Category Archives: Trademark, Copyright & Advertising Litigation

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Hillary Clinton's IP Litigation Experience

Many people are surprised to learn that Hillary Clinton was an intellectual property attorney when she practiced law from 1977-1992 for the Rose Law Firm.  While the New York Times has reported that former colleagues cannot remember any cases she tried and that court reporters in Little Rock say she appeared in court infrequently, there … Continue reading this entry

Can You Identify Your Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a type of trademark intellectual property right that can protect almost any unique identifying aesthetic design used by a company, from the shape of a product, to the appearance of a website, to the decor of a storefront. Unlike patents, which have an expiration date, trade dress rights can last indefinitely, as … Continue reading this entry

FTC Fails to Prove Green Guides' Meaning of "Biodegradable"

In an Initial Decision announced February 6, 2015, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) held that ECM BioFilms, Inc. d/b/a Enviroplastics International (“ECM”) made false and unsubstantiated claims that plastics made with its additive “would completely biodegrade, including in a landfill, in a time period ranging from 9 … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Orders Cancellation of "REDSKINS" Trademark Registrations

On June 18, 2014, a divided panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) ordered cancellation of six of the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations holding that “Redskins” was a disparaging term when those registrations issued between 1967 and 1990. The registrations will remain in force pending the football team’s … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court Redefines Standing Test for Lanham Act False Advertising Claims

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court clarified the standing requirements for false advertising claims brought under the Lanham Act. In Lexmark Intl., Inc. v. Static Control Components Inc., 572 U.S. ___ (2014), the Court, in a unanimous decision, invalidated various tests used by the courts of appeals when deciding whether a party has standing … Continue reading this entry

Should You Pay to See the Law You Must Obey?

Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet resumed hearings on copyright reform. One of the three topics discussed at the January 14, 2014 hearing was whether model codes and technical standards developed by private standards developing organizations (“SDOs”) and subsequently enacted into federal, state or municipal laws should … Continue reading this entry

DMCA Deadlines May Not Trump Registration Requirement for Copyright Infringement

Before bringing an action for Copyright infringement in Federal Court, a Copyright holder must first register their Copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. See 17 U.S.C. § 411. This is true even though a Copyrighted work is automatically entitled to Copyright protection upon creation. See 17 U.S.C. § 102(a). However, whether registration has occurred for the … Continue reading this entry

Fair Use Revisited - What's Transformative?

Last month, photographer Peter Cariou petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the Second Circuit ruling in Cariou v. Prince, 714 F.3d 694 (2d Cir. 2013), a copyright infringement case, in which the Second Circuit held that twenty five artworks created by the appropriation artist Richard Prince–which incorporated Cariou’s original photographs–were fair use and non-infringing. At center in … Continue reading this entry