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Category Archives: Copyrights

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Oz The Saying Goes…

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Loss of Rights, Television, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

There’s no place like home. Just be careful where and how you say it. It is common knowledge among lawyers that copyright protection does not normally extend to titles, words, or short phrases. Movies, politicians, and our family and friends constantly quote books, movies, and famous politicians, actors, and others. From a trademark perspective, we see famous quotes… Continue Reading

Is Strict Trademark Enforcement Really Possible Anymore?

Posted in Copyrights, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Trademarks

- John Reinan, Senior Director, Media Relations, Fast Horse That is, assuming it ever was. But as a marketer, I often wonder what advice trademark attorneys offer to their clients on enforcement in the Internet age. Every day, I visit websites that make use of (almost certainly) unauthorized photos, logos, videos, slogans and any kind… Continue Reading

Bungle in the Beer Tapper Jungle?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Counterfeits, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

The Sports Bar in the Mirage Resort & Casino, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, is currently sporting a pretty interesting collection of tap beers, from left to right: Bud Light, Goose Island Honker’s Ale, Stella Artois, Heineken, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Shock Top, Newcastle, Samuel Adams, Budweiser, Goose Island Indian Pale Ale, and Michelob Ultra. What really caught… Continue Reading

Could Losing Copyright Protection Be The Key To Ending Stadium Subsidies?

Posted in Articles, Copyrights

Quentin Tarantino is suing Gawker Media because it leaked his script and Northwestern football players are attempting to unionize in yet another attack on the NCAA  — two stories that would otherwise be right in my wheelhouse — but, it’s Super Bowl week so I’m pretty sure I’m constitutionally required to write something about football. Public… Continue Reading

And the Grammy for Most Likely to Receive a DMCA Notice Goes to…

Posted in Audio, Copyrights, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Social Media

Last Sunday was “Music’s Biggest Night,” at least according to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). I haven’t watched many Grammy Award shows, but the possibility of seeing Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performing together was enough for me to tune in, at least for a few minutes. I wasn’t paying particularly close… Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement Can Impact Your Brand

Posted in Copyrights, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Search Engines, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology

- Debbie Laskey, MBA Have you ever spent hours working on a document for work? That’s a silly question because most of us who recognize Microsoft software and SlideShare have spent countless hours working on executive briefs, lengthy project reports, presentation decks, and much, much more. Normally, we give our work product to our supervisors… Continue Reading

iPhooey?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

Apparently iPho by Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant located in St. Paul, Minnesota, is quite good. The logo design is eye-popping, and dare I say clever, but does it cross one of the many legal intellectual property lines? We can all agree as to the source of the “inspiration” for this visual identity, right? Our little friend… Continue Reading

LogoThief to the Rescue

Posted in Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Sight, Trademarks

  There is a brand new exposer of potential intellectual property violations on the scene, meet LogoThief: “We exist to name and shame logo thieves and all others who plagiarise the work of logo designers.” Here is what prompted the start of the website just last week: “We started this website because we are sick of… Continue Reading

Copying the Place for Fun in Our Life – the Mall of America

Posted in Copyrights, International, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

Once again, a story from China suggests that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  First, it was copying Apple stores.  Now, it’s copying an entire mall – and the most well-known American mall of all at that, the Mall of America.   Well, at least the logo and creative.  The Chinese mall appears to still… Continue Reading

Where Everybody Knows Your Name(s)

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Copyrights, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking, Television, Trademarks

Who would you expect to find sitting at the end of the bar in this recently re-named Minneapolis sports bar, formerly known as Halek’s Bar? What if you were to queue a very familiar tune to these lyrics, would that help? Yeah, I was thinking of these guys too: But, what if these guys have nothing to do with… Continue Reading

“Raging Bull” Copyright Case To Be Heard By Supreme Court

Posted in Copyrights, Idea Protection, Infringement, Law Suits

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – In 1980, Robert De Niro starred in an Oscar-winning boxing movie, “Raging Bull.” A suit has been brought by Paula Petrella, whose father, Frank P. Petrella, wrote the book and screenplay for the movie. Frank Petrella and his collaborator, boxer Jake LaMotta, assigned the rights to their book and screenplay… Continue Reading

The MPAA and the Midwives, and Other Cautionary Tales

Posted in Copyrights, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

As we all know, The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has long taken an active role in the debate regarding the advantages and disadvantages of traditional midwifery and modern medical views regarding childbirth. That’s what Rosemary’s Baby was all about, right? Well, the MPAA filed an amicus brief yet again in a lawsuit between… Continue Reading

If You Want to Go Fast, You Don’t Have Time for Trademark Law.

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Fair Use, First Amendment, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

If you’re not first, you’re last. Rick’s Cabaret was the first to open a restaurant with the name Ricky Bobby – but will Sony Pictures have the last laugh? Let’s get the background first. In the movie Talladega Nights, Will Ferrell played Ricky Bobby, a successful race car driver who just “wants to go fast.”… Continue Reading

Could Having a Tattoo Result in a Lawsuit?

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Copyrights, Fair Use, Infringement

As football season approaches, it is not surprising that star quarterbacks such as San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick are making the news. I read an article in Forbes magazine about “Questions Concerning Copyright of Athlete Tattoos has Companies Scrambling.” The impetus for the article was a Yahoo! Fantasy Sports advertisement with him in a tattoo… Continue Reading

iPurge

Posted in Copyrights, Infringement, Patents, Trademarks

Earlier this summer, a movie called “The Purge” came out.  The premise of this relatively disturbing thriller is that for one night a year – a 12 hour period-all crime is legal.  As you can tell from the trailer below, the “legal crime” that first comes to our depraved minds is murder, assault, rape, robbery,… Continue Reading

There’s always money in the banana-based intellectual property rights…

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Copyrights, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

In its list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the Rolling Stone ranked the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico at number 13 – not bad for the band’s very first album.  The album had a simple cover, some would say iconic, cover:   And get this: the banana peel was actually a… Continue Reading

NY ♥ TM

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Idea Protection, Infringement, Marketing, SoapBox, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Last week I stopped at a local wine and beer store to pick up a bottle of wine to bring to a friend’s dinner party (but also couldn’t resist purchasing a 4-pack of Surly’s Bitter Brewer. I had never seen it before, but highly recommend it). As I walked back to my car I noticed a pile of… Continue Reading

“Frankenstein” Class Action Suit Against YouTube Dies in Court…For Now

Posted in Copyrights, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology

- Ryan Francis, Law Student, William Mitchell Law School      vs.   Is he alive? Not really, but the Manhattan Second District Court recently referenced the Frankenstein monster in The Football Ass’n Premiere League Ltd. v. YouTube Inc., No. 07 CIV. 3582 LLS, 2013 WL 2096411 (S.D.N.Y. May 15, 2013). In this case, plaintiffs alleged… Continue Reading

Memes Attack

Posted in Copyrights

A recent lawsuit combines a number of things that are surely ruining today’s youth: internet memes, the Nintendo DS, and side-scrolling video games (actually, that last one ruined my generation.  Thanks Super Mario Bros., Contra Force, and Ninja Gaiden!)  The game series at issue in the suit, Scribblenauts, allows players to summon some of the most… Continue Reading

Employee Wrongfully Terminated for Refusing to Engage in Criminal Copyright Infringement

Posted in Copyrights, Infringement, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – Adam Young worked for an architecture firm, Nortex Foundation Designs Inc. in Fort Worth Texas as a drafter. He was hired in 2001 and designed foundation plans based on copyrighted architectural designs that Nortex provided to him. In 2010, Young received a plan being drafted for a homeowner that had… Continue Reading