June 27, 2016| Blog
This past Thursday the Brexit vote sent shockwaves around world, including the IP community and in particular with respect to IP rights in the UK and Europe. But concerns at the moment are speculative as nothing yet has changed.
Trademark rights exist on a country-by-country basis, and the laws in the United States differ in a number of significant ways from other markets. As a result, it is critical that before any non-U.S. company seeks trademark protection in the U.S., it first consider a number of potential obstacles. Use of a company name and its related trademarks in the U.S. is not guaranteed.
March 23, 2016| Blog
As we reported in a recent post, PETA lost its efforts, on behalf of Naruto the monkey, to secure his claim to copyright ownership of his "selfie" photograph. The district court judge held that the copyright law did not recognize an animal's right to own a copyright.
February 24, 2016| Blog
In August 2014, we posted about a copyright ownership dispute involving selfie photographs. The disputed selfie photographs were taken by a monkey named Naruto in Indonesia in 2011.
January 4, 2016| Blog
What do Washington D.C.’s NFL team, the Redskins, and Mr. Tam’s rock band, The Slants, have in common? Both have enjoyed unexpected victories recently and both have been called “disparaging” by the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”).
December 22, 2015| Blog
Today the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the section of the Lanham Act which bans registration of "disparaging" trademarks is an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment free speech.
When a Quirk of Copyright Law Creates a Christmas Classic: It’s a Wonderful Life and the Public Domain
December 17, 2015| Blog
George Bailey stands on a bridge begging for another chance at life. Upon being granted a second chance, he joyously runs home to embrace his family. As the community of Bedford Falls rallies around him and raises funds to save the endangered Building and Loan and George Bailey personally from an unjustified failure, someone proclaims a toast to George Bailey, “the richest man in town.”
A Scandalous Mark to Some, Free Speech to Others: Federal Circuit to Decide Whether Controversial Limit on Trademark Registrations Violates First Amendment
May 4, 2015| Blog
The Federal Circuit has decided to revisit the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act in the case of In re Shiao Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 27, 2015). Section 2(a) of the Lanham act allows the USPTO to reject the registration of a trademark that is immoral, scandalous, or disparaging.
March 17, 2015| Blog
It is that time of year again, coming off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, when everyone gets on the college basketball bandwagon in the season of “MARCH MADNESS.”
February 25, 2015| Blog
On February 6, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia reversed the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s ruling in Bayer Consumer Care AG v. Belmora LLC, 110 USPQ2d 1623 (TTAB 2014) holding that Article 6bis of the Paris Convention does not grant trademark rights that are protectable under Section 14(3) (misrepresentation of source), Section 43(a)(1)(A) (infringement of an unregistered mark) and Section 43(a)(1)(B) (false advertising) of the United States Trademark Statute (the Lanham Act).
February 25, 2015| Blog
On February 6, 2015, a US District Court issued a ruling which underscores the territorial nature of trademark rights and the need to seek formal protection for your marks where possible in all countries of interest.
Use It or Lose It: When Can a Trademark Registered Under Section 44(e) or 66(a) Be Deemed “Abandoned” in the US?
February 3, 2015| Blog
Unlike most countries, US trademark law generally requires that a mark be in use before it can be protected. The US recognizes common law rights in unregistered marks if they have been adopted in good faith and are in actual use on a product or to provide a service to the public.
January 27, 2015| Blog
The New York Times Magazine had a very interesting article in its January 18, 2014 issue entitled "Call It What It Is." The article, written by Neal Gabler, looks into the methods and ideologies used to create new product brand names.
January 26, 2015| Blog
As we all know, Super Bowl XLIX will be played this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona between the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. There will be events of all kinds organized all around the country focused on this football game.
January 21, 2015| Blog
On January 6, 2015, Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced Senate bill 23 entitled the “Copyright and Marriage Equality Act.” The bill would amend Section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code by striking the current definitions of “widow” and “widower” and replacing them with the following:
January 21, 2015| Blog
In the first substantive trademark decision it has issued in a decade, the US Supreme Court, in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, case number 13-1211 (January 21, 2015), affirmed the Ninth Circuit by holding that whether two marks may be tacked for purposes of determining priority is a question for the jury.
The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins' Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the Lanham Act
January 13, 2015| Blog
The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government.
January 7, 2015| Blog
It is not only the price of oil and gas that is dropping! The US Trademark Office has reduced the filing fees for new trademark applications and for registration renewal applications. The previous filing fee for each class in a new trademark application was $325.
January 7, 2015| Blog
As we ring in the new year, we thought we would remind everyone why the importance of a comprehensive trademark search for a new company name and for a new trademark cannot be overstated:
December 19, 2014| Advisory
The Bankruptcy Code generally permits intellectual property licensees to continue using licensed property despite a licensor’s bankruptcy filing. However, because the “intellectual property” definition in the Bankruptcy Code does not include “trademarks,” courts have varied on whether trademark licensees receive similar protection.
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