Category: Case Studies

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Can Trademarks Related to Cannabis be Protected?

Suppose that you want to federally register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services related to your cannabis business.  What if the trademark covers merchandise indirectly related to cannabis or products directly related to the use of cannabis?  Should you attempt to register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  … Continue Reading

Obtaining Statutory Damages for Trademark Infringement – A Cross Border Approach under the Trademark Act of the Republic of Korea

** Originally published by DRI in the DRI IP Committee newsletter** Recently the Korea Supreme Court issued a significant ruling, providing guidance on the availability of statutory damages in trademark infringement actions.  This article discusses that ruling. Under the Trademark Act of the Republic of Korea (“the Act”), a trademark owner is entitled to receive compensation … Continue Reading

Win or lose, you pay PTO attorneys’ fees for challenging decisions in District Court

When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) rejects a patent application, the applicant has two options for judicial review. It can either appeal directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit under 35 U.S.C. §141, or file a new (“de novo”) civil action against the Director of the PTO in the … Continue Reading

Extraterritorial Application of Unfair Trade Laws: Foreign Government Agencies May Restrict U.S. Companies from Exercising Their IP Rights in the United States

** Originally published by DRI in August 2017 edition of For The Defense ** Intellectual property laws are aimed at allowing intellectual property owners to hold rights in their property for a certain period of time to the exclusion of all others. Exclusivity is the essential purpose of intellectual property rights. Conversely, the essence of fair … Continue Reading

Russian Supreme Court recognized that non-profit organizations are eligible to protect name

On July 11, 2017 the Civil Disputes Judicial Board of Russian Supreme Court published a long-awaited Ruling in case No. 53-KG17-12. Under the merits of the case, in 2016 the charity fund for helping children with oncohematological and other serious diseases “Podari Jizn” (CF “Podari Jizn”) filed a lawsuit against a copycat, non-profit charity fund «Podari … Continue Reading

“…as best as your interests don’t conflict with mine”: Lawyers Fighting Over Intellectual Property

When one thinks about lawyers and Shakespeare, many recall the oft-quoted and misunderstood statement “the first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”  ‘Henry VI,” Part II, Act IV, Scene II, Line 73.  But my favorite, as a better reflection of the best of our lot, is: Sir, I shall not be slack; in … Continue Reading

EXHAUSTION OF PATENT RIGHTS & DIRECT INFRINGEMENT RE-EVALUATED:THE MPEG LA / DPH CASE

The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) with its decision X 2r 33/10, announced on August 21, 2012, rejects claims for infringement of MPEG-2 video coding patents by a Greek DVD manufacturer: The DVD, as such, is NOT a means of infringement of the patent claim in dispute. On August 21, 2012 the German Federal … Continue Reading

The GS Media case: “He’s making it up as he goes along!”

The GS Media case: “He’s making it up as he goes along!”[1] This is not a Brexit whinge, but when I reread the ECJ’s decision in the GS Media case[2], I do understand where 52% of my countrymen were coming from.  Generally, the EU has (IMHO) been a force for good in IP law, by … Continue Reading

Picking: A Few IP Collectibles Since My Last Post

There is a popular television show in the United States called American Pickers, which follow the adventures of antique and collectible “pickers” Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz.  Wolfe and Fritz travel around in a van with the logo Antique Archeology to buy, or “pick,” various items for resale, for clients, or for their own personal … Continue Reading

CarGurus Enters Canada – Suit Ensues For Statutory Damages under the Canadian Copyright Act

The plaintiff in a copyright infringement action has the option to choose to receive statutory damages rather than to establish its actual quantum of damages it has suffered. Statutory damages range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $20,000 for the infringements related to a given work. A plaintiff might choose statutory damages … Continue Reading

IP Court has clarified that the use of a “plot generating object” in a movie may constitute copyright infringement

In mid-February, the Russian Intellectual Property Court issued an interesting decision, in which it indicated when filmmakers have to obtain a copyright owner’s consent for use of a movie prop. Under the auspices of the case, Pan Press Publisher filed a lawsuit against Ren-TV TV Channel and AN-film Production Company claiming that its book cover … Continue Reading

Oh, Where Cases Like That Will Go: HOW A CEASE AND DESIST LETTER STOPPED THE PLAY BUT STARTED THE SUIT

Lombardo et al v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., case number 1:16-cv-09974, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, is an interesting case for intellectual property practitioners, especially those involved in copyright matters and curious as to how the parody/fair use discussion started in my last post for ILN IP Insider … Continue Reading

CAN YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT – YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INJUNCTIONS IN CANADA

The mattress business is a competitive one!  Trade-marks in the mattress business are valuable! Sleep Country Canada Inc. is a major mattress retailer in Canada.  It is best known for its slogan “Why Buy a Mattress Anywhere Else?”.  It owns two Canadian trade-mark registrations for this slogan.  This trade-mark, together with its accompanying musical jingle, … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Sets the Bar Higher for Obtaining Damages for Design Patent Infringement

Bottom Line:  The Supreme Court’s decision sets the bar higher for design patent holders to recover for infringement and opens the door to apportionment of damages. Parties looking to file for design patents will likely consider claiming their patents more broadly, in order to avoid the specter of reduced damages in the event the design … Continue Reading

Maybe Axanar Could Klingon To Its Fair Use Defense In A Parallel Copyright Universe

On January 3, 2017, in Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Axanar Productions, Inc. et al., a United States District Court held that Axanar could not rely on a fair use defense during the upcoming trial over whether Axanar infringed Paramount’s copyright in the popular Star Trek television and motion picture franchise.  Axanar has an existing twenty-one … Continue Reading

CALIFORNIA MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO $1.66 MILLION TRADEMARK SCAM

As often as we warn our clients about unscrupulous companies that prey on trademark owners using notices and invoices that appear to come from government agencies, these worldwide scams continue to reap large quantities of fraudulent proceeds.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) works in a variety of ways to alert the public to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reverses Apple v. Samsung Design Patent Damages Award

On December 6, the Supreme Court reversed Apple’s $399 million patent infringement verdict against Samsung.  The decision – the first from the Supreme Court to interpret design patent damages since 1886 – arguably raises more questions than it answers. In a series of widely-publicized cases around the globe, Apple and Samsung have been battling over … Continue Reading

TTAB ADAMANTLY REFUSES TO CHANGE MARIJUANA TRADEMARK POSITION

When we last left the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB,” an administrative arm of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office), they had issued a precedential opinion that registrations could not be issued for marks that covered the sale and use of marijuana products or paraphernalia primarily intended or designed for use in ingesting or … Continue Reading

SMOKE SIGNALS FROM SPECIMEN OF USE SUPPORT REGISTRATION REFUSAL FOR “HERB” SALES DESCRIBED IN APPLICATION

In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB,” an administrative arm of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) affirmed the trademark examiner’s refusal to register HERBAL ACCESS for retail store services featuring “herbs.”  Although the application did not mention marijuana as one of the “herbs” being sold, applicant Morgan Brown’s specimen of … Continue Reading

Trader Joe’s trying to make Pirate Joe’s “walk the plank” in U.S. trade-mark case

In the ongoing dispute between Michael Hallatt, a Vancouver businessman, and U.S. based retailer Trader Joe’s, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the “Ninth Circuit”) has overruled the 2013 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (the “District Court”) not to hear Trader Joe’s claim against … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Narrows ‘Red Flag Knowledge’ Exception to DMCA’s Safe Harbor Protections for ISPs

In a long-standing case brought against the video platform Vimeo by several music publishers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently set the bar high for copyright owners to succeed in their infringement claims against service providers based on allegations of “red flag knowledge.” The Second Circuit, shedding some light on what is … Continue Reading

A PRIVATE PARTY TOO BIG TO BE PRIVATE

The Danish court has recently decided that a party may be too large to be considered private, at least when it comes to the understanding of the wording “Public performance” in Danish copyright law. The court therefore ruled that the staff party held by Novo Nordisk should be considered as public in connection to the … Continue Reading

What’s Your Evidence? The Danger of Hearsay Evidence in IP Litigation

In Pfizer Canada Inc. v. Teva Canada Limited, 2016 FCA 161, the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) recently overturned a substantial damages award in a pharmaceutical patented medicines action on the basis that the trial judge admitted improper hearsay evidence. This is an important reminder that the hearsay rule of evidence is alive and well. At … Continue Reading
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