Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition

Carta de Error! Copyright Takedown Notice To iTunes May Give Rise to Misrepresentation Liability

Section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes parties who issue copyright takedown notices liable for any “knowing” misrepresentations in those notices. However, the Ninth Circuit in Rossi v. Motion Picture Ass’n…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Communications & Media Law, Business Torts, Intellectual Property

Supreme Court’s B&B Hardware ruling creates the potential for court deference to the TTAB — but will it happen?

Did TTAB proceedings — until now considered a relatively obscure branch of IP litigation, conducted before an administrative body of which most attorneys are blissfully unaware — just assume greater importance? That seems to…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property

Three’s Company But Two’s a Crowd: Theatrical Parodies of Copyrighted Works

In our Oscar litigation post a few weeks ago, we made a passing reference to MGM v. Showcase Atlanta Coop. Prods., Inc., 479 F.Supp. 351 (N.D. Ga. 1979). In that case, the Northern District Court of Georgia held that the play…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property

No Purchase Necessary: Six Tips for Making Sure Your Online Prize Promotion is not an Illegal Lottery

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent $9.5 million judgment against sweepstakes operator Crystal Ewing is a stark reminder that prize promotions remain fertile ground for regulatory scrutiny both on the state and federal level. …more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

The Next New gTLD Just .Sucks for Brand Owners

Hot on the trails of .porn and .adult, a new gTLD enters the fray next week — one that’s already giving PR departments heartburn. The .sucks domain launches for sunrise registrations on March 30, 2015, and with it yet another…more
| Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Seeing Double Trademarks on St. Patrick’s Day? It’s Probably the Guinness

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, which in Boston means loads of Kelly green, a famously-litigated parade, and a huge spike in the consumption of Guinness. The iconic dark stout travels in equally recognizable containers, each…more
| Intellectual Property

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 infringement…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

.PORN and .ADULT Join .XXX to Form Unsexy Threesome for Brand Owners

Yesterday marked the sunrise launch of the .porn and .adult generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which join .xxx in the top-level domain name space as gTLDs targeted mainly at online purveyors of adult entertainment…more
| Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Don’t Mess with Texas Trademarks

As a native Texan, I always feel a bit nostalgic and homesick around early March. Not only is bluebonnet season (read: spring) around the corner (if only that were true here in Boston!), but March 2 marks Texas Independence Day…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

UDRP Panel Tells Snapchat to Check Itself Regarding Snapchatcheck.com

By now you’ve probably heard of Snapchat. But if you are not among its growing core base of users between 13 and 23 years of age (probably a good deal younger than you, constant reader) there’s a good chance you are not a…more
| Administrative Law, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

And the Lawsuit Goes to . . . An Oscar-Time Guide to “Best Picture” Intellectual Property Litigation

The film that wins the Best Picture Oscar this year is certain to attract more viewers and more box office receipts than it had before receiving the award. But Best Picture winners also tend to attract more lawsuits, including…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Personal Injury, Intellectual Property

AdCode 2.0: Better Business Bureau Updates Advertising Code to Keep Up With Technology

The Better Business Bureau announced last Thursday that it has amended its Code of Advertising to address the new and evolving ways in which advertisers reach consumers through technology. The Better Business Bureau is the…more
| Communications & Media Law

Celebrity Trademark Watch: Can Taylor Swift Shake Off Accusations of Trademark Greed?

Had enough of Taylor Swift yet? For those of you who hate to love her, you might consider Swiftamine, because she is not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, her media foot print continues to grow. And while one expects…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property

Holy Overreach, Batman! Fictional Software Trademark Row Rejected by Supreme Court

When Fortres Grand Corporation saw sales of its software program drop, it blamed – wait for it – Batman. Fortres’ software, called “Clean Slate,” erases user changes to public computers upon reboot, thus returning the…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Business Torts, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Tacky Victory: Hana Bank allowed to use three different trademarks to gain priority over Hana Financial

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit Hana Financial v. Hana Bank and ruled that the question of “tacking” — whether a party’s prior version of its trademark is so closely similar to the current one…more
| Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property
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