One of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of copyright law is the significance of intent. The elements of direct copyright infringement are (1) the plaintiff’s ownership of a valid copyright in a work and (2) the defendant’s copying of protectable expression from that work. The defendant’s intent is not part of this analysis. One hears the term “innocent infringer” thrown around, but this moniker is of far less value than is often imagined.… More
Monthly Archives: December 2013
Apparently, the answer is “One Love.” On December 6, 2013, Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. (“Hope Road”), which controls reggae legend Bob Marley’s estate, filed a federal trademark infringement action against the restaurant company Raising Cane’s USA, LLC (“Raising Cane’s”). Hope Road alleges ownership of the trademark ONE LOVE in connection with a number of goods and services. It further claims that Raising Cane’s unauthorized use of the same mark in connection with restaurant services is a violation of Hope Road’s rights.… More
In Kenney v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., No. 13-11068, 2013 WL 6212593 (D. Mass. Nov. 29, 2013), Judge Richard G. Stearns dismissed an action for copyright infringement brought by Michael P. Kenney (d/b/a Mike O’Dea and Shamrock Films) against the film studio Warner Brothers.
According to the decision, Kenney is a screenwriter, director, and actor, who began developing a Ghostman comic book and film in 2010. … More
The time is upon us. After years of anticipation, lobbying for delays and more robust trademark protections, and otherwise steeling themselves against the oncoming tide of new, generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), brand owners are faced with the reality of ICANN’s far-reaching program: the first new gTLDs have been “delegated” — received final approval from ICANN for use and availability in the domain name system.… More
A recent opinion from the Western District of Virginia sets forth a useful framework for analyzing a variety of Lanham Act claims based on false commercial speech uttered in social media.
Kraft Still the Big Cheese: Seventh Circuit Affirms Injunction in Trademark Dispute over Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are easy to spot off the highway, but you won’t be noticing the company’s products in grocery store aisles any time soon.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a preliminary injunction barring Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (“CBOCS”), from selling branded food products, particularly packaged hams, in grocery stores. The appeals court found that the similarities between the CBOCS mark and that of Kraft Foods Group’s Cracker Barrel cheese products line could easily lead to consumer confusion.… More