Tag: Case Studies

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

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

“…if you listen very hard…”: Stairway To Heaven Verdict May Have Unblurred Lines In Music Infringement Cases

Among the last few lines of Led Zeppelin’s rock ballad Stairway to Heaven are the lyrics “And if you listen very hard/The tune will come to you at last./When all are one and one is all…”  Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe brought suit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement, apparently thinking that one did not even … 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 a 3-D Work of Artistic Craftsmanship be Protected by a Copyright?

Suppose that you create a unique three-dimensional display. You find out that your competitor has copied your three-dimensional display. Can you claim that the design of the display is a three-dimensional work of artistic craftsmanship to apply for a copyright registration to enforce against your competitor? The answer may be YES! Under 17 U.S.C. § … 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

Excuses, Excuses: Saving a Canadian Trade-mark Registration in the Absence of Use

In a recent decision of the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”), the FCA took the rare opportunity to consider an appeal from a section 45 expungement proceeding. In One Group LLC v Gouverneur Inc, the FCA reviewed the Registrar’s decision not to expunge One Group LLC’s (“One Group”) trade-mark registration for STK (the “Mark”) on … Continue Reading

USE IT OR LOSE IT- in Canada

Under the Canadian Trade-marks Act, one can request that the Registrar of Trade-marks commence Section 45 Proceedings to cancel a trademark registration for non-use.  The Act states that the Registrar shall, upon the written request by any person (who pays the prescribed fee) after three years from the date of registration of a trademark, unless … Continue Reading

IP licensing and structuring considerations for Australian registered trade mark owners

The recent Federal Court of Australia decision in Skyy Spririts LLC v Lodestar Anstalt [2015] FCA 509 serves as a reminder that Australian registered trade marks are vulnerable to removal on the basis of non-use if licensing and structuring arrangements are not adequate. Under the Australian Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) a trade mark may, … Continue Reading
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