Category: United States

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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

Infringers Beware – The U.S. is Emphasizing Copyright Enforcement

The United States received two major copyright updates in the middle of the pandemic.  Copyright owners should breathe a sigh of relief.  On December 27, 2020, as part of the major COVID-19 Relief bill, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (the “CASE Act”) and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 (the … Continue Reading

Can U.S. Trademark Registrations Be Cancelled for Non-Use?

Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business.  What if you file a federal trademark application and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refuses registration of the trademark based on a likelihood of confusion with another trademark registration?  Can you cancel the cited trademark … Continue Reading

Don’t Smile at the Camera – New Biometric Data Laws

Biometric data is seen as a preferred means of identification by many businesses. Unlocking a smartphone using facial recognition and other biometric identifiers, for example, gives users the feeling as if they are more protected (e.g., less risk of identity theft). However, similar to the boom in privacy developments and legislation related to the collection … Continue Reading

The King Is Dead! Long Live The King!: Elvis Sightings, Taking Care of Business, And Rights Of Post-Mortem Publicity

…Never let me go… I’ll be yours through all the years, till the end of time. [Love Me Tender, performed by Elvis Presley] Elvis sightings have had a long, storied life of their own since the King of Rock-and-Roll’s “death” was reported (or perhaps exaggerated (though neither greatly nor grossly)), in 1977.  Indeed, since 1977, … Continue Reading

Can Trademarks having Domain Indicators Like “Dot Com” be Registered?

Suppose that you want to federally register a trademark that has a domain indicator like “.com” at the end that identifies a source of goods or services related to your business.  The trademark may have a first part that is generic like “automobile” and a second part that is a domain indicator like “.com”.  Should … Continue Reading

Protecting Your IP: Social Media Dos and Don’ts

Social media continues to offer an invaluable platform for natural products brands to engage and expand their customer base. In these times, consumers are using social media more and more—particularly on their mobile devices—to stay informed, explore new products, and shop. This rapt audience allows brands to provide authentic and of-the-moment communications to their customers, … Continue Reading

Black Lives Matter Movement Sparks Branding Changes

The tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery this year, among others, have reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement, resulting in powerful nationwide conversations about racial injustice in the United States, with far-reaching ripple effects. Businesses across industries — such as sports, entertainment, consumer products and higher education — have reevaluated certain … Continue Reading
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