Category: Protection & Enforcement

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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

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

New Copyright Office Regulations Require Websites to Re-Register for DMCA Safe Harbor Protection

BOTTOM LINE Website operators and other online service providers must re-register their DMCA designated agents using the Copyright Office’s new online filing system by December 31, 2017 to avoid losing DMCA safe harbor protection. The Copyright Office recently implemented new regulations governing how websites and other online service providers must register a designated agent for … 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

IS YOUR TRADEMARK MERELY DESCRIPTIVE?

In the United States, a trademark can be refused registration on the Principal Register because the trademark is deemed merely descriptive.  If the trademark is not allowed for registration on the Principal Register, it may be eligible for registration on the Supplemental Register.  So, how do you determine if your mark is descriptive and which … 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

Nuthin’ but a Leaf Thang – Toronto Maple Leafs take issue with Snoop Dogg’s trade-mark application for LEAFS BY SNOOP Logo

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership (“MLSE”), the parent company of the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs, has requested an extension of time to oppose a U.S. trade-mark application filed by one Calvin Broadus – better known as Snoop Dogg (“Snoop”) – for a logo featuring the words LEAFS BY SNOOP on a leaf-shaped … Continue Reading

Can the First Amendment Trump the Right of Publicity?

Many states recognize a “right of publicity,” which prohibits the commercial use of an individual’s name, likeness, or identity without consent. When aspects of a well-known person’s identity are incorporated into an expressive work, however, what emerges is a tension between the individual’s right of publicity and the artist’s freedom of expression as protected by … Continue Reading

TELEPHONE COMPANY’S ADVERTISMENT ON BROADBAND SPEED WAS MISLEADING

The Danish Consumer ombudsman has recently found that the Danish telephone companies TDC, Telia and Telenor has been misleading the consumers in relation to the speed on broadband internet. The Consumer ombudsman has on that ground requested the companies to change their marketing regarding broadband. The Danish consumer ombudsman has raised five cases concerning misleading … Continue Reading

Strategies and Tactics to Battle Online Cyber-Defamation

With the ever-expanding role of social media and the Internet, negative reviews can spread virtually unchecked. Although some negative reviews are limited to statements of opinion that, generally, are legally protected, companies and individuals increasingly are subject to attacks that include false statements constituting online defamation. The legal avenues for addressing defamatory comments and obtaining … Continue Reading

What happens to your digital self after death?

Florida Grants Fiduciaries Access to Digital Information For anyone who has dealt with the death or incapacity of a loved one in recent years, one of the most perplexing and fraught questions has been how to access their electronic or digital records. Whether we realize it or not, most of us own digital assets. These … Continue Reading

Be Careful How You Get Over the Paywall: Recent Canadian Decision Holds That Non-Subscribing Reader of Paywall Article Infringed Copyright

A recent decision from the lowest court of the Province of Ontario has raised questions over how recent amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act regarding “technological protection measures” (“TPMs”), such as subscription “paywalls”, will be interpreted and balanced with traditional copyright analysis. In 1395804 Ontario Limited (Blacklock’s Reporter) v. Canadian Vinters Association, the central question considered … Continue Reading

MAKING HEAVY WEATHER OF THE UK’S UNJUSTIFIED INFRINGEMENT THREATS RULES

The UK has for a long time had laws in place that make it illegal for IP owners to make “unjustified threats” to bring proceedings for infringement of registered IP rights.  In recent years, this prohibition has been narrowed to exclude threats made in respect of primary infringement (i.e. manufacturing, importing or supplying services), but … Continue Reading

Can 3-D Scanning and Printing be a Copyright Infringement?

Suppose that you have a unique configuration for your physical object. You find out that your competitor has scanned the configuration of your object and is printing the object with a three-dimensional (3-D) printer. Is there anything you can do?  The answer is YES! Let’s suppose you have created a physical object such as a … Continue Reading

Canadian Court Orders Google to Scrub Its Search Results

The internet’s sheer breadth often gives the impression that it transcends local legal jurisdictions. As commerce and trade become increasingly electronic ventures, courts now grapple with how to enforce orders against parties not operating within traditional physical jurisdictions. In June, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (the “Court”) in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc., … Continue Reading

The NOW TV case: Mere reputation of international brand is not enough to protect unregistered trade mark in the UK

Introduction The world has “internationalised” at an astonishing rate in the last 20 to 30 years.  People are better travelled and are familiar with overseas hotels, restaurants and media.  And it is the same with consumer brands: in the UK we are as familiar with Hershey’s chocolate from the US and Vegemite spread from Australia … Continue Reading

LIVE VIDEO-STREAMING APPS POSE CHALLENGES FOR SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES

The transmission of live events through video-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat is raising concerns among rights holders. Advances in both legal and technological tools will be needed to effectively combat unauthorized transmissions. Challenge Although people have been using smartphones to shoot videos they share on social media platforms for some time, live video-streaming apps such … Continue Reading

U.S. Federal Circuit Appeals Court sets standards for determining bona fide intent to use mark in commerce

A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (M.Z. Berger & Co, Inc., v. Swatch AG [2015] Fed. Cir.) has clarified the standards applicable to determining whether an applicant relying on an “intent-to-use” basis had the required “bona fide intention” to use the mark in commerce when the application … Continue Reading

FIRST PENALTIES ISSUED UNDER CANADIAN ANTI-SPAM LAW

The Canadian anti-spam law (“CASL”) came into effect on July 1, 2014 and includes the ability to levy severe administrative monetary penalties of up to $10 million for one violation of CASL. In March, 2015, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) gave its first indication on issuing penalties and addressing violations of CASL by … Continue Reading

The Upside of Federal Trademark Registration

You’ve created an amazing product or service with a super catchy brand name, and you are starting to make a profit.  Fairy tale ending, right? Not so fast there, budding entrepreneur/future mogul – you may have skipped a critical step – registering your brand with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Why should … Continue Reading

Canada: Combating Counterfeit Products Act Receives Royal Assent

On December 9, 2014 Royal Assent was given to Bill C-8, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. The intention of Bill C-8 is to give the government and holders of trade-marks and copyrights new mechanisms for enforcement, along with substantial remedies, in order to combat counterfeit and black-market goods. Before the introduction of Bill C-8, Canada had … Continue Reading
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