Intellectual Property Court decision in Portugal determined that the main telecommunications operators have until the end of March to block the access of its users to The Pirate Bay domains, either through its main...more

Bob Marley and Federal False Endorsement Claims

Since his death in 1981, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his “image” continue to be broadly popular and command millions of dollars each year in merchandising revenue. ...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

Default Is In Our Stars: Allegedly Overreaching Copyright Claimants Fail to Show

Taking legal action to enforce a copyright is often an expensive proposition so, before you go down that road, you better make sure you own the copyright in question. But what if you have already initiated copyright...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

With Highly Anticipated Copyright Decision, The AutoHop Litigation Is Coming to a Close

In 2012, DISH Network announced two novel product offerings that would result in considerable backlash from the four major broadcast television networks and set in motion a three-year, wide-ranging, multi-front battle with...more

POM Wonderful: The New Prescription for False Advertising

The ability of private parties to pursue mislabelling claims depends on whether allowing such claims to proceed would conflict with the purpose and intent of federal labelling laws and implementing regulations, such as those...more

Pom Wonderful Likely to Succeed in Infringement Claim Against “pom”-Branded Beverage - Pom Wonderful LLC v. Hubbard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a district court decision denying a preliminary injunction motion in a trademark infringement action, holding that the district court committed clear error...more

No Presumption, but Inference of Irreparable Harm Permissible Under Lanham Act - Groupe SEB USA, Inc. v. Euro-Pro Operating LLC

Addressing interpretation of advertising claims when the packaging or label unambiguously defines a claim term and an inference of irreparable harm where the advertisements were literally false, the U.S. Court of Appeals for...more

It’s Not All Rainbows and Butterflies: YouTube’s Beauty Guru Fights Back Against Ultra Records

Michelle Phan is a YouTube celebrity and beauty guru and has garnered over 7 million subscribers and one billion lifetime views. However, not everyone is a fan of Ms. Phan. On July 16, 2014, Ultra International Music...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

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