The Federal Trade Commission’s recent $9.5 million judgment against sweepstakes operator Crystal Ewing is a stark reminder that prize promotions remain fertile ground for regulatory scrutiny both on the state and federal level. Marketers have grown ever more reliant on sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways since Ewing first came to the FTC’s attention nearly a decade ago—thanks in large part to our obsession with mobile devices and social media,… More
Monthly Archives: March 2015
Hot on the trails of .porn and .adult, a new gTLD enters the fray next week — one that’s already giving PR departments heartburn. The .sucks domain launches for sunrise registrations on March 30, 2015, and with it yet another potentially costly headache for brand owners.
What Is .Sucks?
The .sucks gTLD is similar to .xxx, .porn, and .adult, in that companies are rightfully concerned that their names and trademarks may be associated with domains and websites that could harm those brands or otherwise generate ill will. … More
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, which in Boston means loads of Kelly green, a famously-litigated parade, and a huge spike in the consumption of Guinness. The iconic dark stout travels in equally recognizable containers, each emblazoned with a Gaelic harp modeled on the famous 14th-century “Brian Boru’s” harp, currently preserved in Dublin’s Trinity College.
Such harps have been a part of Irish heraldry for over seven hundred years,… More
Taking legal action to enforce a copyright is often an expensive proposition so, before you go down that road, you better make sure you own the copyright in question. But what if you have already initiated copyright infringement proceedings and later lose confidence in your claim of ownership – how do you extract yourself? Well, here’s one option that seems to be increasingly popular (but which we don’t recommend): just don’t show up.… More
Yesterday marked the sunrise launch of the .porn and .adult generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which join .xxx in the top-level domain name space as gTLDs targeted mainly at online purveyors of adult entertainment. As with .xxx, the introduction of these adult-themed gTLDs presents yet another annoyance for trademark owners already fatigued by the weekly onslaught of gTLDs introduced over the past couple of years pursuant to ICANN’s expansion of the domain name space. … More
As a native Texan, I always feel a bit nostalgic and homesick around early March. Not only is bluebonnet season (read: spring) around the corner (if only that were true here in Boston!), but March 2 marks Texas Independence Day – the date on which, in 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Although the Republic of Texas lasted only ten years, its fiercely independent spirit seems to live on in the tenacity with which the Lone Star State asserts trademark rights in Texas’s unique brand. … More