Monthly Archives: October 2016

Defamation Takes A Holiday: Slander And The Salem Witch Trials

witch-hillHypothetical: You go out for a nice stroll one Halloween only to have a neighbor emerge from his house with a pitchfork and accuse you of being a witch in front of the whole village. For the sake of argument, let’s say you are not actually a witch. Can you sue for slander?

For centuries, a civil defamation lawsuit has been available as a remedy —… More

10 Copyright Cases Every Fan Fiction Writer Should Know About

fan-fictionIf you are a Star Trek fan, the name Axanar has almost certainly crossed your lips or your computer screen recently. Axanar is a film (well, at least a very good trailer aspiring to be a film) set in the Star Trek universe, which tells the back story of Garth of Izar, a character who appeared in one episode of the original Star Trek series.… More

Beth Hella Receives National Docketing Association’s First-Ever Lifetime Achievement Award

bethCongratulations to Beth Hella, Senior Trademark Administration Manager at Foley Hoag LLP, who recently received the first ever Lifetime Achievement award presented by the National Docketing Association (NDA).  Beth was honored for her dedication and commitment to the NDA and for her perseverance in the advancement and education of docketing professionals.

Beth served as Treasurer of the NDA for four years before resigning from the Board at the end of 2015 to join the NDA’s Education Committee and initiate the creation the NDA Resource Library,… More

Happy Birthday To Me: An Iconic Song Enters The Public Domain After Copyright Settlement

Birthday chocolate cake with burning candles as a number fifty on brown background

As I turn 50 years old this week, I can’t help but think of the famous Happy Birthday song and the class action that resulted in its entering the public domain earlier this year.  The class action plaintiffs in that case filed a declaratory judgment action in the Central District of California against two music companies that had been enforcing the copyright in Happy Birthday and requiring the payment of royalties in some circumstances where it had been used commercially,… More

Hot News, Shredded Wheat and Wool Underwear: Brandeis On Copyright And Trademark

brandeisOctober 9 marks the 100th anniversary of Louis Brandeis’ first session as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (October 9, 1916 was the second Monday in October – in 1917, the Court began meeting on the first Monday).  This occasion is worthy of remembrance not only because of the historical importance of the man himself, but also because Brandeis was the first Jewish jurist (or non-Christian of any creed) to ascend to the high court,… More