University of Arizona Immune to Counterclaims in Ansel Adams Trademark Case

Last week, the 9th Circuit found the University of Arizona immune to counterclaims filed by trademark defendants accused of wrongfully selling prints called "Ansel Adams Lost Negatives." Ansel Adams Publ Rights Trust v. PRS Media Partners, LLC , 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 25896 (9th Cir. Cal. Dec...

A Question of First Impression: Do Federal Courts Have Subpoena Powers to Support Attorney Disqualifications from TTAB Proceedings?

In a case of first impression, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was recently asked to determine whether 35 U.S.C. § 24 provided courts with the power to issue subpoenas in support of petitions to disqualify attorneys from Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) proceedings. Under the facts...

Borrower Avoids Trademark and Cybersquatting Accusations in Bashing Its Lender Online

A Minnesota federal court rejected trademark and cybersquatting claims levied against a borrower that created a website to warn consumers about what it perceived to be a lender's fraudulent business practices. Jalin Realty Capital Advisors v. A Better Wireless , 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2461 (D....

Funkadelic Federal Case Shows that George Clinton Can’t Protect His Priceless Songs from Judgment Creditors

Value doesn't always equate to money. Remember those "Priceless" MasterCard commercials. It would be painful if "priceless" things could be forced out of our lives, say for example, to pay a debt. Imagine if a court ordered you to give up your child's finger paintings...

$185 Million Patent Verdict Holds Up as Supreme Court Refuses to Address Joint-Inventor Question

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to review a patent case that resulted in a $185 million jury verdict for catheter maker, C.R. Bard Inc . W.L. Gore & Assocs. v. C.R. Bard , 2013 U.S. LEXIS 626 (U.S. 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The patent involved prosthetic...

Three-Headed Kardashian Monster Attempts to Gulp Down Cosmetics Trademark

Like the ancient Greek Hydra, the Kardashian sisters are a kind of three-headed monster in the celebrity world. The Greek analogy is relevant because the Kardashian sisters have been accused of some monstrous Greek infringement. A make-up artist recently accused the Kardashian sisters of infringing...

"Bams!" and "Pows!" Continue in DC Comics' Batmobile Infringement Lawsuit

Back in the '60s, Batman, as played by Adam West, starred in a campy television show, complete with Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Cesar Romero as the Joker. The whole thing was made extra campy by the insertion of comic book onomatopoeia (i.e., forming a word by imitating a sound) during...

I Just Learned Tebowing, Now I Have to Start Kaepernicking? Another NFL QB Seeks a Trademark

At the dawn of Tim Tebow mania, so many eons ago, man became infatuated with the art of "Tebowing." Like its predecessors "planking" and "moon walking," Tebowing became a verb that would be with us for generations to come. For those not in the know, Tebowing is the...

University of Texas’ “Hook 'em Horns” to Do Trademark Battle with Heavy Metal’s “Sign of the Horns”

We love our college football, and we love our heavy metal, but the two can't coexist according to the University of Texas (UT) - at least in terms of hand signals. The University of Texas has sued Michael Weir d/b/a Horns Inc., accusing the apparel designer of infringing UT's Hook 'em...

Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent - No End to Their Trademark Battle Over the Color Red?

Red M&Ms, red Crayolas red Porsches - let's hope they never end. But what about the famous red shoe battle between designers Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent? You thought there was an end to that red dispute, right? You might be wrong. As reported by Law360 , the USPTO recently...

YouTube Mom Continues Misrepresentation Fight Against Administrator of Prince’s “Let's Go Crazy" Copyright

A collection of music companies will continue to defend themselves against a mother who was once accused of copyright infringement after she posted a YouTube video of her children dancing to a Prince song. A California federal court refused to grant Universal Music Corporation, Universal Music...

Fashion Giant American Eagle Seeks to Reign in Cab Company’s Use of Eagle Mark

Under federal law , a person can't own an eagle. In fact, a person can't even own the feather from an eagle. Federal law notwithstanding, nothing prevents a person from owning the representation of an eagle, which is what American Eagle, the fashion company, has done. American Eagle owns...

Boxer, Floyd Mayweather, Claims Bar’s Super Bowl Party Ad Violated His Trademark/Right of Publicity

Boxing great, Floyd Mayweather, has sued The Wine Bistro New Orleans, a bar, restaurant and nightclub, accusing the bar of unfair competition, violating his right of publicity and trademark infringement. The Wine Bistro is accused of posting print advertisements as well as a YouTube advertisement...

University of Oklahoma Files Cybersquatting Complaint against Registrant of soonernetwork.com

The University of Oklahoma (OU) is suing Hugh Michael Glenn, who registered the domain name soonernetwork.com and linked it to the image of a longhorn, representing OU's rival the University of Texas. The image also displayed the phrase "Go Longhorns!!!" and stated that the domain...

1998 Web Diary Patents Asserted against Facebook and AddThis

Rembrandt Social Media has sued Facebook and bookmarking service, AddThis, accusing them of infringing patents related to the early creation of a web-based personal diary page. The first patent, filed in 1998 and issued in 2002, claimed a novel technology that gave "ordinary people" ...

New York Pro Bono Files Cyberpiracy Lawsuit to Recover www.lawhelpny.org Domain Name

Pro Bono Net, Inc. is accusing a Vietnamese domain name registrant of cyberpiracy in conjunction with the registration of www.lawhelpny.org. "Internet users are likely to be misled into believing that the website is affiliated with Pro Bono Net's LAWHELP services," the complaint argues...

Dear Parents, We Own Your Child’s Copyrights, Signed – The School Board

A Board of Education in Maryland is attempting to exert ownership over the copyrights of teachers, students and employees. According to Fox News , a proposed draft from Maryland's Prince George County Board would provide the Board with copyright ownership in works "created by employees...

Innovatio IP Ventures Dodges RICO Bullet, Puts WI-FI Users, Coffee Shops and Hotels in Its Patent Infringement Crosshairs

Hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets, and other commercial users of wireless internet - it might be time to take cover. A federal judge recently rejected several legal claims filed by Cisco, Motorola and Netgear, paving the way for the continued enforcement of Innovatio IP Ventures'...

Elementary, My Dear Watson: Author Seeks to Firmly Establish Sherlock Holmes’ Entry into the Public Domain

The world's greatest detective could be yours free of licensing fees as a recent complaint seeks to establish the boundaries of Sherlock Holmes' entry into the public domain. Yesterday, Leslie S. Klinger, the author and editor of multiple Sherlock Holmes' articles and books, filed a...

Do You Consider Hyperlinking to Be Copyright Infringement? The Question Has Come Up in Europe

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has been asked to provide a ruling on how EU copyright law applies to hyperlinks. Late last year, a Swedish court asked the CJEU : If anyone other than the holder of copyright in a certain work supplies a clickable link to the work on his website...

Yankees Win! New York Yankees Successfully Oppose Trademark Registration of Ominous Moniker, “Evil Empire”

Red Sox fans - next time you ridicule the Yankees, you might need to first apply for a trademark license to do so. And worst of all, you'll need to seek that license from your subject of ridicule, the Yankees themselves. The New York Yankees have successfully opposed registration of the trademark...

Infringement of Under Armour’s “I Will” Trademark: Did Nike “Just Do It?”

The story goes that Nike's "JUST DO IT" mark originated from the 1977 execution of murderer, Gary Gilmore. Gilmore, who was executed by a Utah firing squad, offered as his final words, "Let's do it." As told in Jonah Lehrer's book, Imagine: How Creativity Works ,...

Someday, You Might Need a Trademark License to Use Christmas’ Red-Green Color Scheme

Okay, so Christmas' red-green motif isn't actually in jeopardy, but the use of colors (in particular, red and green) as trademarks is becoming a reoccurring legal theme. First, it was red. In the case of Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent , the Second Circuit rejected , as inconsistent...

College Athletes: You Want to Get Paid without Violating NCAA Rules? File a Trademark Lawsuit a la Johnny Manziel

Under NCAA rules, boosters can't pay college athletes, but apparently, the courts can. The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the NCAA has determined that Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, can keep any potential earnings awarded in his recently filed trademark...

NAACP Suing Unofficial Chicago Branch for Trademark Infringement

The NAACP has accused an unofficial Chicago branch of infringing its trademark. In a complaint filed yesterday in the Northern District of Illinois, the NAACP South Side Branch has been accused of trademark infringement, dilution, false advertising, and fraud. "Defendants are engaged in a scheme...