Intellectual Property

Recent Posts

Infringement of Under Armour’s “I Will” Trademark: Did Nike “Just Do It?”
Posted on 25 Feb 2013 by Travis Burchart

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... Read More

Rug Design Accused of Infringing Angela Adams’ Design Copyright; Rounded-Square Design Allegedly Dates Back Thousands of Years and/or to the Mid-20th Century
Posted on 10 Jun 2011 by Travis Burchart

On June 7 th , Angela Adams, LLC filed a copyright action against Target, Wal-Mart, and Mohawk Industries, accusing them of copyright infringement involving rug designs. The federal complaint, filed in Maine, alleges that Mohawk is manufacturing and... Read More

Copyright Trappings of New Media: Megamind Infringement Complaint References Facebook, Blogs and Filmmaker's Commentary in Alleging Accessibility and Copying
Posted on 20 May 2011 by Travis Burchart

Plaintiff Rogue Satellite Comics recently sued DreamWorks Animation for copyright infringement. Rogue owns the copyright to a comic character named "Kingfish" (© 1996). In its complaint, Rogue alleges that the Kingfish character was... Read More

Michael Jordan Takes Congratulatory Smack-Down to Seventh Circuit after Right of Publicity Claim Fails
Posted on 26 Apr 2012 by Travis Burchart

When somebody talks you up, what's the best way to thank them? Offer them a bouquet of flowers? Send them a card? Take them to court? The third option - a warm "thank you" via complaint - isn't as unlikely as you might suspect.... Read More

Are Universities Super-Sizing Copyright Infringement? Authors Guild Makes the Case in Suing HathiTrust/Universities for Google-Aided Digitization of Library Collections
Posted on 14 Sep 2011 by Travis Burchart

According to a recent complaint filed by the Authors Guild, several Universities and the HathiTrust are engaging in "...one of the largest copyright infringements in history." The lawsuit concerns Google's on-going digitization of university... Read More

Oprah “Owns Fair Use” in Trademark Lawsuit Involving O Magazine and Headline Phrase "Own Your Power"
Posted on 29 Mar 2012 by Travis Burchart

On March 6 th , the Southern District of New York dismissed a trademark lawsuit filed against Oprah Winfrey, holding that Oprah's use of the phrase "Own Your Power" did not infringe plaintiff's trademark. The court held that Oprah's... Read More

Prisoner’s Right to Copyright Protection Not Impeded by Restriction against Prisoner’s Business Activity: Jerry v. Beard, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 5861 (3d Cir. 3/22/11)
Posted on 8 Apr 2011 by Travis Burchart

Prisoners have a legal right to register their copyrights with the Library of Congress, according to a recent decision from the Third Circuit. Bernard Carter Jerry-El (Jerry), a prisoner in Pennsylvania, intended to submit his book to the Library of... Read More

Is Old Navy Actively Pursuing Trademark Infringement? Skateboard/Snowboard Clothier Believes So
Posted on 19 Apr 2012 by Travis Burchart

Active Sports Lifestyle USA, a manufacturer of active wear for extreme athletes/riders, recently filed a trademark infringement action against Old Navy. Old Navy is accused of infringing the "Active" trademark, which includes Active's... Read More

More Legal Troubles for the NFL; Retired Player Files Class Action to Protect Retirees’ Images
Posted on 13 Jul 2011 by Travis Burchart

UPDATE: On July 13 th , ex-Green Bay Packer, Darrell Thompson, filed a similar class action lawsuit in the District of Minnesota. View or download the complaint filed in Thompson v. NFL, 11-01900 (D. Minn. 07-13-11) . Sports Illustrated called... Read More

Another Battle Brewing for the Buckeyes. This Time, It’s Not Ohio State Football – It’s Ohio State Intellectual Property
Posted on 3 Jun 2011 by Travis Burchart

The Ohio State University licenses and markets many items using the trademarks "scarlet and gray," "Buckeye(s)," "Brutus Buckeye," the Block O with or without Buckeye Leaves, "Go Bucks," and the "Buckeye... Read More

Sky Appears to Be Falling on Higher Education Copyright Policies
Posted on 23 Feb 2012 by Travis Burchart

I'm designating myself the Chicken Little of academic copyrights. Last week, I wrote about the lecture note monkeyshines at UC Berkley , where students are restricted from note sharing because of instructor copyrights. This week, I look up and... Read More

To Subtitle, or Not to Subtitle: That Is the Copyright Question - District Court Holds that Subtitle-Elective Russian DVDs Do Not Infringe Russian-Language-Only DVDs
Posted on 8 Apr 2011 by Travis Burchart

The licensed distribution of Russian DVDs without a subtitle "shut off" did not infringe a separate copyright license to distribute Russian-language-only DVDs, according to a recent decision from the Eastern District of New York. In Russian... Read More

Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent - No End to Their Trademark Battle Over the Color Red?
Posted on 30 Jan 2013 by Travis Burchart

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... Read More

Is Your Favorite Talent Competition a Product of Infringement? Recent Pro Se Complaint Claims Creation of American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and America’s Got Talent
Posted on 1 Aug 2011 by Travis Burchart

It's one for the ages. Could television's greatest talent competitions all be the product of infringement? One man asserts they are. In July, Australian Paul Thayil filed a pro se complaint in the Southern District of New York, accusing... Read More

A Strange Trademark Menu: Hamburgers, Chick-fil-A and Bo Jackson
Posted on 4 Aug 2011 by Travis Burchart

Last week, N'Genuity Enterprises sued Chick-fil-A for trademark infringement. The oddities (I mean "facts") of the case involve ex-professional athlete Bo Jackson, the "Bo Burger," and the talking cow from the Chick-fil-A commercials... Read More