DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Tag Archives: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

“Would You Rather…?” Litigation Update

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Last May, I reported on a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision opining on the descriptiveness of the “Would You Rather…?” trademark registration.  Subsequent to the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the case returned to the United States District Court for the Central District of California and is now styled Spin Master, Ltd. v…. Continue Reading

License With Care

Posted in Agreements, Contracts, Copyrights, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights

–Dan Kelly, Attorney The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued a pair of opinions fleshing out a principle in copyright law known as the “first sale doctrine.”  The principle traces its roots to the 1908 Supreme Court opinion of Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus.  It is currently enshrined in statute and provides in basic part, “the… Continue Reading

Gibson’s Case Strikes Chord with Court

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits, Product Configurations, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney In November I commented on Gibson Guitar Corp.’s suit against the makers and retailers of PAPER JAMZ toy guitars.  To recap briefly, past efforts by both Gibson and Fender Music to enforce trademark interests in their respective guitar body shapes have been largely unsuccessful. Until now. On December 21, 2010, the U.S. District… Continue Reading

Nominative Fair Use of Trademarks in Domain Names

Posted in Domain Names, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in the case of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. v. Tabari that asked whether the domain names buy-a-lexus.com and buyorleaselexus.com used in connection with automobile brokerage services infringed Toyota’s trademark rights in LEXUS. Conventional legal wisdom is that only the owner… Continue Reading

Which “Would You Rather” Would You Rather Play?

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Law Suits, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court that had held that the federally registered trademark “WOULD YOU RATHER . . . ?” was merely descriptive as applied to books and games.  (PDF of appellate opinion here.)  Briefly, the facts are that Falls Media owns the… Continue Reading

All About Taglines and Advertising Slogans: Who’s Your Patty Anyway?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

Taglines and advertising slogans can be wonderful branding and marketing tools, but I’m thinking (not Arby’s, by the way) that McDonald’s is probably not thinkin’ that its (likely) famous I’m lovin’ it tagline accurately describes its taste for the federal trademark infringement lawsuit that Twin Cities-based Lion’s Tap recently slapped on McDonald’s for its whopper of an advertising campaign — promoting its new Angus… Continue Reading