Why Is the European Union’s Proposed Copyright Directive So Controversial?

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

Restating the Obvious: Beer and Wine are Related Goods for Trademark Purposes, Except when They Aren’t

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

Enforce Your Trademarks Now Or You Might Be The Next Red Hen

If you needed another reason to take action against a third party using your trademark – and you shouldn’t need another reason – consider the Red Hen restaurant.  Which Red Hen?  That’s the point.

As everyone by now knows, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted a tweet over the weekend stating:

Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington,… More

No, Virginia, You Can’t Just Copy Stuff You Find On the Internet, Even if You Don’t Notice the Copyright Notice

I usually don’t write a whole blog post just to disagree with a sitting federal judge, even when it’s about copyright law’s most notorious disagreement-generating machine: fair use.

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

Can a Trademark Licensee Keep Using the Mark after the Licensor Files for Bankruptcy? Circuit Split Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

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

Flags as Trademarks: What are the Rules of the Road?

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

Can We Give State Cannabis Trademarks Some Teeth While Waiting for a Federal Solution?

Cannabis trademarks. By now, most IP lawyers know two things about them.

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

The Thin Dull Line: Are These Auto Interiors Sufficiently Creative for Copyright Protection?

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?

Not according to CORB, which recently released its opinion in the matter of Novem Car Interiors.… More

Watch: Designs for the Generalist In-House Counsel

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

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 10: Behaving Badly at the St. Francis Since 1907

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

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 9: The Milk from Contented Cows

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

Trademarks and the Wrath of Mt. Rainier: 10 Tips for Enjoying INTA 2018 in Seattle

As most of our readers are keenly aware, the 140th INTA Annual Meeting takes place next week in the Emerald City, Seattle, where more than 10,000 trademark professionals (including a fair number of patent professionals in disguise) will gather to network, learn, have a drink or two, develop intellectual property policy, connect with old friends, dine, snap up CLE credits,… More

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 8: The Invention of the Super Market

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 Washington became the 42nd state in 1889,… More

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 7: Ostrea Lurida & the San Francisco Oyster House

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

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 6: Old German Lager Won’t Give You a Headache

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