Intellectual Property Communications & Media

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Social Links: Will a fan-made Star Trek prequel live long and prosper?; California bans driving while Snapchatting; apps that...

A federal district court judge refused to grant summary judgment to the copyright owners of the Star Trek franchise in the infringement suit they brought against the team behind a fan-made, crowdfunded prequel to the original...more

Website Operators Must Comply with New DMCA Agent Registration Procedures or Risk Liability for Copyright Infringement

Initiation of copyright infringement claims on the internet is becoming more prevalent with the increasing sophistication of software that lets copyright owners scour the internet for infringements of images. If your website...more

Does Louis Vuitton Lack A Sense Of Humor? The Parody Defense Is No Laughing Matter For Brand Owners

On December 22, 2016, the Second Circuit gave tote bag manufacturer My Other Bag an early Christmas present by tossing out luxury giant Louis Vuitton’s claims of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and trademark...more

Colourful designs and a streamlined practice get the green light in Canada

Yesterday, the Canadian Industrial Design Office announced changes that significantly modernize and streamline six of its office practices, substantially benefitting applicants seeking protection for their designs in Canada....more

Client Alert: Action Needed by Organizations whose Websites allow User Postings

Businesses and nonprofits that operate a website or other online presence (mobile app, blog, portal, game, etc.) where users may post content (for example, in a user forum) will need to take action in 2017 in order to obtain...more

For the Time Being, Tech Companies Remain Shielded from Liability for Users’ Uploaded Content

Thanks to recent decisions by the First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals, tech companies will remain protected from liability for some of their users’ uploaded content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and...more

DSM Watch: European Commission's data package explores data ownership, localization, liability and portability, highlighting...

On January 10, 2017, the European Commission released a Communication, a fact sheet, a working document and a public consultation relating to Europe’s “data economy”. The fact sheet states that “data is a new type of...more

UK, US, HK and China – Access denied: an international perspective on ISP blocking injunctions

While the UK Court of Appeal has opened the door for broadband ISP blocking to combat trademark or copyright-infringing activities, the picture in the United States, China and Hong Kong is more complex. Please see full...more

Canadian IP law and practice in 2016: reviewing the highlights

As the calendar turns the page from 2016 to 2017, we take the opportunity to review Canadian IP law and practice highlights from the past year....more

Federal Circuit Narrows Patent Eligibility for CBM Review

In the recently decided Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google, Inc. case, the Federal Circuit significantly narrowed the eligibility standards for covered business method (CBM) patent review. Prior to the decision in Unwired Planet,...more

It’s a Game Winning Shot but Far from a Slam Dunk: Michael Jordan Obtains Partial Victory in Chinese Courts over Use of His Name

In December 2016, China’s Supreme Court held that a Chinese manufacturer named Qiaodan Sports Company, could not continue to produce athletic shoes, clothing and gear bearing the trademark (see article), which is the Chinese...more

Introduction to Trademarks Part 1

Trademark has a major value for any business, and one of the primary concerns of any well-established or successful business man. Therefore at the beginning we must clarify what a Trademark is, its importance, and how the law...more

Does the Fair Use Exception Shield Ivanka Trump from Artists Who Want Nothing to Do with Her?

Much has been written about how the Trump family uses their name to market their own businesses, but the Trumps are equally gifted at trading on others’ notoriety to promote themselves and their businesses. Consider the...more

Baring It All: Judge Orders Swingers’ Club to Produce Email Distribution List

A recent case in the Southern District of Florida serves as a reminder that even trade secrets may be subject to production to opposing counsel. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman recently ordered a defendant “swingers’” club...more

gTLD Sunrise Periods Now Open

As first reported in our December 2013 newsletter, the first new generic top-level domains (gTLDs, the group of letters after the "dot" in a domain name) have launched their "Sunrise" registration periods. Please see our...more

2017: Predictions From Socially Aware’s Editors and Contributors

The beginning of a new year is a time for resolutions and predictions. We won’t bother Socially Aware readers with our resolutions for 2017, but we thought that we would share some predictions for the new year from our...more

NY Common Law Does Not Provide Creators With Control Over Public Performances of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) issued a landmark state copyright law decision, holding in response to a certified question from the Second Circuit in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius...more

Craft brewery startups: Early stage IP considerations

By all accounts, as we head into 2017, the craft beer industry will continue to experience tremendous growth. This is due to primarily to increasing consumer demand. Also, favorable legislation in some states should help fuel...more

Trademarks - New Year, Clean Start

As 2016 draws to a close, now is the perfect time to slow down (or at least try), wrap up loose ends, and plan for the promise and possibility of a new year. For businesses, the holidays are a particularly good time to...more

MarkIt to Market® - December 2016

The December 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes practical tips for businesses trying to kick-start the year with an annual year-end trademark audit and lists the new gTLD Sunrise periods. Please...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

Gavel to Gavel: Fake goods pose real risks when shopping online

"'Twas the week before Christmas, and one click of the mouse ordered the presents for all in the house. With two-day free shipping and discounts galore, we just shop online – why go to a store?" Originally published in...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Biting the Bulleit

In a complaint recently filed in the Southern District of New York (16 CV 09747), Diageo North America, Inc., makers of BULLEIT bourbon sued Sazerac Company, Inc., alleging that Sazerac’s DR. MCGILLICUDDY’S HONEY WHISKEY...more

When Imitation Goes Beyond Flattery

In a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Missouri today, Energizer Brands complained about Spectrum Brands’ “imitation” of its packaging, raising claims of trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, unfair...more

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