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Studios Fire Back: Fictional Publication Depicted in a Movie is Privileged Expressive Use

Following up a previous post about the February 2017 lawsuit filed by the Sporting Times against Orion Pictures for depicting a fictional magazine of the same title in a movie about the life of Bill “Spaceman” Lee, MGM has...more

Social Links: Burger King ad triggers Google Assistant devices; suits allege infringement of copyrights in content posted to...

Without Google’s permission, Burger King ended one of its television commercials with a statement designed to automatically cause Google Assistant devices to read a list of the Whopper’s ingredients out loud. Having passed...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Rules on Copyright Preemption of Right-of-Publicity Claims

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Last week, in Maloney v. T3 Media, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that claims under state right-of-publicity law are preempted by the Copyright Act “when a likeness has been captured in a...more

Chinese Website Operator Dismissed from Copyright Infringement Suit in United States

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

D.C. District Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Chinese video hosting website, providing guidance for analyzing jurisdiction over foreign internet companies. US law governing whether a court has personal...more

Disparaging (or Maybe Not) Trademarks: The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on In Re Tam

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the Lanham Act’s provision refusing federal trademark registration to disparaging marks is invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First...more

Lee v. Tam: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On Lanham Act Section 2(a) Prohibition of Registration of Disparaging Marks

by Brinks Gilson & Lione on

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Lee v. Tam to examine the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a). Section 2(a) prevents the registration of...more

Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag

In Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag, Inc., [16-241-cv] (December 22, 2016), the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for My Other Bag that its parody bag did not infringe or dilute Louis Vuitton’s trademark...more

Google v. The Court: Free Speech and IP Rights (Part 2)

by Field Law on

Last week, hearings concluded in the important case of Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will render its judgment in writing, and the current expectation is that it will clarify...more

No Love for ♥ DC

In a case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”), the Board cancelled and abandoned the trademark registration and trademark application for the I "Heart" DC marks owned by an individual, Jonathan A. Chien...more

When Trademark Registration is a Nice Gesture

Representations of gestures can be trademarks. For example Facebook’s Application No. 85020073 covers a depiction of a thumbs up gesture followed with the word “LIKE” in a rectangle...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

What's Happening with the Redskins Case?

For the past few years, the first question us trademark lawyers get asked at cocktail parties is, “What’s going to happen to the REDSKINS trademark?” – and now lawyers and football enthusiasts will have to wait until at least...more

Supreme Court to Decide if Disparagement Provision in the Lanham Act is Invalid Under the First Amendment

by Fenwick & West LLP on

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to review Lee v. Tam, better known as “THE SLANTS” case, to assess the constitutionality of the Trademark Office’s refusal to register disparaging marks under Section 2(a) of...more

Leaked Playboy Photographs Case Considers How Hyperlinking Can Infringe Copyright

by Dechert LLP on

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has blurred the lines between primary and secondary copyright infringement in a decision concerning hyperlinks to leaked photos of a Dutch celebrity’s Playboy photoshoot. For...more

Electronic Frontier Foundation brings suit over anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA

by White & Case LLP on

On July 21, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") filed a complaint against various agencies and members of the U.S. government over Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), arguing that this...more

Lee v Tam

The Supreme Court agreed on September 29 to consider whether a provision of the Lanham Act that allows the USPTO to refuse to register “disparaging” trademarks violates the constitutional right to free speech. The case is...more

Trade secrets law in the Internet age

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

How do you maintain a trade secret in the Internet age? As in the punch line to an old joke, “VERY CAREFULLY.”...more

When Is Internet Speech Protected Petitioning Activity? Federal Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion In FIRE CIDER Trademark Suit

On May 12, 2016, the District of Massachusetts held that that an online campaign in support of the cancellation of a registered trademark (FIRE CIDER) was protected petitioning activity, even though the campaign was organized...more

Advertising Law - May 2016

Kanye's Promise of Exclusivity a Siren Song, Suit Says - Kanye West's latest drama involves the courtroom—specifically, a putative class action complaint alleging false advertising, unfair competition, and unjust...more

Fair Use Copyright Ruling Stands For Google Books

Last month, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., the long-running copyright case involving Google’s Google Books project. The high court’s refusal to hear the case leaves in place the Second...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The March To The Supreme Court

This week saw developments in the two cases challenging the application of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act to their registration: In re Tam and Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc....more

The Slants and the Future of Disparaging Trademarks

by Sullivan & Worcester on

Trademark and copyright law are in a constant struggle with the right of free expression guaranteed under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This is unavoidable. Copyright laws were enacted to protect authors of...more

Pro Football Calls SCOTUS Audible

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

As we noted here last week, the Director of the USPTO filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that it review the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision, In re Tam. That decision held Section...more

In re Tam Redux: The PTO seeks Certiorari

On April 20, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Federal Circuit seeking Supreme Court review of that Court’s decision in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1001...more

USPTO to SCOTUS: SOS on the Lanham Act ASAP

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On April 20, 2016, the USPTO made it official: It formally requested the U.S. Supreme Court to review the en banc Federal Circuit decision that held Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. At issue...more

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