Category

Trademark Litigation
What are “Brand Bullies”? On top of today’s extremely competitive market, small businesses may be also dealing with a “brand bully.” Also known as a trademark bully, a brand bully is a company that resorts to litigation and uses its trademark rights to harass and intimidate another business without a sound legal basis. These companies...
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Trademark and Copyright Issues to Consider With Sales of Athletic Goods and Apparel When can a generic design rise to an infringement of intellectual property rights? A common and growing occurrence comes when one takes an attribute of a famous athlete (like a number), puts it with that athlete’s team color scheme, and the next...
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled the Polo Association may sell sunglasses with a logo that is similar to the Ralph Lauren trademark.l
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Oprah Wins Round Two – Trademark Infringement Case Oprah Winfrey claimed a second victory against motivational speaker Simone Kelly-Brown in a trademark battle over the phrase “Own Your Power.” Kelly-Brown and her company, Own Your Power Communications, claimed Winfrey, and other named Defendants infringed on her trademark under both federal and state laws, and included...
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Pizzeria Makes its Case for Trademarking Food
Trademarking Food – Pizzeria Makes Case Pizzeria Makes its Case for Trademarking Food – A federal court in Texas ruled that flavors of a pizza chain’s food and its plating techniques lacked trademark and trade dress protection. The pizza chain, New York Pizzeria, Inc. (NYPI) alleged that Ryandir Syal, a restaurateur, along with other defendants,...
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What Would Jesus Do Trademark Battle
What Would Jesus Do – TTAB Decides Trademark Battle What Would Jesus Do – After a six-year legal battle, Tyler Perry has officially won the trademark rights to “What Would Jesus Do.” Kimberly Kearney, a reality TV star, originally registered the mark in 2007 intending to use it for a reality show of her own....
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Contributory Cybersquatting
Contributory Cybersquatting Contributory Cybersquatting – Does the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) provide a basis of liability for a domain name registration service if one of its registrants is guilty of cybersquatting?  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court’s opinion that the ACPA does not provide for so-called...
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Nominative Fair Use - Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft v. Building No. 19
Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft v. Building No. 19 – Nominative Fair Use Nominative Fair Use – This case highlighted the fact that trademark law is constantly evolving – the major issue was so-called “nominative” use of a trademark, i.e., use of a trademark to refer to the trademark holder’s own goods in an advertisement by a seller...
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Trade Dress – Does it Have to Have Secondary Meaning?
Trade Dress – Does it Have to Have Secondary Meaning? In a previous post we’ve touched on the idea of trade dress – the packaging of a product, and its “look and feel.”  The configuration of the product itself, such as the shape of a bottle, may also be considered trade dress.  Trade dress is protectable...
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Titles of Artistic Works – Implications of Dastar
Titles of Artistic Works – Implications of Dastar Artistic Works – The United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently decided the case of Eastland Music Group v. Lionsgate Entertainment.  This action for trademark infringement, and the court’s subsequent analysis helped settle an issue long weighed by courts and commentators – to what extent...
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