Imagine, for a moment, a successful software company, Agave, that owns the trademark PHOTOCHOPS for a popular image-editing program. Being a diligent trademark owner, Agave registered the trademark PHOTOCHOPS in 2005, right when the original PHOTOCHOPS launched, in connection with “downloadable computer programs for creating and manipulating graphic images on a computer” in International Class 9. Over the years, the PHOTOCHOPS platform slowly shifts from downloadable software to a pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, where the software is hosted entirely server-side. In 2010, Agave is able to file a Section 8 declaration of continued use, because it is still permitting existing… More
Category Archives: Announcements
U.S. applicants will soon be able to use a streamlined international filing procedure for design patents similar to the Madrid Protocol for trademark registrations. Currently, U.S. applicants seeking to protect designs in multiple countries must file separate applications for each of the countries through their national or regional patent offices. Starting May 13, 2015, when the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs goes into effect in the U.S., applicants will be able to file a single international design application (IDA) for protection in up to 64… More
Yesterday marked the sunrise launch of the .porn and .adult generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which join .xxx in the top-level domain name space as gTLDs targeted mainly at online purveyors of adult entertainment. As with .xxx, the introduction of these adult-themed gTLDs presents yet another annoyance for trademark owners already fatigued by the weekly onslaught of gTLDs introduced over the past couple of years pursuant to ICANN’s expansion of the domain name space. Also as with .xxx, brand owners have some opportunities to defensively register .adult… More
The Better Business Bureau announced last Thursday that it has amended its Code of Advertising to address the new and evolving ways in which advertisers reach consumers through technology. The Better Business Bureau is the administrative parent of the advertising industry’s self-regulatory bodies, including the National Advertising Division.
As advertisers market to consumers who spend more time looking at smart phones and computer screens than television screens and magazines (the traditional media of mass-market advertising), the methods of advertising have changed. The basic tenets of advertising law still apply—i.e., claims must be truthful, not misleading, and substantiated—but… More
We are happy to announce that the Trademark and Copyright Law blog has earned a spot on the ABA Journal’s “Blawg 100” for 2014.The Blawg 100 is a curated list of the top legal blogs, which is then narrowed down to a smaller list by popular vote.
If you have enjoyed any of our articles over the past year, we hope you’ll consider giving us a vote. You can do that here. It takes just a couple of minutes.
October is Pro Bono Month in many states, including Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Indiana, Tennessee, and Alabama. The ABA has created an annual weeklong National Pro Bono Celebration, which this year is October 19-25. Recognizing the countless lawyers who devote their time and efforts to representing people of limited means, and urging all lawyers to do more, these pronouncements remind us that every attorney has an ethical responsibility to make sure that our system of justice is open to all persons, regardless of income. In… More
The National Advertising Division is holding its annual conference this week in New York, and Foley Hoag is in attendance for what many consider to be the leading conference of its kind. Day One saw an impressive line-up of panelists and speakers, beginning with an address by Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, who outlined areas of particular focus over the coming year: weight loss claims, cognitive benefit claims, and celebrity-hyped claims, among others.
The speakers have addressed a number of hot topics that will likely dominate the false advertising landscape… More
As any IP lawyer will readily admit, trademark practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) comes with its fair share of annoyances: inconsistent treatment of similar applications, unreasonably stringent identification requirements, and so forth. Another difficulty lies in what appears to be a large number of registrations subsisting on the federal register, past their initial maintenance filings, despite a high likelihood that such marks are no longer used, or have never been used, in connection with some or all of their identified goods and services.
INTA annual meetings are always interesting, sometimes in ways that you don’t expect. This year’s meeting is in Hong Kong. I thought I would share my top five observations, both good and bad, about my experience so far.
On the good side of the ledger:
1. The Saturday night Gala was fun! I had never attended it before, and it was really nice. It was worth packing the extra black tie outfit, and I somehow even managed to navigate the shoe issue. Thanks to Iris and Stephen at the Copyright Clearance Center for inviting me.
2. … More
Some recent administrative developments may be of interest to copyright and trademark practitioners:
Effective May 1, 2014, the U.S. Copyright Office has amended its registration fee schedule. This includes reduced renewal application fees and increased fees for registering multiple works. A complete list of the new fees is available here.
Updated Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP)
On April 30, 2014, the USPTO issued the April 2014 update of the TMEP, which includes precedential case law and other changes since the October 2013 revision. Highlights of the changes are available from the USPTO… More
An orphan work is an original work of authorship whose author cannot be located or identified when someone is seeking permission to use it. For example, say you want to reprint a photograph in a book, but you can’t identify or locate the photographer, and you don’t know where to go for permission. Should you still use it? Have you really searched hard enough for the rights holder?
Foley Hoag Attorneys to Screen Provocative, Academy Award-Winning LOGORAMA Film and Lead Discussion of Copyright and Trademark Fair Use Issues
Honestly, who hasn’t fantasized at some point about Ronald McDonald grabbing an Uzi and slaughtering his way through corporate America? LOGORAMA, the Academy Award-winning animated short, involves a gritty police chase set in a Los Angeles-inspired cityscape entirely populated by over 2,500 contemporary and historical trademarks and logos. We couldn’t let this provocative and fascinating film pass completely without notice in the legal community.
Facebook reached a settlement with the FTC today regarding the FTC’s suit accusing Facebook of “unfair and deceptive” business practices concerning what some have described as the site’s alarmingly poor track record regarding user privacy. Our colleague Colin Zick over at our sister blog, Security, Privacy, and the Law, provides an overview of the settlement. Check it out!