Mintz Levin - Copyright & Trademark Matters

Dilution Update: NYC BEER Is Not Diluted, But The Empire State Building Is

Trademark dilution is a concept not easily understood. Although, we have written about this topic in previous posts, a recent decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, ESRT Empire State Building, L. L. C. v. Michael…more
| Administrative Law, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

MAYA And MAYARI Are Not Confusingly Similar When Used On Wine

The Federal Circuit has upheld the findings of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that use of the marks MAYA and MAYARI on wine is not likely to cause confusion. Oakville Hills Cellar, Inc. vs. Georgallis Holdings, LLC, Case…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Intellectual Property

DICKMAN’S Pickles: Just Another Unregistrable Surname

The US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has, again, explained how and when surnames may function as trademarks. In re Enumclaw Farms LLC, Application Serial No. 85942195 (TTAB June 24, 2016)…more
| Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

PETA Isn’t Monkeying Around With Copyright Ownership Rights

As we reported in a recent post, PETA lost its efforts, on behalf of Naruto the monkey, to secure his claim to copyright ownership of his “selfie” photograph…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

Monkey See, Monkey Sue Doesn’t Fly Under U.S. Copyright Law

In August 2014, we posted about a copyright ownership dispute involving selfie photographs. The disputed selfie photographs were taken by a monkey named Naruto in Indonesia in 2011. The photography equipment used to take these…more
| Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property

Washington Redskins Haven’t Won Yet: Why the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) is Not Yet Final

What do Washington D.C.’s NFL team, the Redskins, and Mr. Tam’s rock band, The Slants, have in common? Both have enjoyed unexpected victories recently and both have been called “disparaging” by the Patent and Trademark Office…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property

Federal Circuit Rules Federal Trademark Statute Ban on Disparaging Marks to Be Unconstitutional

On December 22nd, 2015, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the section of the Lanham Act which bans registration of “disparaging” trademarks is an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment free speech. The…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property

A Scandalous Mark to Some, Free Speech to Others: Federal Circuit to Decide Whether Controversial Limit on Trademark Registrations Violates First Amendment

The Federal Circuit has decided to revisit the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act in the case of In re Shiao Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 27, 2015). Section 2(a) of the Lanham act allows the…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property

…..and Don’t Even Think About Advertising a MARCH MADNESS Event Either!

It is that time of year again, coming off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, when everyone gets on the college basketball bandwagon in the season of “MARCH MADNESS.” Brackets are being completed, college jerseys are being pulled…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

The Court’s Decision in the FLANAX US Trademark Dispute Gives Bayer a Headache

On February 6, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia reversed the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s ruling in Bayer Consumer Care AG v. Belmora LLC, 110 USPQ2d 1623 (TTAB 2014) holding that…more
| Business Torts, Intellectual Property, International Law & Trade, Science, Computers, & Technology

Use It or Lose It: When Can a Trademark Registered Under Section 44(e) or 66(a) Be Deemed “Abandoned” in the US?

Unlike most countries, US trademark law generally requires that a mark be in use before it can be protected. The US recognizes common law rights in unregistered marks if they have been adopted in good faith and are in actual use…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property, International Law & Trade

Don’t Even Think About Advertising a SUPER BOWL Party!

As we all know, Super Bowl XLIX will be played this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona between the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. There will be events of all kinds organized all around the country…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

The US Supreme Court Holds that Juries Should Decide the Issue of Trademark Tacking

In the first substantive trademark decision it has issued in a decade, the US Supreme Court, in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, case number 13-1211 (January 21, 2015), affirmed the Ninth Circuit by holding that whether two…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

“Copyright and Marriage Equality Act” Bills Introduced in both the House and Senate

On January 6, 2015, Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced Senate bill 23 entitled the “Copyright and Marriage Equality Act.” The bill would amend Section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code by striking the current definitions of…more
| Elections & Politics, Family Law, Intellectual Property

The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government. Last week, the US…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Indigenous Peoples, Intellectual Property
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