Tag: intellectual property

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

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

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

Food Fight and Road TRIPS!!!!!: Treaties And Product Names Getting Messy

Two words, uttered in a certain tone and with a certain speed, are apt to suggest a bit of wastefulness, a touch of anarchy, and yet a sense of communal participation.  Those two words, from Faber College of lore to present discussions of law: Food Fight!!!!!.  And, we see the long smoldering discussions of geographical … 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

New Fee Proposal for Trademarks in Canada

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has published a Fee-for-service proposal (the Proposal), seeking public input by July 5, 2016.  The Canadian government significantly amended the Trade-marks Act (the Act) in 2014, in order for Canada to accede to the Singapore Treaty, the Nice Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. Those amendments have not yet come into force, however, pending the adoption of new Regulations on … 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

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

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

Expanding Reach of the Copyright Fair Use Defense

Fair use allows for the unauthorized copying of a copyrighted work in limited circumstances. Historically, examples of fair use have included copying for the purposes of criticism, comment, parody, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Now the application of the fair use defense applies far beyond this. Two court decisions in 2015 illustrate the expanding … Continue Reading

TTAB Proposes First Major Set Of Rule Amendments Since 2007

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hears applicant appeals from the final decisions of trademark examiners, and oppositions to trademark applications, concurrent use proceedings, and cancellation proceedings against trademark registrations.  The proceedings are held on a paper record with oral arguments by counsel.  Matters before the … Continue Reading

WITHOUT PATENT PROTECTION, CAN YOU PROTECT THE DESIGN OF A PRODUCT IN THE UNITED STATES?

Suppose that you have a unique design for your product but no patent protection in the United States?  Can you protect your product design to prevent a competitor from producing the same or similar design?  Is there anything you can do? Let’s say you created a unique design for a product such as a smart … Continue Reading

Canada’s Federal Court Provides Welcome Guidance on Geographically Descriptive Trademarks

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) has recently had the opportunity to clarify the test for  registrability of geographically descriptive trademarks in two separate decisions. The most recent of these is the decision in MC Imports Inc. v. AFOD Ltd., 2016 FCA 60.  In the proceedings underlying the appeal, MC Imports Inc. … 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

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

How TPA May Fast Track TPP Impact On IP

Late June 2015 saw much of Washington DC focused on whether Congress would give President Obama “TPA,” the so-called fast track trade promotion authority, that would allow concluding negotiations on the “TPP,” the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that could have widespread international implications for IP, or intellectual property.  The measure passed, ultimately, by one … Continue Reading

Management of IP in Commercial Contracts in Australia

All businesses have valuable intellectual property, not just “tech” focused businesses such as software developers or pharmaceutical companies.  However advisers may need to translate for their clients what they mean in practical terms when they use the words “intellectual property”, in order for clients to appreciate its value and take steps to protect it.  For … Continue Reading
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