In recent USPTO news, Trader Joe’s, the supermarket chain known for its eclectic and unique foodstuffs, recently filed an opposition to registration of the mark “Trader Schmo,” which is described as designating a wide variety of Kosher foods. Understandably, Trader Joe’s took issue with the mark, and particularly its use in the
Uncertain Case of Google Trademark Fair Use
Aren’t digital advertising billboards amazing? My iPhone captured this rolling series of images just yesterday, for a health care organization using the Google trademark in the Minneapolis skyway:
My questions, permission, co-branding, no permission, but classic or nominative fair use?
Is Google flattered? Free advertising? Do they care? Should they care?
Call of Duty Trademark Lawsuit: A Humvee Humdinger
AM General, manufacturer of Humvee military vehicles, has sued Activision Blizzard for trademark infringement, based on the use of the “Humvee” and “HMMWV” marks for the virtual military vehicles displayed in Activision’s Call of Duty video games. See the complaint here, filed last week in the Southern District of New York. For those of…
The Five-Finger Copyright Discount
–James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications
Recently violinists Rhett Price and Shiva Chaitoo got two very different lessons on the downside of posting performances on the Internet.
According to an article in The Boston Globe, a fan of Price alerted him to a video of Chaitoo’s playing. Turns out, Chaitoo was pulling a Milli Vanilli,…
Help! Someone Copied My Stuff!
At some point in this digital age, almost every individual or business in the creative space will discover that somebody has copied them. You may see it yourself, or you may get the stomach-dropping “Doesn’t this look an awful lot like…..” e-mail from a friend. It might be that potential client who said your design…
Boldly Going Where no Fanfic has Gone Before
— Jessica Gutierrez Alm, Attorney
Fanfiction refers to the art of creating fiction using another author’s characters or universe. I was first introduced to the concept in high school, when a friend began writing Harry Potter fanfiction. (Side note: this is not one of those situations where the “friend” is actually me.) My friend used…
Trademark satire is no joke to the City of Atlanta
Check out this City of Atlanta Facebook page. The funny thing is that it’s not run by the City of Atlanta. Although the posts are titled “City of Atlanta” and use the City’s official seal, the page consists of satirical humor composed by Ben Palmer, an Atlanta resident. Although the first post was only…
The Hashtag / Trademark Paradox: #Trending, but #Proprietary?
-Wes Anderson, Attorney
As the hustle and bustle of the INTA 2016 Annual Meeting drew to a close yesterday, I reflected on the session “#HASHTAGS #EverythingYouNeedToKnow” from Tuesday. It seems trademark protection may not (yet) fit comfortably into the hashtag world.
DuetsBlog previously provided a helpful tutorial on the nuts and bolts of…
An E-Bay User Copied and Sold Thousands of Designs for Profit, but is it Legal?
Three-dimensional printing technology continues to be a new frontier of creativity, advancement, and of course, legal issues. The laws surrounding 3D printing have always been a topic of concern, but the discussion took center stage over the last few weeks in an unprecedented way.
If you’re new to the idea of 3D printing, here’s a…
No MN State Fair Photos, Pretty Please?
Well, it is opening day at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair, it was a great day, perfect weather, thank you very much!
Happy to see that Lulu’s Public House is going strong, she appears to have some new food items this year, and they look amazing — a Minnesota Wild Rice Benedict Muffin…