Category: United States

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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

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

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

Data Privacy and E-Commerce: Considerations for the Food and Beverage Industry

The global food and beverage e-commerce market is expected to grow to $22.4 billion in 2020, possibly reaching $36.4 billion in 2023. That’s up from $14.9 billion in 2019.  Food and beverage e-commerce revenue in the United States alone is projected to exceed $15.2 billion this year and $19 billion by 2022. It’s no surprise … 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

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

Rebranding or launching a new product in the CPG space? Don’t neglect intellectual property

The coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges for those in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space, and beyond. Supply chain disruptions, rapid migration of point-of-sale from brick-and-mortar outlets to online retail, and overall shifts in consumer preference, eating and cooking habits, and personal safety needs has required many CPG companies to reevaluate and reinvent their … 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

The Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Trademark Applications and Registrations

On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice concerning the waiver of certain trademark-related timing deadlines pursuant to Section 12004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act). Powers Created by the CARES Act The CARES Act (which was signed into law by President Trump … 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

Not Only Will We March Again: Committed, Resilient IP Lawyers Marching Still In Time Of COVID

A few weeks back, as remote working and social distancing were becoming the order of the day (and interesting phrase, given what quickly became the norm in many US states and cities, as executive orders abounded), my son tossed a statement in my direction that was both compliment and challenge:  “Isaac Newton developed calculus, among … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and Intellectual Property

Despite the COVID-19 closures and cancellations, some governmental intellectual property offices have not extended deadlines, so parties should remain mindful that protections for individuals and businesses should not be overlooked. Many patent and trademark offices around the world are providing relief for businesses that may have difficulty tending to their intellectual property filings due to other pressing COVID-19-related concerns; some … Continue Reading

Should You Record a Transfer or Document against a Copyright?

Suppose that you have an assignment of a copyright or a security agreement for a copyright.  Are you required to record this assignment or security agreement against the copyright registration?  Should you record this assignment or security agreement with the U.S. Copyright Office?  The answer is YES! In the United States, 37 C.F.R. § 205 … Continue Reading

States Are Proposing Their Own CCPA-Like Privacy Laws

Businesses that have just about come to terms with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may have more privacy rules and regulations to deal with going forward. Legislators in a number of other states across the country have recently proposed their own privacy bills. In many instances, these bills are similar to the CCPA, but … Continue Reading

Selling Your Products on US Online Marketplaces

Before you begin selling your products on a U.S. online marketplace like Amazon, Etsy or Rakuten, there are three intellectual property considerations to make: clearance, acquisition and enforcement. This article provides a summary of all three considerations and includes steps to take to help mitigate risk, decrease instances of infringers and position your product for … Continue Reading
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