President Ford Ascends Copyright Mount Rushmore

On past Presidents’ Days, we have discussed the critical roles in the development of U.S. copyright law played by Abraham Lincoln (who extended copyright protection to photographs) and George Washington (whose correspondence was at the center of the dispute that gave rise to the fair use doctrine). This year, it’s Gerald Ford’s turn to ascend to our Mount Rushmore of Copyright.… More

Meet The New Co-Chairs: Josh Jarvis & Natasha Reed

Congratulations to Trademark and Copyright Law Blog co-editor Natasha Reed and author Josh Jarvis on their appointment as Co-Chairs of Foley Hoag’s Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition practice group.  To celebrate their ascension, we asked them to interview each other about their practices, their histories, and their thoughts on trademark and copyright law.

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Natasha: First question!… More

The Shape Of My Heart: A Guide To Chocolate Shape Trademarks For Your Valentine

The past year has been an active one in the chocolate trademark wars, as confectionery giants attempt to use trademark law to protect the shapes of iconic candy products.  In the US, and in many other jurisdictions, companies can protect product shapes or configurations, but only if they are sufficiently distinctive that the design functions as an indicator of source.  Chocolatiers have had varying degrees of success in convincing trademark offices and courts that their confections have attained that status. … More

Watch: Brand Management for In-House Counsel

The Intersection of Trademarks, Advertising and Corporate Social Responsibility

Protecting the value of your corporate brand is a critical mission. As companies are increasingly asked to make disclosures regarding their efforts to address social and environmental risks, these disclosures create both opportunities and challenges for those entrusted with protecting a company’s intangible assets.

In this webinar, we explore the interrelationship between trademarks, false advertising and emerging compliance requirements in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR).… More

From Runway To Replica: The Most Fashionable Intellectual Property Infringement Beefs Of 2017

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) 2018 kicks off on Thursday, February 8 through Friday, February 16, with a full schedule of exciting and exhilarating runway shows. This year’s designers include many of the usual faces, like Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, and Jason Wu, to name a few. As usual, there is some controversy concerning designers that are notably missing from this year’s schedule, like Georgina Chapman’s label Marchesa.… More

Don’t Mess With Grumpy Cat’s Intellectual Property!

In my never-ending quest to write articles that my children would read, I bring you the case of Grumpy Cat.

The guardians of Grumpy Cat (whose actual name is Tardar Sauce), through its company, Grumpy Cat Limited, developed a cottage business in commercially exploiting the likeness of Grumpy Cat for use on, among other things, T-shirts, coffee mugs, books and calendars. … More

Cannabis Regulators Establish Ground Rules For Marijuana Advertising In Massachusetts

With the first retail sales of adult use marijuana slated to take place in just over five months, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (the “Commission”) is working overtime to regulate an industry that some project will exceed $1 billion in revenue by 2020.  As the July 1st target date for the opening of retail cannabis shops approaches, one area that will undoubtedly become the focus of much attention is the ability of retailers to market their wares. … More

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle IV: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

If you are a lawyer, there is a serious danger that someone at the Super Bowl party you attend is going to want to talk about an NFL-related legal issue. Did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones really have standing to challenge Commissioner Roger Goodell’s salary package? What is the status of Colin Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit?… More

What IP Practitioners Should Know About GDPR And Personal Data Protection In Europe

In the European Union (“EU”), “everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her” under the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Intellectual property is also protected as a fundamental right under the Charter, as is freedom of speech. These rights can sometimes conflict. In two previous posts on cases about linking to Playboy pictures and the inspiration for Jeff Koons’ sculptures,… More

New Foley Hoag Partner August Horvath Shares His Views On Advertising Law And Why You Might Not Want To Watch TV With This High Flier

We are very excited to welcome August Horvath as a partner and Co-Chair of the Advertising & Marketing practice group in Foley Hoag’s New York office. August’s practice primarily focuses on representing clients in false advertising and deceptive trade practices ligation before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state Attorneys General and the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. August counsels clients on a variety of marketing,… More

Creative Trademark Enforcement Part III: The Southern Hospitality Of Old No. 7

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. And Copyright: Five Things You Should Know

January 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, marking what would have been the 89th birthday of the great civil rights leader and Baptist minister. Although copyright is not (and should not be) the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Dr. King, the impact of his legacy on copyright law ought to be somewhere on the list. Indeed, Dr. King’s name has popped up as the litigant,… More

Creative Trademark Enforcement Part II: Shutting Down The Upside Down

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

Watch: Top IP Cases in 2017 In-House Counsel Need to Know

Happy Holidays from the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog and the Foley Hoag Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition Group.

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

A Christmastime Copyright Tale Featuring A (Very) Grown Up Cindy-Lou Who

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