Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition

French Trademark Office Will Not Register “PRAY FOR PARIS” Or “JE SUIS PARIS”

After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, the French Trademark Office received so many applications for “JE SUIS CHARLIE” that the Office issued a statement in which it warned that it would not register any of…more
| Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

The Genericide of the Turkey Stick: Another Thanksgiving Trademark Tale

For the past few years, the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog has marked Thanksgiving with a note about the history of turkey trademarks. Last year, we discussed the ownership of GOBBLE GOBBLE, and before that we told you why…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

Domain Name Strategies for Start-Up Companies

Just as it is important for start-up companies to be mindful of early-stage trademark and copyright protection strategies (see our guides entitled “Trademark Strategies for Start-Up Companies” and “Copyright Strategies for…more
| Business Organizations, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

Authorship Credit for Scholarly and Creative Works: The Elusive American Attribution Right

What if were to tell you that I jointly authored this article with a colleague, but that I’m not going to give her any credit or attribution because I don’t feel like it? Can she sue me for copyright infringement? No, because we…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property

Boston Marathon Can’t Stop MARATHON MONDAY Trademark Registration

In 1897, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) first organized the Boston Marathon and has been running the event ever since. The world famous race has been held on the third Monday of April every year since 1969, and it is the…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

The Devil (and the Copyright) is in the Details

Would-be filmmakers often see the ghostly reflection of their own work in allegedly infringing films that actually get made. With many such copyright claims, the devil is – figuratively – in the details, but in the recent case…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property

Can I get a C-O-P-Y-R-I-G-H-T? Sixth Circuit Holds Cheerleading Uniform Designs Copyrightable

When are clothing designs sufficiently severable from the utilitarian aspects of the clothing so that the designs can be protected by copyright? That is a question courts have wrestled with for years, and the Sixth Circuit Court…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property

Implied Threat on Facebook Insufficient to Support Stalking Conviction

Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a Facebook profile may constitute a “threat” within the meaning of the Massachusetts stalking statute. However, a profile that is merely “vaguely ominous or…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Criminal Law, Family Law

First Circuit Clarifies Rights of Co-Author of Joint Derivative Work to Make Further Derivatives

In a squabble between two psychologists over rights to books about “explosive” children, the First Circuit weighed in this summer with an opinion holding that a work of authorship under the Copyright Act can be simultaneously…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Intellectual Property

Are You Sure This Isn’t About Copyright? Chicken Sandwiches, Monkey Selfies and the Boundaries of Copyright Law

Last week, a wild crested macaque named Naruto (but really People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against photographer David John Slater in the Northern District of California. The…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

Copyright Strategies for Start-Up Companies

As a leader of a start-up company, you are probably aware of the importance of protecting your company’s innovative products, services and technologies through patent filings. If you are savvy, you are also aware of the…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Intellectual Property

Of Slants, Skins and Signs: The Coming First Amendment Showdown

Are we heading for a constitutional showdown over Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act? Will the Supreme Court strike down this prohibition on disparaging marks as an abridgement of First Amendment rights? It is certainly beginning…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property

Marshmallow Justice: 10 Tales of Legal Fluff and Other Stuff

Just about one hundred years ago, Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts invented the first commercial marshmallow cream, which he pedaled door-to-door in Union Square. Around 1917, he sold the recipe for $500 to two…more
| Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property, Taxation

Ninth Circuit “Dancing Baby” Copyright Decision: A Quick Read for the Busy Practitioner

Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Northern District of California’s denial of cross motions for summary judgment in Lenz v. Universal Music. In an opinion by Judge Richard Tallman, the Court held that the defense…more
| Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property

USPTO Pilot Program Offers Relief to Proprietors of “Evolving” Goods and Services

Imagine, for a moment, a successful software company, Agave, that owns the trademark PHOTOCHOPS for a popular image-editing program. Being a diligent trademark owner, Agave registered the trademark PHOTOCHOPS in 2005, right…more
| Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology
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