The “Starball” logo of the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (“UEFA”) consists of a round ball made up of black stars, with white polygons in the negative space between the stars. In 2016, UEFA filed an application with the United States Copyright Office to register the Starball as a work of two-dimensional visual art. The Copyright Office was not impressed and, on July 30,… More
With H. 4732 (and amendment H. 4868) sitting on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s desk, Massachusetts is finally on the verge of adopting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”). The UTSA was published by the Uniform Law Commission in 1979 and amended in 1985, at which time many states began adopting it. New York, and possibly North Carolina and Alabama (there is some debate about whether their legislation has expressly adopted the text of the Act),… More
If you are having trouble obtaining a federal trademark registration for a product’s packaging, some lawyer has probably mentioned to you that copyright protection is a potential alternative or supplement. This is good advice – to a point. Copyright registration is relatively cheap, nobody will pester you about secondary meaning or use in interstate commerce, and you don’t need consumer confusion evidence to prove infringement. However, when it comes to creative expression,… More
The Federal Circuit just issued its en banc decision in Nantkwest v. Iancu, concluding that the proper statutory construction of Section 145 of the patent statute, which allows patent applicants to file actions in a federal district court to challenge the denial of patent applications by the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), does not require the challengers to pay the USPTO’s attorneys’ fees.… More
This article was published first in Cannabis Industry Journal
While the USPTO might not register your trademark, there are still some tools available to protect your intellectual property.
Federal trademark registrations are invaluable tools for emerging businesses. They put the world on notice of a company’s name; they can secure nationwide priority over others using similar names; they distinguish a product in the marketplace;… More
European harmonization in the field of copyright has always been challenging because the balance between authors’ rights and public interest is struck fairly differently from one country to another. The challenges of “the digital age” and how copyright should evolve considering the new possibilities offered by the internet only adds fuel to this fire.
The new Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market is an attempt from the European Union to better allocate the revenues derived from the internet by creating new obligations for internet platforms to prevent copyright infringements and requiring them to pay for linking to articles or using snippets.… More
Beer and wine are related goods for trademark purposes. Right? We’ve seen that truism announced by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) time and time again. So, do you really have to prove it from scratch in every trademark proceeding?
Yes, you do. Sure, it may seem obvious that consumers expect beer and wine to emanate from the same source. After all, they are both beverages,… More
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington,… More
This is an exception. A recent decision by the Eastern District of Virginia may cause some individuals and non-profits to believe that it’s permissible to copy and use “publicly available” photos from the internet, as long as they don’t know whether or not the photos are protected by copyright.… More
All you trademark lawyers better sit down, because this may come as a shock: You are not “intellectual property” lawyers . . . at least not according to Section 11 U.S.C. § 101(35A) of the Bankruptcy Code, which intentionally omits trademarks from the definition of “intellectual property.”
Owing in part to this omission, there is an ongoing circuit split as to the rights of a trademark licensee when a licensor declares bankruptcy.… More
I never paid a lot of attention to Flag Day, until the year that my daughter was born on June 14. Now Flag Day is a special day for our family, and of course there is a lot of flag waving on Independence Day which comes hot on its heels. So this seems like a good time to review the rules on when you can register and use images of flags as trademarks.… More
First, even though cannabis is legal in an increasing number of states (9 allow recreational use; 29 allow medical use), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is refusing applications to federally register cannabis trademarks, no matter the home state of the applicant, until the substance gets reclassified by or removed from the Controlled Substances Act (which doesn’t seem to be on the immediate horizon).… More
Are automobile interior designs eligible for copyright protection? Last month, we wrote about the Copyright Office Review Board’s (CORB’s) allowance of the registration of a three-dimensional pattern for an automotive floor mat. Does this mean that every little feature of your car is now eligible for copyright protection?
What does the generalist in-house counsel need to know about protecting designs? Designs occupy a unique space in intellectual property. In the U.S., designs are protected under the patent laws, while in Europe, designs are typically protected under industrial design law. Overlapping protection for designs also exists in the U.S. and Europe through copyright law and through trademark law as it applies to trade dress.
Foley Hoag LLP presents a webinar offering guidance for in-house counsel regarding the basics of design protection from U.S.… More
This year, the great city of Seattle, Washington is the location of both the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting (May 19-23) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 15-17). If you are one of the many lawyers attending these events and you want a Seattle trademark experience, you could do the obvious and visit locations associated with the city’s famous modern brands.… More