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Counterfeit goods seem to be everywhere, and efforts to police their ubiquitous existence often seem futile. However, a recent decision involving counterfeit Coach products should inspire those who host vendors of counterfeit products to rethink their business strategy.
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More About Trademark Surnames: The Borghese Dispute

June 17, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Right on the heels of our surname blog comes a New York Times article on a long-running trademark litigation over rights to the Borghese surname. The Borgheses hail from an Italian noble family and their using the family history for marketing purposes is what prompted a lawsuit which goes to trial this summer in New York.
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Louboutin Sees Red Again: Protecting Color as a Trademark

June 12, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Christian Louboutin filed suit last week in Federal District Court in New York against Charles Jourdan Fashion Footwear and unnamed companies and John and Jane Does for trademark counterfeiting and infringement and other related claims based upon the Defendants’ sales of women’s shoes bearing red soles.
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Why Can’t I Use My Own Name? : Trademarks and Surnames

June 6, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

There are many “myths” that float about in the general public about what can and cannot function as a trademark. For example, people often tell me that they “know” that “common words” can never be protected as trademarks.
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Laches, Acquiescence, and Trademark Injunctions

May 22, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

On May 8, a long time manufacturer of ceremonial paddles marketed to fraternities and sororities filed a petition for certiorari with the US Supreme Court seeking relief from an injunction barring him from using Greek organizations’ trademarks in his advertising.
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The Issues of Trademark Infringement and Dilution Go “Wild”

May 20, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Those of us in a certain age bracket will remember Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” television program that first began in 1963. The Emmy Award-winning show’s first run ended in 1986, and the show went into production again in 2002 for broadcast on the Animal Planet network.
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A Primer on Policing Your Trademark

April 10, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Trademark owners have a duty to police their mark.  This applies to all types of marks – brand names, slogans, color, product shapes, or even a smell. The cost of dropping the ball on this duty can range from a bar on future enforcement of your rights against a particular company to a complete loss of all trademark rights.
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Rapper Dr. Dre and the company he co-founded, Beats Electronics, LLC, are on the offensive at the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board challenging a multitude of third-party applications for marks which consist of or contain the word “Beat”.
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My colleagues in our Litigation practice, Harvey Saferstein and Nada I. Shamonki, recently authored an alert "Another Shoe Drops in Washington: Ninth Circuit Expands Personal Jurisdiction over Willful Copyright Infringers".
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On November 2, 2012, a federal jury in the Central District of California awarded Mixed Chicks LLC, a beauty supply company for mixed-race women, $839,535 in actual damages and $7,275,000 in punitive damages for willfully infringing the MIXED CHICKS® trademark and trade dress with its MIXED SILK line of products.
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How Do You or Don’t You State a Case for A Declaratory Judgment in a Trademark Dispute?

December 5, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

Ever since the US Supreme Court in MedImmune, Inc. v. Genetech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 127 S, Ct, 764, 166 L. Ed.604 (2007)  threw out the "reasonable apprehension" test as defining the grounds for bringing a declaratory judgment action, courts have considered a wide variety of factual circumstances in deciding which meet the Court's redefinition of "controversy."
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Some Companies Must Do More To Protect Brand Identity

December 4, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight

My colleague Susan Weller recently authored an article for Law360 on protecting brand identity.
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Lululemon and Calvin Klein Settle Yoga Pants Design Litigation

November 26, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight

As we reported  previously, Lululemon, an exercise apparel company, filed suit against Calvin Klein and its supplier G-III Apparel Group for infringement of three Lululemon design patents for yoga pants. On November 20, 2012, Lululemon filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in the Delaware proceeding based upon a settlement that would dismiss the suit with prejudice.
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FTC Revises "Green Guides"

November 21, 2012 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission issued its revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, known as the "Green Guides." The purpose of the Guides is to help marketers avoid making environmental marketing claims that may be perceived as deceptive or unfair under Section 5 of the FTC Act.
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Six months after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of Rosetta Stone's trademark infringement lawsuit against Google, the parties issued a joint statement today announcing that they have settled their legal dispute. 
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We at Mintz Levin’s Copyright and Trademark Matter law blog are thrilled to announce that Geri Haight, editor of this blog and our colleague in Mintz Levin’s Intellectual Property group, will receive a Volunteer Service Award at this year’s International Trademark Association (INTA) Leadership Meeting in Orlando, Florida.
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Pattern Designs on US Navy Uniforms and Fabric Are Non-Functional Protected Trademarks

October 9, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

A recent TTAB case addresses the issue of functionality and protection of design. In the case In re Navy Exchange Service Command, (“NEXCOM”), the TTAB issued a non-precedential decision on September 29, 2012 in which it reversed the Examining Attorney's refusal to register four irregular block-shaped, multi-colored pixilated pattern design marks that the US Navy used on clothing and fabric.
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S. 3523: Louboutin, Lululemon, and Fashion Design: Finally Getting Some Respect?

September 20, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

A few weeks ago, the Second Circuit's ruling in the Louboutin decision made clear that color as a trademark can be protected in the fashion industry.  Recently, Lululemon has sued Calvin Klein for design patent infringement over the design of yoga pants.
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An Update: The Cost Of An Illegal Download

September 20, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

As you may recall, we asked the question in a recent blog post “Are You Willing to Pay $22,500 to Download A Song? " Well, we now ask "Are you willing to pay $9250 to download a song?" 
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Further to the “Copying from the Internet” Issue…..

September 18, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

In our August 14th blog, we explained why just because you can copy something from the Internet, doesn’t mean you should copy from the Internet. A case on this very issue that has been around for several years involved the well-known “Hope” poster of President Obama’s face made during the 2008 campaign.
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