Over the past few years, we have seen numerous instances of companies protecting their trademarks in creative ways – approaches that leverage humor and the brands themselves in order to achieve an acceptable legal outcome while simultaneously promoting the company and its brands, thus minimizing the risk of public relations blowback. In this “Creative Trademark Enforcement” series of blog posts, I’ll be exploring some of the more interesting takes on this approach,… More
As we head toward the year’s end, it’s the perfect time to consider key takeaways from the most important IP cases from 2017. In this webinar David Kluft, Peter Sullivan, and Janine Ladislaw discuss their take on the trademark,… More
Are you sick and tired of the Christmas spirit? Apparently, you are not alone. Meet Matthew Lombardo, the author of a comedic play called Who’s Holiday! Billed as “the show Dr. Seuss doesn’t want you to see,” Who’s Holiday! is a one-woman play running Off-Broadway until December 31 featuring Cindy-Lou Who as a down-and-out, hard-drinking, Who-Hash-smoking, 45-year old woman recovering from her disastrous relationship with the Grinch.… More
According to the Hyper-Chicken, a lawyer from my favorite television show, “freedom of speech applies to what comes out of a mouth, not what goes in.” State of Alabama v. Giant Space Iguana, 273 U.S. Ω (2976) (chewing corners off Constitution deemed non-protected speech).
The Hyper-Chicken is a fictional cartoon alien from the future,… More
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- 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.
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
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 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
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
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