Intellectual Property

Recent Posts

Stan Lee Media Sues Disney to Recover Copyrights to Comic Book Characters Spider Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, X-Men, Fantastic Four & Avengers
Posted on 16 Oct 2012 by Travis Burchart

Last week, Stan Lee Media, Inc. (SLMI) sued The Walt Disney Company for copyright infringement. Stan Lee created many of Marvel Comics' most famous characters, including Spider Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The X-Men, The Fantastic... Read More

Copyrights Begin Revolt against Oppressive Patent Tyranny
Posted on 8 Mar 2012 by Travis Burchart

If intellectual property were a sovereign nation, patents might form the capital whereas copyrights might form a province (along with trademarks). The argument for this would be that original works of authorship are subordinate to patents and inventions... Read More

DC Circuit Strikes Constitutional Blow to Copyright Royalty Board
Posted on 10 Jul 2012 by Travis Burchart

Last Friday, the D.C. Circuit determined that the position of the Copyright Royalty Judges (CRJs) violates the Appointments Clause. To remedy the violation, the court invalidated and severed the restrictions on the Librarian of Congress's ability... Read More

UPDATE: Tyson, Tattoos, and the Hangover II: Warner Brothers Punches Back in Round Two of Copyright Lawsuit
Posted on 24 May 2011 by Travis Burchart

Two recent filings in the Mike Tyson tattoo/ Hangover II copyright lawsuit have shed some light on the relevant and novel issues to be addressed. On May 20 th , Warner Brothers filed its motion/memorandum in opposition to tattoo artist, S. Victor... Read More

Pressing “Send” Might Be an Accidental Step in Assigning Your Copyright: 11th Circuit Deems Email a Valid Assignment of Plaintiff’s Music Copyright
Posted on 29 Nov 2011 by Travis Burchart

Warning! Always consider your emails before you send them - what they truly are. If you see them as non-substantive notes on electric paper, bound only by the monitor and without the consequences of tangible print, big mistake! It's best to remember... Read More

When Cartoons Attack: Inspector Gadget Home Inspections Accused of Infringing Cartoon Character’s Trademark
Posted on 29 Mar 2011 by Travis Burchart

Is there a likelihood of confusion between Inspector Gadget, the robotic, bumbling, cartoon detective, and Inspector Gadget Home Inspections, the home, mold and termite inspection service? Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., owner of the cartoon Inspector... Read More

I’d Like to Start a Hunger Games “Book” Club, but I’m Afraid Facebook Might Sue Me for Trademark Infringement
Posted on 26 Mar 2012 by Travis Burchart

Have you read the wonderful "book" The Hunger Games ? OopsI Let me start over. I shouldn't say "book" for fear of trademark infringement. Instead, let me ask: Have you read the arrangement of pages authored by Suzanne Collins... Read More

Fourth Circuit Offers Google Some Unfavorable “Keywords” in Rosetta Stone’s Trademark Appeal
Posted on 9 Apr 2012 by Travis Burchart

Rosetta Stone's trademark/keyword lawsuit against Google was given new life today when the Fourth Circuit vacated in part an order granting Google summary judgment. Rosetta Stone v. Google, Inc ., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7082 (4th Cir. 2012) [ enhanced... Read More

Second Circuit Dismisses Appeal from New York Court’s Decision in Prom Dress Copyright Case
Posted on 18 Oct 2012 by Travis Burchart

As reported by Law360, the Second Circuit last Monday affirmed the dismissal of Jovani Fashion Ltd.'s copyright case against clothing designer Fiesta Fashions . Jovani Fashion, Ltd. v. Fiesta Fashions, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21245 (2d Cir. N.Y.... 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

Fashion Giant American Eagle Seeks to Reign in Cab Company’s Use of Eagle Mark
Posted on 6 Feb 2013 by Travis Burchart

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... Read More

Elementary, My Dear Watson: Author Seeks to Firmly Establish Sherlock Holmes’ Entry into the Public Domain
Posted on 15 Feb 2013 by Travis Burchart

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... 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

Lower Case “i” Stymies Groupion’s Trademark Claim against Groupon
Posted on 22 May 2012 by Travis Burchart

Letters are always getting in the way of social harmony. Remember the Louis Armstrong song, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off: You like potato and I like potahto You like tomato and I like tomahto, Dang letters always causing some kind of... Read More

University Student (a/k/a John Doe No. 26) Challenges IP Address Discovery in Illegal Download/Adult Film Copyright Infringement Case
Posted on 14 Jul 2011 by Travis Burchart

In December, Third Degree Films, an adult film company, filed a California copyright infringement action against Does 1 through 2010. In the complaint, Third Degree accuses each Doe of impermissibly reproducing and distributing at least a substantial... Read More