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Constitutional Law Communications & Media Intellectual Property

Read Constitutional Law updates, alerts, news, and analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Trademark Practice Update: Scandalous? Immoral? It's all Good

On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the Lanham Act’s prohibitions on registering scandalous and immoral marks discriminated based on content, and violated the First Amendment (In...more

MarkIt to Market® - December 2017

The December 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® discusses how ultra violet is the new black, a trademark practice update, and lists the new gTLD Sunrise periods. Please see full Newsletter below for more...more

How Scandalous! Federal Circuit Holds Vulgar Trademarks Are Registrable

by Jones Day on

Trademarks will no longer be refused registration on the basis that they constitute immoral or scandalous matter. On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously ruled in In re Brunetti...more

Immoral and Scandalous Matter are as Registrable as Disparaging Matter; The Principal Register is FUCT

In In re Brunetti, [2015-1109] (December 15, 2017), the Federal Circuit reversed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which affirmed the examining attorney’s refusal to register the mark FUCT because it comprises immoral or...more

In Re: Erik Brunetti

by Knobbe Martens on

Federal Circuit Summaries - Before Dyk, Moore, and Stoll. Appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Summary: The bar in § 2(a) of the Lanham Act against registering immoral or scandalous trademarks is an...more

Federal Circuit Holds “Scandalous and Immoral” Ban Unconstitutional

by Snell & Wilmer on

Last Friday, in In re Brunetti, the Federal Circuit held that the ban on “scandalous and immoral” trademarks under 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) is unconstitutional. The decision follows the June 19, 2017, Supreme Court decision, Matal...more

Good News for Game Developers: Court Extends Protections for Using Others’ Trademarks in the Advertising of Artistic Works

by Fenwick & West LLP on

In a move that will likely benefit game developers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explicitly held that First Amendment protection extends to use of third-party trademarks in the commercial promotion of an...more

'Zeran v. AOL': The Anti-Circumvention Tool

by Jaburg Wilk on

If I were an expert survivalist who was offered one tool to survive alone in the elements, I would probably choose a fire starter … but maybe a knife, a pot, or duct tape. Really, I would want all of those items because no...more

Ninth Circuit: Let’s Talk About Comic-Con

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a protective order in the dispute over the “Comic-Con” trademark, finding that a prohibition on the defendants from discussing the case on social media was...more

Is the Reproduction of a Branded Product in a Depiction of Real Life an Infringement?

AM General LLC, maker of HUMVEE®-branded vehicles, has sued Activision Blizzard, Inc., Activision Publishing, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp. in the Southern District of New York for using AM General’s trademarks and...more

Trademark Case Too “Banal” To Justify Social Media Gag Order

Before the social media era really kicked into gear, I was representing a defendant in a defamation case who was being sued by a very wealthy plaintiff. Because of his charitable generosity, the plaintiff’s name was on...more

Texas Court of Appeals Reverses T.G.I. Friday’s Label Decision

by McDermott Will & Emery on

On Friday, October 13, 2017, a Texas Court of Appeals handed down the long-awaited decision in Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission v. Mark Anthony Brewing, Inc., No. 03-16-00039-CV. The case involves Texas’ ban on...more

Gavel to Gavel: Scandalous and immoral (trademarks)

by McAfee & Taft on

Since 1946, federal law has prohibited registration of scandalous, immoral and disparaging trademarks. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court found the prohibition on disparaging trademarks to be unconstitutional, creating...more

The Washington Redskins Win Their Trademark Battle in Overtime

by Garvey Schubert Barer on

Simon Tam of the Asian rock band, The Slants, probably was not envisioning an 8-year-long legal battle when he chose the group’s name. Slant is known as a racial slur for Asians. Tam hoped to strip the term of its derogatory...more

Zazzle Fizzles: Website Operator Denied Copyright Safe Harbor Protection for Its Sale of Physical Products Featuring...

We discussed last year the trend toward companies seeking to monetize user-generated content. A recent Central District of California decision in Greg Young Publishing, Inc. v. Zazzle, Inc. serves as an important reminder of...more

Ninth Circuit Construes Family Movie Act and Affirms Injunction Against Streaming Service

by Snell & Wilmer on

In December 2016, a California federal court issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, Inc.’s custom-filtered video streaming service. Thursday, in Hollywood Studios v. VidAngel, Inc., a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed...more

More Details on Matal v. Tam: Are Other Parts of The Lanham Act at Risk?

by Revision Legal on

As we recently discussed in June, the US Supreme Court declared the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act unconstitutional as a violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment. In general, the disparagement clause...more

AD-ttorneys@law

by BakerHostetler on

“Iron Mike” Tyson is a controversial sports figure who seems in equal parts loved and loathed by the public. Celebrated for a genuine world-class talent and derided for his behavior in and out of the ring, Tyson has a public...more

Third Time’s the Charm – or Not

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit maintained its prior decision, holding that defendants violated the First Amendment when refusing to approve use of university trademarks on t-shirts incorporating a marijuana...more

What the *TM*?!?! The Disparagement Clause has been Bleeped.

by Knobbe Martens on

Trademark law is an important form of protection for the fashion and beauty industry. It protects both brand owners and consumers by regulating the registration of brands, or source identifiers, of fashion and beauty...more

Advertising Law - July 2017 #3

Twitter Working to Limit Fake Stories, Accounts - In an effort to combat fake accounts, false stories and other abuses, Twitter is considering the use of a new feature to let users flag Tweets that contain misleading,...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

Boletín Mensual de Telecomunicaciones - Junio 2017

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Las siguientes publicaciones fueron hechas por autoridades del gobierno federal durante Junio de 2017 en relación con el Sector de Telecomunicaciones de México....more

Mexico Telecommunications Update - June 2017

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The following announcements were made by public government authorities in June 2017 regarding Mexico's telecommunications sector: Public Call for Official Approval as Telecommunications and Broadcasting Expert - The...more

Bring on the Bad Word Brands? What the Supreme Court's Decision in Matal v. Tam Means for Trademark Owners

The Supreme Court’s June 19, 2017 decision in the Matal v. Tam case has been burning-up the news wires all week. The decision struck down a 70-year-old ban on federally registering disparaging trademarks, finding that the...more

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