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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 In the case In re Navy Exchange Service Command, (“NEXCOM”), the TTAB issued a non-precedential decision on September 29, 2012 in which it reversed the Examining Attorney's refusal to register four irregular block-shaped, multi-colored pixilated pattern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.

Update: S. 3523 Passes U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

October 1, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

The bill to extend intellectual property protection to the fashion industry, S. 3523, the substance of which we reported recently, has passed the US Senate Judiciary Committee without amendment.

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.

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?" 

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.

When Can You Claim A Color As Your Trademark?

September 13, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

In its recent decision in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America, Inc., the Second Circuit held there was no "per se rule that would deny protection for use of a single color as a trademark in a particular industrial context."
The Second Circuit recently issued an opinion in the Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent trademark case. To refresh your memory, Louboutin, the high-end women’s shoe designer, had secured a U.S. trademark registration for the color red as used on the outsoles of women’s shoes. 

The U.S. Government Supports Textbook Publisher in First Sale Case

September 11, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

As previously reported, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving the territorial limits of the first sale doctrine under U.S. copyright law. Oral arguments in that case have been set for October 29.
Following up on my post on the subject, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O'Keefe of LXBN regarding Song BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. In the brief interview, I explain the background of the case and why Tenenbaum ended up being ordered to pay such a hefty price for the songs he copied.

The U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert to Decide Scope of First Sale Doctrine

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

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted cert in order to decide an issue of great importance to all businesses involved in manufacturing and distributing products throughout the world, particularly those  involved in retailing and importation, namely, whether foreign made works intended for sale outside the U.S., in which the copyright is owned by a U.S. entity, may be purchased outside the U.S., imported into the U.S., and then resold or otherwise disposed of  in the U.S. without the copyright owner’s authorization. 

Politician Settling Case for Unauthorized Use of Music at Campaign Events

August 29, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

It appears that Newt Gingrich and Frankie Sullivan, a member of the rock band Survivor, and his company Rude Music , have reached a tentative settlement in the latter’s copyright infringement suits against Gingrich for use of the song "Eye of the Tiger" during Gingrich’s presidential campaign bid.

Are You Willing to Pay $22,500 to Download A Song?

August 28, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

The August 23, 2012 decision in Song BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the most recent in this extended litigation, leaves no doubt that individuals who download music and distribute it without proper authorization through peer-to-peer file sharing sites are subject to liability for copyright infringement and payment of substantial statutory damages for doing so.
As we reported in December, two adult entertainment companies filed suit in federal district court in Los Angeles against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and ICM Registry, the sole operator of the .XXX domain name registry.

Should Section 8 Affidavits of Continued Use be filed at Year Three?

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

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on August 16 filed a request for comments regarding amending the first filing deadline for affidavits or declarations of use or excusable nonuse. 77 Fed. Reg. 49,425, and also published a notice of inquiry indicating that it was considering a fee adjustment for trademark applications. 77 Fed. Reg. 49,426.

Just Because You Can Copy It Does Not Mean That You May Copy It

August 15, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

In a number of recent cases, individual photographers have successfully sued third parties for unauthorized reproduction and use of photographs, particularly those from stock photography sources.

Google Search Results Will Reflect Repeated Copyright Infringement

August 13, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight, Susan Neuberger Weller

On Friday, August 10, 2012, Google announced that it was changing its search algorithms so that websites with high numbers of valid copyright infringement removal notices would appear much lower in the search results.
ICANN has announced that it has extended the public comment period for new generic top-level domain (gTLD) applications for an additional 45 days. The public comment period was scheduled to close on August 12th. The new end date is now September 26, 2012. 
Our colleagues in the Bankruptcy Section published a client advisory on a recent decision that has important implications for the bankruptcy rights of trademark licensees (and licensees of other forms of intellectual property).
What if someone applied for a new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) that is confusingly similar to the gTLD applied for by your company? Who has standing to file an objection or to submit a public comment in response to an applied-for gTLD? 

Has Someone Applied to Register Your .BRAND?

July 12, 2012 | Blog | By Geri Haight

We recently published an alert on the planned expansion of the domain name system and what it really means for trademark owners.
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