Under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), trademark holder who proves infringement may receive as damages an award of profits “subject to the principles of equity.” This phrase has divided the circuit courts going back several decades, with six circuits requiring a finding of willful infringement in order to obtain an infringer’s profits, and the other six circuits allowing for such damages without a finding of willful infringement.… More
We had been following on this blog the heated debates around the proposed EU Copyright Directive. These debates now belong to history since on March 27, 2019, the European parliament adopted the Directive with 348 votes against 274 and 36 abstentions.
The two most controversial provisions are Article 15 (previously 11) and Article 17 (previously 13).
Article 15: Creation of a New IP Right for Publishers of Press Publications
Article 15 addresses the issue of press publications that are circulated on the internet.… More
Intellectual property licenses can be important in various situations ranging from large scale strategic transactions and IP litigation to day-to-day lower profile transactions. Even the latter can have far-reaching impact on a company’s proprietary assets, particularly if certain IP-related concerns are overlooked.
Foley Hoag presents a webinar covering a range of traps and tips related to IP licenses, including:
- Identifying less obvious IP licenses in commercial agreements
- Addressing ownership and rights to IP or technology created in common business relationships
- Data rights: value,…
This decision was rendered on February 12,… More
On March 4, 2019, the United States Supreme Court held that, with certain exceptions, a copyright owner must obtain a copyright registration certificate from the Copyright Office before filing a copyright infringement suit. The unanimous opinion in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.Com, LLC, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affirmed the Eleventh Circuit and resolved a split among the circuit courts of appeal.… More
On January 11, 2019, the Cancellation Division of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”) rendered a surprising decision that revoked in its entirety the McDonald’s Company’s BIG MAC trademark registration, which had been registered in the EU since December 1998.
This is the latest chapter in a fight between McDonald’s and Supermac’s, a competing chain that operates fast-food restaurants in both parts of Ireland.… More
If you haven’t heard already, New York Fashion Week is here! As usual, a lineup of awe-inspiring shows is expected to roll out over the next several days, as it does every September and February, highlighting the latest fashion trends of some of world’s most famous designers. One of the big stories surrounding New York Fashion Week this year is the amount of cultural diversity expected to appear on the runway. … More
In an interesting case pending before the TTAB, law students from the Suffolk University IP and Entrepreneurship Clinic have opposed an application filed by United Trademark Holdings, Inc. to register RAPUNZEL as a trademark for dolls and toy figures. The students, led by clinic director Loletta “Lolita” Darden, represent Professor Rebecca Curtin, a trademark law professor and mother of a young girl who has purchased dolls. … More
If you have ever been tasked with considering what types of intellectual property protection were available for a new packaging design, copyright may not be the first thing that came to mind. After all, it is trademark law that is designed to protect the public’s association with a commercial name or logo, and in some cases the distinctive look (or “trade dress”) of a product and/or its packaging.… More
Who said there’s no looking back? It is crucial to consider key takeaways from the most important IP cases from 2018 when planning for 2019. Foley Hoag presents a webinar offering guidance on what we learned this year and what to prepare for in the new year.
Our speakers focus on 2018 developments in copyright, patent and trademark law.
Foley Hoag provides a full range of services to start-up companies,… More
You may think the phrase “million-dollar smile” is just a metaphor, but a smile could cost you millions of dollars in litigation damages if you aren’t careful, at least according to Nirvana LLC, the legal entity that owns the intellectual property rights relating to the 90’s rock band Nirvana.
Nirvana’s Smiley Face Logo
If you thought the image of a yellow smiley face was too common to be owned by anyone,… More
At the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, the Pompidou Museum organized a retrospective of the work of Jeff Koons, which attracted thousands of visitors but gave rise to several lawsuits.
The general rule of thumb for trademarks in the U.S. – and everywhere else, for that matter – is “the earlier, the better.” It’s almost always the right move to file a trademark application as early as possible, and well in advance of a product or service announcement, both to (a) minimize the possibility of conflicting marks and filings; and (b) mitigate the potential for attempted trademark and domain name “squatting” that inevitably follows a well-publicized product/service announcement. … More