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10 Trademark Cases About Yo Mama

Anna Jarvis led the efforts to establish the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1908, during which she honored her own mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, a Civil War-era social activist. But about a dozen years after...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle III: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Two years ago, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits that sports fans assume IP...more

A Trademark Year In Wine And Beer 2016: Our Holiday Buyer’s Guide To Disputed Beverages

Just in time for the holiday season, we present our third annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer, a wrap-up of alcohol-related trademark and trademark-ish disputes dating back to December 2015, when we published our last...more

Copyright Office Ditches Paper And Announces Electronic Renewal Requirement For DMCA Designated Agents

Since the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in 1998, online service providers wishing to avail themselves of the DMCA’s safe harbors (from liability for copyright infringement) have been required to...more

Advertising Through Social Media: Ten Tips For FTC & NAD Compliance

Most modern advertising campaigns include social media components. In fact, it is not uncommon today to see products advertised exclusively on social media. For the most part, the same rules that govern traditional...more

Miss Trademark USA: Beauty Pageant Naming Disputes

Just this month, two disputes over the trademark rights to beauty pageant names were resolved, pending appeal. In World Pageants LLC v. Miss G-String International LLC, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) dismissed...more

Harry Potter And The Cursed Legal Update

It has been about a year since we published Harry Potter Lawsuits and Where to Find Them, my attempt at a comprehensive review of Harry Potter-related litigation. Why update the article now? Two reasons. First: The...more

The Pleads Of The Many: 50 Years of Star Trek Lawsuits

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of the original series of Star Trek, which first aired on NBC in September 1966. On July 22, this milestone will be marked in earnest when Paramount Pictures releases...more

The Death Of Alexander Hamilton And The Birth Of The American Free Press

Alexander Hamilton has more to do with American independence than you might think. His efforts as a Founding Father (the hottest Founding Father on Broadway, it should be noted) helped the United States achieve political...more

Shakespeare and Copyright: 5 Things You Should Know

Last year, I made a terrible mistake. When I published Harry Potter Lawsuits and Where to Find Them on this blog, I pronounced that “Ms. Rowling and her works pop up in court more than any author since Charles Dickens.” I...more

Why President Lincoln Put the Civil War on Hold to Extend Copyright Protection to Photographs

We’ve taken advantage of past Presidents Days to recount George Washington’s role in the history of U.S. Copyright law, specifically the birth of fair use. That role was not insubstantial, but it was posthumous and,...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

Star Wars Copyright and Trademark Litigation: The Empire Sues Back

Haven’t seen the new Star Wars movie yet? The pop culture zeitgeist recommends that you binge-watch all six of the prior Star Wars movies before going to see Episode VII, The Force Awakens and, according to the Washington...more

A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer 2015: Our Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages

Just in time for the holiday season, we present our second annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer. Whether you are planning a holiday party or just having some friends over, you are probably in the market for some liquid...more

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

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

Harry Potter Lawsuits And Where To Find Them

On July 31, 2015, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling celebrates her 50th birthday, according to muggle sources. The enormous success of Rowling’s literary creation and its associated multimedia empire has spawned countless...more

Copyright Law: The Silent © in Same-Sex Marriage

Last week, the focus of the legal world was not on intellectual property, to put it mildly. However, copyright law did have a small and somewhat silent, but still important, role in the Supreme Court jurisprudence that led to...more

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

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,...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...more

A Trap For Santa: The First Santa Claus IP Fight

At this time of year, you may be wondering about the first intellectual property case involving Santa Claus. And even if you are not, we are going to tell you....more

A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer: Our 2014 Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages

If you are hosting or attending a party this holiday season, you probably need to pick up something to drink. This year, why not pick up a conversation starter as well? See if your local liquor store (in our neck of the...more

Federal Government Wins Trademark Battle to Shut Down “Voice of America” Website with “Undeniable Governmental Aesthetic”

Since its first broadcast on February 1, 1942, the Voice of America radio service (VOA) has aired countless hours of programming in dozens of languages to what is currently an estimated global audience of over 100 million...more

Fox News v. TVEyes Copyright Fair Use Decision: A Quick Read for the Busy Practitioner

Last week, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York issued his opinion Fox News v. TVEyes. Fox News claimed that TVEyes’ media monitoring service was copyright infringement. TVEyes argued that it was fair...more

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