API Copying Now Fair Game in the Wake of Supreme Court’s Decision in Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc.

The decade-long dispute between Google LLC and Oracle America Inc. has now ended with the Supreme Court ruling 6-2 in favor of Google.  This dispute concerned Google’s use of Oracle’s “declaring code” – software that provides a list of functions and definitions that specify the parameters of application program interfaces (APIs) – in Google’s Android operating system.  APIs allow different software programs to work together.  In creating Android,… More

A Tale of Two Gorillas: An Underdog (Under-Ape?) Story

DK

March 8 was, according to questionable sources, National Retro Video Game Day in the US.  As one of Foley Hoag’s several resident video game nerds, this reminded me of one of my favorite video-game-related IP disputes.

In the 1970s, a nearly century-old Japanese playing card company called Nintendo started to branch out into electronic gaming, and in 1979 started a coin-operated arcade gaming division. … More

Out With The Old, In With The Gatsby Sequels: Trademark and Copyright News for the New Year

Most of us were thrilled to see the calendar turn to 2021 on January 1, closing the chapter on what was an extremely challenging year around the globe. Now that we are a month into the new year, and the fireworks have faded and the noisemakers are packed away, we take a moment to highlight a few notable developments in the IP world that made a somewhat quieter entrance on the scene when the clock struck midnight.… More

Watch Now: Advertising Best Practices for the Generalist In-House Counsel

Advertising can take many forms, including statements about a company’s products on websites and social media platforms. A wrong step can result in serious consequences, including legal challenges from competitors, consumers, the Federal Trade Commission, and other regulatory agencies.

In this 60-minute webinar, designed exclusively for in-house counsel, you will learn how you can protect your company against legal challenges based on its advertising practices. You will also learn what options are available if your competitors are making false or misleading statements in their advertisements.… More

Missing Appointments: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew

While all eyes have been trained on the confirmation hearings from last week, the Supreme Court made news in the IP world. The Court granted certiorari in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew (Nos. 19-1434, -1452, -1458), a decision analyzing the Appointments Clause, U.S. Const. Art. II, § 2, Cl. 2. In Arthrex, a panel of the Federal Circuit held that the statutory scheme for appointing administrative patent judges (APJs) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board violates the Appointments Clause.… More

Booking.whocares: SCOTUS Issues a Headline-Making Trademark Decision… But Does It Really Matter?

On June 30, amidst the traditional flurry of end-of-term opinions, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the first case to have been argued before it via teleconference, United States Patent and Trademark Office et al. v. Booking.com B.V.  In addition to making history in the remote-work era, this case caught the attention of trademark lawyers and some mainstream media;… More

Watch Now: Trademarks for the Generalist In-House Counsel

Watch Now.

Trademarks – or brands – can be among a company’s most valuable assets. Some companies have enormous marketing departments focused on branding, while others have a single social media intern, but every company that provides goods or services is branding them somehow. Whether it’s your company name, specific product names, a logo, or something more unique, your business probably owns atleast one trademark –… More

Georgia On Our Minds: Annotations Authored by Legislators Not Eligible for Copyright Protection

On April 27, the Supreme Court took us on a stroll down memory lane in its decision in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., referring us back to its very first copyright case and revisiting the government edicts doctrine for the first time in more than a century. The Court, applying logic from Wheaton v. Peters, along with Banks v.… More

SCOTUS Willfully Unfastens Infringer’s Profits From Its Mental State

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided a trademark damages question that has long divided courts across the country.

For decades, a trademark owner’s chances of recovering an infringer’s profits in litigation varied depending on where the case was pending.  The Lanham Act allows an award of an infringer’s profits “subject to the principles of equity” – but what does that mean?  Can an unknowing infringer be on the hook for its profits,… More

CORONASPLOITATION-19: A Brief Survey of Recent COVID-19-Related Trademark Applications

Benjamin Franklin famously said that “nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans to turn a crisis into a business opportunity.”  That quote may not be entirely accurate, but the U.S. federal trademark register serves as a historical record of this entrepreneurial spirit, from the various applications related to 9/11 in the wake of that tragedy,… More

Supreme Court Says State Sovereign Immunity Sinks Pirate Shipwreck Copyright Suit

Edward Teach, more popularly known as Blackbeard, roamed the seven seas and terrorized merchant vessels off the U.S. and Caribbean coasts during the colonial period.  He ultimately met his demise when the colony of Virginia breached the sovereignty of neighboring North Carolina and hunted him down along the shores of the Outer Banks.  Three hundred years have since passed, and another case of state sovereignty arises as a result of the actions of Blackbeard,… More

The Top 5 Most Fashionable Intellectual Property Disputes To Walk This Year’s Runways at New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) officially kicks off tomorrow, February 7, 2020, with a week’s worth of captivating runway shows from top designers.  The timing, however, could not be worse, since the 92nd Academy Awards is airing on February 9th, dead smack in the middle of Fashion Week.  Due to this scheduling snafu, designer Tom Ford, who styles top actresses walking the red carpet at the Oscars,… More

Watch: Top IP Cases in 2019 In-House Counsel Need to Know

Reviewing Cases in 2019 to See 20-20 in 2020

Who said there’s no looking back? It is crucial to consider key takeaways from the most important IP cases from 2019 when planning ahead for the new year. Foley Hoag presents a webinar offering guidance on what we learned last year and what to prepare for in the new year.

Our speakers focus on 2019 developments in trademark, copyright,… More

The Original Sin of Trademark Law: Failure to Function

Last week, Foley Hoag Partner Josh Jarvis joined John Welch, Author, TTABlogger and Counsel at Wolf Greenfield & Sacks; Alexandra Roberts, Associate Professor at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law; and Daniel McKinnon, Head of Global Brand Protection and Senior Counsel at New Balance, for a spirited discussion regarding “failure to function” – the threshold question of whether a purported trademark actually serves,… More

Bite-Sized Legal Tales for Your Halloween Candy Bowl

Spooky Stories of Useful Bananas, Judicial Intervention in the Candy Aisle, and the Urge to Run Away and Join the Halloween Circus

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Whatever the intent of the original song, I find it resonates most for me when cold air is just starting to move in rather than when it’s fully settled, and when yards are merrily bedecked in zombies rather than reindeer.… More