Disparagement

News & Analysis as of

Social Media Risk: Forget the Constraints and Open the Employee Conversation

By now, we all have at least one example of how social media can turn into a double-edged sword for organizations. Personal favorites include the SEC’s investigation (and ultimate non-action) regarding Netflix CEO Reed...more

Covered or Not: Has Hartford v. Swift Opened a Faster Lane for Intellectual Property and Insurance Mediation?

The California Supreme Court recently issued its longawaited coverage decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Swift Distribution, Inc., 59 Cal. 4th 277 (2014). The Court, applying California state law, upheld the trial...more

Congressman Proposes Federal Non Disparagement Law

Last Friday, I wrote about a new California law that provides that a contract or proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services may not include a provision waiving the consumer’s right to make any...more

Status Updates - September 2014 #4

..Disappearing ink. Facebook is testing, for a small group of users, a feature that will permit a user to schedule a post for automatic deletion after a specified period of time. It seems that the period can range from an...more

A Bad Review For California’s New Non-Disparagement Law

The advent of social media has dramatically lowered the cost to consumers of acquiring and disseminating information. Formerly, only a handful of people might hear about a bad experience with a retailer or service provider. ...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies an Insurer’s Duty to Defend in Disparagement Cases

Advertising injury liability coverage offered under commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies is aimed at protecting companies against claims, often brought by competitors, alleging harm by purportedly derogatory...more

Washington Redskins Challenge the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term...more

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Defamation Case Involving Fracking Claims

On August 21, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in an ongoing dispute between a homeowner and Texas-based oil driller Range Resources Corp. The case is not a typical homeowner vs. oil driller...more

California Supreme Court Defines Scope of Advertising Injury Coverage

Hartford v. Swift imposes “specificity” requirements that may provide comfort to companies facing disparagement claims while requiring careful navigation to trigger CGL policies. The California Supreme Court recently...more

TTAB’s Washington Redskins Decision: the Enforceability and Commercial Impact of Cancelled Trademarks

The cancellation of a U.S. trademark registration on any grounds, including disparagement, does not always mean the end of enforceable rights in the mark. However, cancellation may create both legal and financial...more

20-Day Jail Sentence for Employee who Released Employer’s Confidential Information in Breach of Court Order

In July 2013, Ceridian entered into an agreement with Pendylum Inc. (“Pendylum”) to assist in the delivery of services to Ceridian’s customers. Under the terms of its agreement with Pendylum, Ceridian required that all of...more

Redskins Ruling is Consistent with TTAB Precedent

In Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office once again canceled various registrations for trademarks used by the Washington Redskins football team as being disparaging to Native Americans. While...more

California Insurance Coverage Cases Raising Key Issues On The Horizon

This year, 2014, is lining up with interesting insurance coverage cases pending across the country which may lead to far reaching decisions. In California specifically, it is apparent to us that the Hartford Insurance...more

California Insurance Coverage Cases Raising Key Issues On The Horizon

This year, 2014, is lining up with interesting insurance coverage cases pending across the country which may lead to far reaching decisions. In California specifically, it is apparent to us that the Hartford Insurance...more

False Advertising, Section 75-1.1, and A Seven-Figure Verdict

In a recent federal case, section 75-1.1 made the difference between the plaintiff recovering nothing and recovering almost two million dollars. This outcome underscores two key features of section 75-1.1...more

"STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA" Is Disparaging

In re Pamela Geller and Robert B. Spencer - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) refusal to register the mark “STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA” in...more

Policyholders Fight to Preserve Precedent But Court Limits Coverage For Implied Disparagement

On June 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court, in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Swift Distribution Inc. 59 Cal. 4th 277 (2014), issued its long awaited opinion affirming an appeal of a ruling that at first blush appeared to...more

California Supreme Court Refines the Tort of Commercial Disparagement

On June 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in the closely watched case of Hartford Casualty Insurance v. Swift Distribution, Inc., S207172. I reported on the Court of Appeals decision last year on...more

Insurance Coverage – Personal & Advertising Injury – Trade Disparagement

Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v Swift Distribution, Inc. - California Supreme Court (June 12, 2014) - Commercial liability policies provide coverage for “personal and advertising injury.” This term typically...more

Could Offensive Trademarks Find Refuge in Common Law?

The 177-page tome the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) just issued in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc. is remarkable for its length and its subject matter, cancellation of the controversial REDSKINS mark as disparaging...more

A Football Team, by Any Other Name…: USPTO Decision Illustrates that Law is More than Hard & Fast Rules

At Meadowlawn Elementary in the 1960s, my West Michigan friends and I would boast about things that made us "better" than each other. It was the golden age of Superman comics and, while I didn't have super strength or x-ray...more

Beyond Disparaging: Five Important Clarifications Regarding Redskins Trademark Decision

Over the past year, debate regarding whether the National Football League’s Washington, D.C. franchise should continue to call itself the Redskins has risen to a fever pitch once again. So, naturally, it was big news when, on...more

The Redskins Decision: Much Ado About (Probably) Not Much

I’ve been having fun listening to commentators – most of whom appear to know little or nothing about trademark law – expound on last week’s decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel six trademark...more

Redskins’ trademark decision ushers in more questions - Cancellation of trademark registration may not have impact some believe

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) most likely knew it was going to generate headlines Wednesday when it issued a monumental decision to cancel six registrations of the...more

Redskins trademark case highlights value of linguistic analysis

The Washington Redskins trademark case, with its conclusion that REDSKINS trademark registrations should be cancelled, has sparked heated discussion among football fans, advocates of Native American interests, and foes of...more

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