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
Tag Archives: Trademark
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
. . . 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
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
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
Spain is famous for wines bathed in the sun. There are various splendid Spanish wine regions: Rioja, Valencia, Penedès, Priorat, Rueda — all of which would, by the way, make fantastic places to go during your holidays if you are still looking for a summer destination.
I have often called my friend and colleague, Dave Kluft, the master of opposition research. When we have a trademark case together, he can be counted upon to think deeply about our adversaries, see the world through their eyes, and uncover every small detail about them that could possibly be relevant to our case. Most of us mere mortals, however, limit our investigations to working hours and use traditional methods. … More
National Tequila Day is celebrated on Monday, July 24. Tequila is made with the distilled extract of the blue agave plant, which grows in and around the city of Tequila and other parts of the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Although agave has been used for the manufacture of fermented beverages since pre-Columbian times, the ancestor of what we now know as “tequila” was reportedly first made in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadors who had run out of imported brandy (which is why they originally called it “Mezcal Brandy”).… More
This weekend marks Bastille Day in France and also National Ice Cream Day in the United States, so it’s the perfect time to recount the very first ice cream-related trademark lawsuit in the U.S. (or at least the earliest one available to us): French Brothers Dairy v. Giacin.
Is it defamatory to falsely accuse someone of infringing intellectual property? Last month, the California Court of Appeal, in FilmOn.com v. DoubleVerify, Inc., affirmed the dismissal of a defamation action in which the defendant was accused of falsely labeling the plaintiff as a copyright infringer.
Does that mean you can just go ahead and call anyone you don’t like a copyright infringer,… More
Of Slants, Skins, And Signs: Section 2(a) Prohibition of Disparaging Trademark Registrations Struck Down!
Well, that happened! According to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Matal v. Tam, Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which purports to prohibit the registration of marks that “disparage . . . persons,” is unconstitutional. When we first started blogging on this topic, here, we noted that certain stars were aligning for a constitutional showdown. … More
Earlier this month, KISS guitarist Gene Simmons filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to register the “devil’s horns” hand gesture, which he routinely flashes at rock shows, as a trademark for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.” This bold move brings up a number of interesting questions, ranging from “Does the gesture really function as an indicator of source that points to Simmons?” to “How will he ever enforce it?” to “Can you really claim trademark rights in a hand gesture?” For a number of reasons,… More
Those of you attending the annual International Trademark Association conference in Barcelona may be drinking a glass of Cava right now and wondering: what makes sparkling wine different from regular wine, and what is the real the difference between Cava and Champagne (or, as the great Zapp Brannigan pronounces it, “champagen”)? Those of us stuck at home and not allowed to go to Barcelona – and no,… More
Anna Jarvis led the efforts to establish the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1908, during which she honored her own mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, a Civil War-era social activist. But about a dozen years after that first celebration, Anna Jarvis had become the holiday’s most vocal opponent. Why? Commercialization. The floral and greeting card industries had already taken over her idea,… More
We are delighted to announce that Marion Cavalier has joined the firm as an associate in our Paris office. Marion’s practice encompasses patent, trademark, copyright and commercial litigation. Marion also advises clients on data protection, defamation, privacy and contract. Her experience spans a broad range of industries with particular emphasis on the technology, media and telecommunications sectors.
We sat down with Marion to ask her about her practice and her views on some of the IP issues of the day.… More