Creative Trademark Enforcement Part I: Velcro Companies Aim To Sing You Into Submission

Readers of this blog are likely aware that trademark owners are required to actively monitor, police, and enforce their trademarks against infringement and misuse.  Failure to do so can result in limitation of and, in the most extreme cases, a complete loss of trademark rights.  It is thus understandable that trademark owners and their lawyers tend to handle such matters via decidedly humorless cease-and-desist letters,… More

“A Gronking To Remember” Plaintiffs Lose Right Of Publicity Appeal

For those of you in desperate need of Christmas present ideas for a New England Patriots fan, you can rest assured that your ironic backup option – a copy of the romance novel, A Gronking to Remember – is still available for sale. Truth be told, the self-published volume was not in serious danger of becoming unavailable, but the recent Sixth Circuit opinion in Roe v.… More

Which Trademark Came First, BUTTERBALL Turkey Or BUTTERBALL Ham?

We used to have a Thanksgiving turkey tradition at the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog. Just before every fourth Thursday of November, we’d type in our LEXIS NEXIS password and find a judicial opinion from a turkey trademark case.  We covered the 2007 genericide of the TURKEY STICK, explained the 1976 GOBBLE GOBBLE  dispute, and even discussed the 1981 fight over BAKED TAM.… More

10 Marketing Law Takeaways From ANA/BAA 2017

We just got back from the Association of National Advertising (ANA) and Brand Activation Association (BAA) Marketing Law Conference in Chicago, held earlier this week.  With hundreds in attendance, and dozens of speakers presenting over three days, it was a great opportunity to learn about “hot” trends and key issues in the advertising and marketing space from an array of stakeholders – marketers, attorneys, regulators,… 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 everything in town (I’m not saying which town), including schools, buildings, bus stops and highway exit signs. There was even (I swear this is true) a statue of the plaintiff’s mother in the city park across from the courthouse.… More

Watch: European Trademark and Design Basics for U.S. In-House Counsel

With many U.S. companies increasingly eyeing the global marketplace for their products and services, an understanding of U.S. intellectual property protection isn’t enough.

Joshua Jarvis, Catherine Muyl and Marion Cavalier presented a webinar offering guidance for in-house counsel regarding the basics of trademark and design protection in the European Union. Viewers will learn about the opportunities and pitfalls to be on the lookout for when looking to secure, protect, and enforce an IP portfolio overseas.

Topics Discussed

  • Acquiring and preserving trademark rights
  • EUTMs vs. national registrations
  • Consequences of Brexit
  • Trademark clearance strategies
  • Notorious trademarks
  • Registered Community Designs (RCDs) vs. unregistered designs
  • RCDs and U.S. design patents compared
  • Policing and enforcement strategies

If you are in-house counsel and would like to receive a copy of the written materials containing talking points to accompany these slides, please contact us.

Halloween Costumes And Copyright: 5 Things You Should Know

This is a tough time of year if you are an intellectual property lawyer who likes to dress up. Anyone who knows about your job will be unable to resist lame and legally incorrect jokes about your Halloween costume.  If you wear a Mohawk wig, they will quip that you are infringing Mr. T’s copyright. If you wield a sword and don a fur coat, they will ask if you had permission to use the “patent” from Game of Thrones.… More

Posner On Copyright: 10 Cases To Remember

When Judge Richard Allen Posner abruptly retired from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last month, we were so caught off guard that it took a few weeks to get our tribute machine up and running.  Why a tribute to Posner on the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog?  Well, among the many legal areas profoundly influenced by this prolific jurist and author (the list of areas he did not affect would almost certainly be shorter),… More

I Subscribed to What? What Online Subscription-Based Marketers Need To Tell Their Consumers

I am certainly not the only person who has been lured into purchasing a too-good-to-be-true, deeply discounted product online, only to learn that what I actually purchased was a subscription to buy more stuff.  Kate Hudson’s athletic wear company Fabletics hooked me about a year ago when I saw a cute workout outfit advertised on social media for only $25.00.  I purchased the outfit on Fabletics’ website,… More

The FTC, Like, Revises Its Social Media Endorsement Guides, Bruh!

This month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a revised version of “Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking,” a series of questions and answers pertaining to the conduct of “influencers,” that is, anyone who endorses a product or service. The basic premise of the Endorsement Guides is that, if there exists a material connection between the influencer who is endorsing the product and the company that is marketing the product (e.g.,… More

. . . And Your Name Is? Court Orders Anonymous Parallel Importer To Reveal Itself In “Lever Rule” Trademark Challenge

We recently hosted an event at the firm where we discussed legal issues concerning parallel imports in the transportation industry, so a recent decision by the U.S. Court of International Trade discussing “Lever Rule” protection caught my attention.  To those who do not traffic in the world of parallel imports, the Lever Rule is a tool available to trademark owners to limit unauthorized imports of gray market goods bearing the owner’s mark. … More

A History Of GOLDEN GATE Trademarks For Alcoholic Beverages

In celebration of the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Annual Meeting, currently underway in San Francisco, we offer a brief tour through some GOLDEN GATE-themed trademarks.  As a prominent feature of San Francisco’s geography, even before the iconic bridge was built, the Golden Gate is a popular theme in trademarks for local goods, both in word and image form.  For fun and focus, we have chosen to highlight GOLDEN GATE trademarks for alcoholic beverages.… More

Your Digital Millennium Copyright Registration May Be About To Expire

Last November, we wrote about the Copyright Office’s decision to ditch its paper registration system for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) safe harbor and start a new online system completely from scratch. If you have had other things on your mind since November 2016, we completely understand. However, if you run a website that hosts user content, copyright law will not understand (and you will lose DMCA safe harbor protection) unless you re-register under the new system before the end of December 2017. … More

Europe’s Answer To “I Love New York”: The Official Trademark Of Venice

This summer, I was lucky enough to vacation with family and friends in Venice, Italy.  Highlights included seeing the traditional city sights, riding around the canals in a gondola, seeing glass being blown on the Island of Murano, and eating wonderful food.  Lowlights included knocking down a stop sign with our rental car (my brother’s driving skills have sadly not improved over the years) and getting eaten alive by bugs (a theme that runs through all of my summer vacations).  … More

A Copyright Fable: Debunking The “Seven-Second Rule”

If you are a television news producer or documentary filmmaker, you have almost certainly faced this issue: You are putting together a story about a past event, and you want to make the point that this past event was once the subject of media coverage.  The easiest way to do that is to show some of that media coverage, for example, by including a short clip from the evening news or by panning across a newspaper article headline.… More