Category: Case Studies

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Out Of Character: Jersey Boys, Detective Stories, & The Case Of Space-Traveling Tardigrades

At heart, and still, I am a non-singing Jersey Boy, and one who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories and watching Star Trek, the Original Series (before it even needed that modifier), in reruns in the 1970s while also keeping up with the real Rocky.  And, I have been writing for ILN IP Insider for … Continue Reading

TRADEMARK USE: NO NEED FOR A “BRICKS AND MORTAR” PRESENCE IN CANADA

“Use it or lose it” is a staple expression known to Canadian trademark lawyers. Once a business successfully registers a trademark in Canada, it must “use” its registered mark in Canada or it may lose the protections provided by the Trademarks Act (the “Act“). With the advent of e-commerce, many non-Canadian businesses can now advertise their services … Continue Reading

Can You Register a Copyright on a Short Work of Words and Artistic Designs?

Suppose that you have expressed your work into a tangible form such as a short expression of words and artistic designs.  Although your copyright exists upon the moment of creation, does the work contain a sufficient amount of authorship on which to base a claim for a copyright registration?  Should you register the copyright on … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules That Willfulness Is Not Required to Recover Profits

The U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split on April 23, 2020, by unanimously holding in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., et al. that a brand owner is not required to prove that a trademark infringer acted willfully in order for the owner to be awarded the infringer’s profits. Background Romag Fasteners, Inc. … Continue Reading

GENERIC.COM — REGISTRABLE IN CANADA?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently confirmed that a “generic.com” term may be eligible for federal trademark registration in the U.S., in certain circumstances. We will review the relevant decisions, discuss the Canadian legal framework with respect to registration of such mark and consider the implications of seeking registration of a “generic.com” or a “generic.ca” mark … Continue Reading

BUSINESSES BEWARE: DEPRECIATION IN GOODWILL CLAIMS NOT BOUND BY INDUSTRY LINES

The Federal Court of Canada (the “FCTD“) recently released Toys “R” Us (Canada) Ltd v Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society, in which it considered whether a cannabis company, Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society (“Herbs R Us“), had breached Sections 20, 7(b) and 22 of Canada’s Trademarks Act (the “Act“) with respect to claims of trademark … Continue Reading

Queen Anne’s Revenge, Indeed!: Copyright Conundrums, Sovereign States, and IP Piracy

“One man’s legally sanctioned privateer is another man’s pirate.”           [James Wadsworth, Global Piracy: A Documentary History of Seaborne Banditry (2019), at p. 8] We live in a time of contradictions and confusion, and today we aim to explore how some such tensions have manifested themselves in the area of intellectual property law. On the one … Continue Reading

Can Lawsuits under Breach of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Clauses Be Suspended Through Preliminary Injunction?

When civil disputes arise, in addition to seeking binding judgment through civil proceedings, parties can resolve the disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms such as arbitration, settlement, and mediation.  To avoid the complexities of possible future litigation and expedite dispute resolution, parties to an agreement commonly include an “ADR clause” in their agreement such … Continue Reading

THE FEDERAL COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS CANADA’S ANTI-SPAM LEGISLATION AS CONSTITUTIONAL

On June 5, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA“) released its decision in 3510395 Canada Inc. v. Attorney General of Canada et al., 2020 FCA 103, in which it upheld the constitutionality of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (“CASL“). CASL is the federal law which regulates the way in which businesses may communicate with consumers using electronic means. The … Continue Reading

Can Patent Claims be Cancelled Based on Indefiniteness by the PTAB during an IPR?

For the Patent and Trail Appeal Board (“PTAB”), the PTAB allows a petition for inter parties review (“IPR”) to request cancellation of claims in a U.S. patent.  For an inter parties review of a patent, the PTAB institutes review and determines if claims of a patent are unpatentable.  Can the PTAB cancel claims based on … Continue Reading

A Recipe for Patent Protection: Are food products patentable?

In the past several years, the food and beverage space has seen an explosion of innovation—alternative meat products, plant-based dairy and protein alternatives, CBD- and collagen-infused everything, and functional foods and beverages and containing everything from pre/pro/post-biotics to nootropic and adaptogenic herbs, just to name a few. And many of these innovations have led to … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court – Willfulness Is Not a Prerequisite for a Profit Award for Trademark Infringement

In its unanimous April 23, 2020 opinion in Romag Fasteners v. Fossil, Inc., the Supreme Court made clear once and for all that a successful trademark plaintiff is not required to establish that the defendant’s infringement was willful to be entitled to an award of the infringer’s profits. In other words, profits may be disgorged … Continue Reading

Compulsory Licensing in Russia in the view of COVID-19

Nowadays the sphere of healthcare is becoming one of the mostly discussed because of a mass spread of the coronavirus pandemic (also COVID-19). Confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world have passed more than a 2.4 million. As the disease is continuing to surge the World Health Organization is warning that there are no specific … Continue Reading

In Determination of Trademark Parody Fair Use, Culture Differences and the Products Used Should be Considered

Generally speaking, “trademark parody fair use” is a defense where an unauthorized trademark user claims that the use should be shielded from liability because of public interests such as freedom of speech.  In Taiwan, while there were court judgments that recognized “trademark parody fair use”, there is no clear language for such defense in the … Continue Reading

Facebook and Twitter fined for violation of requirements for the personal data localization

At the end of 2019, Federal Law No. 405-FZ1 entered into force. This act has significantly increased administrative liability for violations of the requirements on the localization of databases containing personal data of Russian nationals. We already wrote about this amendment earlier. The new provisions have significantly increased the amount of fines for violation of requirements for … Continue Reading

Reviving a brand? A reminder to ensure it is put to genuine use

The case of Aiwa Co. Ltd v Aiwa Corporation is a useful reminder to brand owners, particularly those who are looking to revive a brand, of what amounts to “genuine use” of a registered trade mark. The case particularly considers whether the sale of second-hand goods by third parties in the UK can constitute genuine use of … Continue Reading

Collective management of music authors’ rights in Greece: Recent developments in a long-suffering field

The field of collective management of music authors’ rights in Greece is currently experiencing a series of ongoing developments regarding the establishment and operation of collecting societies representing music authors in the country, with the situation still remaining uncertain as to how the landscape will look like in a few months’ time. It is noted … Continue Reading

Can Appointment of Administrative Patent Judges be Unconstitutional?

For the Patent and Trial Appeal Board (“PTAB”), the Administrative Patent Judges (“APJs”) are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  For an inter parties review of a patent, three APJs conduct the instituted review and determine if claims of a patent are … Continue Reading

“Pirate Ships in Dangerous Waters!”

A recent decision of the Three-Member Court of Appeals of Komotini (Felonies Department), dated 19/11/2019, has been intensely debated by the national media as resulting to the first “real” prison sentence that has ever been imposed in our country to a website owner for illegally distributing copyright-protected content.  Although the judgement has not been published … Continue Reading

Joint authorship of copyright: UK Court of Appeal tears up the script

A dispute concerning the screenplay for the 2016 Hollywood biographical comedy “Florence Foster Jenkins” (FFJ) – a film about a tone-deaf New York socialite who labours under the delusion that she is a talented opera singer – has this month produced a Court of Appeal decision centering on the parties’ own adjustment to reality. Apart … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Settles Circuit Split on When a Plaintiff May Sue

The Supreme Court handed down a unanimous copyright decision in March 2019 with implications for anyone involved in a copyright dispute, as well as for marketers and brands that create and use copyrighted materials. In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporationv. Wall Street.com, LLC (Fourth Estate), the Court resolved a long-standing split among the circuits over the requirement … Continue Reading

Th-Inking About The Law: Tattoos Leaving Indelible Marks On Black-Letter Principles & Coloring Our Perspectives

Tattoos, one of the oldest art forms in the world, are all over the legal news in recent years.  The news runs the gamut from a tattooist suing a movie studio over replication of Mike Tyson’s facial tattoo in The Hangover II to artists looking to gaming companies for compensation for reproduction of tattoos appearing … Continue Reading

Stop the Insanity! Sports Trademarks Run Amok

Sports and sports teams have a long history with intellectual property law and, more specifically, trademarks.  Sports teams, colleges, and universities have long trademarked their names and logos, and have routinely and aggressively enforced those rights.  In 1988 Pat Riley, then the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, applied for a … Continue Reading
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