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Full Of Sound And Query, Signifying Something: Recent Noise Over Acoustic Trademarks

Leo the Lion has been the most regular star of MGM Pictures since it was founded on this day in 1924, and his roar is probably the sound most commonly associated with the studio. –Kat Eschner, The Story of Hollywood’s Most Famous Lion (2017)   There’s no roar quite like a Nittany Lion’s! –Penn State Football … Continue Reading

Just Humor Them: Jests, Jokes, Satire, and Parody In Infringement and Defamation Cases

Legend has it that shortly after Adam was created, he complained: ‘O, Lord! you have given the lion fierce teeth and claws, and the elephant formidable tusks; you have given the deer swiftness of legs, and the turtle a protective shell; you have given the birds of flight wings, but you have left me altogether … Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement before the Copyright Claims Board?

Suppose you have not registered your copyright in a book with the U.S. Copyright Office until someone has infringed your copyright by copying substantial portions of your book. Let’s also suppose you can prove that the alleged infringer has infringed your work and you can prove that the infringement caused you lost sales, lost opportunities … Continue Reading

How the New 2022 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract Affects Performers and Advertisers

A new collective bargaining agreement governing the use of SAG-AFTRA (the Union) performers in commercials has been reached between the Union and the Joint Policy Committee (JPC). The new 2022 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract (the 2022 Contract), which is retroactively effective to April 1, 2022, appears to offer certain benefits to advertiser and agency signatories of … Continue Reading

A PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST AS A YOUNG…CODE(R)?: Why Understanding Artificial Intelligence & Real Creativity Shouldn’t Make The Artist A Dunsel

Art, said Stephen, is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end.” ― James Joyce, A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, Chapter V   [T]he application…identified the author of the Work as the ‘Creativity Machine,’ and noted it was ‘Created autonomously by machine.’ —Complaint, paragraph 17 in Thaler … Continue Reading

Why Creators Need to Pay Close Attention to the SCOTUS Andy Warhol Infringement Case

The US Supreme Court in March decided it will revisit a dispute over pop artist Andy Warhol’s images of Prince. In taking up the case, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, the Court aims to more clearly define the scope of what’s known as “fair use” in US copyright law. The … Continue Reading

Can a Copyright Registration be Invalidated based on Mistakes in the Copyright Application?

Suppose that you want to register your copyright by preparing and filing a copyright application with the U.S. Copyright Office. What if you were unaware that you made some mistakes in the copyright application and the copyright application issued into a copyright registration? You subsequently find that someone is infringing your copyright registration and you … Continue Reading

Don’t Be Bamboozled by Environmental Benefit Claims

$5.5 Million FTC Settlements for Bamboo Textile and Environmental Benefit Claims Under Penalty Offense Authority The FTC recently announced that it has reached a $2.5 million settlement with Kohl’s and a $3 million settlement with Walmart for allegedly making misleading representations that textile products were made of bamboo fabric and provided environmental benefits because those products were derived from … Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning: Decluttering From Recent Intellectual Property Detritus & Dusting Off Old Posts

Our favorite thing about spring [is] spring cleaning. It’s a way to say, “I’m dusting off the winter blues and coming out of hibernation.”… At the office, spring cleaning can take on a whole new meaning. It is a chance to reorganize and refresh your workspace and your workflow. Plus, organizing will actually improve your overall focus and … Continue Reading

What To Consider When Launching a Cause Marketing Campaign

The war in Ukraine has led to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II; more than 3 1/2 million civilians have already been displaced, and some observers expect the number to reach five million as the war continues to unfold. There has been an outpouring of concerned citizens the world over who are hoping … Continue Reading

Parties to exploratory agreements beware: Contractual restrictions on IPR patent challenges are enforceable!

On February 8, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit determined that certain restrictions on the ability to challenge the validity of patents are enforceable. Without such restrictions, companies that are being targeted by patent owners do not have any restrictions on the various methods of how they can challenge the patents … Continue Reading

Outcome of Hermes Claim Against MetaBirkin NFT May Provide Glimpse of Future for Fashion, Art in Metaverse

Hermes recently sued a digital artist for knocking off its Birkin handbag through the issuance of MetaBirkin non-fungible tokens (“NFT”). For those not aware of the filing or related media attention, the artist created fuzzy images of the Hermes Birkin handbag and minted them as NFTs. NFTs are digital records of data stored on a … Continue Reading

Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather Sued Over Cryptocurrency Promotions

Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather were sued in a class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on January 7, 2022, over their promotion of the cryptocurrency token EthereumMax (EMAX). The celebrities were named as co-defendants with the creators of the cryptocurrency, and are alleged to have helped bilk … Continue Reading

“What’s Mine Is Not Yours To Give Me”—Nor To Take Without Just Compensation: A New Jersey Reaction To Sovereign Immunity, Intellectual Property, & Takings

I have to give it to creative, resilient lawyers (and in fact, I have lauded them in the past here and there).  When the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Allen v. Cooper, 140 S.Ct. 994 (2020), a decision holding that the sovereign immunity of individual states prevented a copyright holder from recovering … Continue Reading

Damages for Copyright Infringement before You Register Your Copyright

Let’s suppose that you have not registered your copyright in a book with the U.S. Copyright Office and you find someone has infringed your copyright by copying substantial portions of your book.  Let’s also suppose you are able to prove that the alleged infringer has infringed your work and you have notified the alleged infringer … Continue Reading

THE PARASKAVEDEKATRIAPHOBIA PRECEDENT: Why Friday The 13th Decision Raises Fear Of Slashing Long-Held Copyrights

Admittedly, the second word in that title is a mouthful—but Paraskavedekatriaphobia is a real word, with an etymology and definition.  It even has a synonym, friggatriskaidekaphobia.  Each means “fear of Friday the 13th.”    Though I am tempted to write this October piece about Halloween (whether it is the day or the movies by that name, … Continue Reading

Can You Register a Copyright on a Website or Web Page?

Suppose that you have expressed your idea into a tangible form such as a website or web page.  Although your copyright exists upon the moment of creation, do you have a valid copyright on the website or web page?  Should you register your copyright on the website or web page with the U.S. Copyright Office?  … Continue Reading

Software Patents: When is enough enough?

Software Patents: When is enough enough?[1] Developing a Disclosure for Software Patents: Discuss with the inventor the technological underpinnings of the novel functional aspects of the software and how those technological considerations support that function. Discuss with the inventor details that link the novel functional aspects of the software description to those technological underpinnings. Ask … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Finds Google’s Copying of Oracle’s APIs a Fair Use

A recent Supreme Court decision has finally put an end to the longstanding fight between Oracle and Google concerning Google’s use of Oracle’s copyrighted Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The Supreme Court’s decision held that, contrary to the decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals which was discussed in our previous alert, Google’s use … Continue Reading

WHAT, IN THE NAME OF GOD, …?: Intellectual Property Rights In Holy Names, Sacred Words, & Other Aspects of Creation

The title of this piece tracks a common “phrase of exasperation used to emphasize a question or statement.”  If that be the case, and I think it is, then the subtitle implies the question this piece will address.  That question is “how have various countries’ intellectual property laws addressed efforts to copyright, trademark, or patent … Continue Reading

Can Patent Claims be Held Indefinite for Failing to Disclose an Algorithm?

Suppose that you want to obtain a patent for an invention and, in your claims of the patent application, you recite terms as a structure with functional language or means-plus-function language.  What if this language requires an algorithm to carry out the function and you fail to disclose the algorithm in your patent application?  Can … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrows Definition of Autodialer in Facebook Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court released its eagerly anticipated decision in Facebook Inc. v. Duguid yesterday, narrowly construing the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system, or autodialer, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and resolving the uncertainty that had led to a long-standing split in the circuit courts. Autodialer Definition and Interpretations A circuit split regarding … Continue Reading

Entitled To Copyright Erasure?: A Fair Use Search For A Derived Yet Transformational Work

The title is the first thing the reader sees or hears …—and getting it right is the single most important … decision you’ll make. The title forms the basis of the reader’s judgment ….” Tucker Max For those of you who may read my past ILN posts, you will not be surprised that I subscribe … Continue Reading
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