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Update on Lady Voldemort

Originally posted 2011-09-09 10:52:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

We first wrote about her lawsuit against a fansite operator here. Sam Bayard has the latest. 


Twelve commandments?

Originally posted 2007-05-08 11:37:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Something — someone? — called Aviva Directory, or Directory Aviva, has posted an article called “12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know.”

It’s quite good. Hat tip to Walter Olson.

Eat your words

Originally posted 2007-10-23 00:07:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Or, rather, someone else — who can really use a meal — will.

Piggy Lady Rowling

Originally posted 2007-11-01 17:01:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Dudley_eatingBill Patry is on the mark regarding the Harry Potter magnate’s lawsuit against Steve Vander Ark, a fellow who dared publish a print version of a popular Harry Potter compendium. First, a quote from Rowling, the Patry’s commentary:

I hope one day to write the definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia, which will include all the material that never made it into the novels, and …I will give the royalties from this book to charity. I cannot, therefore, approve of ‘companion books’ or ‘encyclopedias’ that seek to preempt my definitive Potter reference book for their authors’ own personal gain.

She doesn’t add, no doubt because it is not the case, that the profits will go to charity, only her royalties. Such a shame, such a misguided monopolistic effort to wring every nickel possible out of a franchise that has brought untold wealth to Ms. Rowling and her licensees. Does she really think that any fan would not buy her Lexicon even if they already had Mr. Vander Ark’s?

Patry then analyzes one entry, about the accio spell, and concludes, “I haven’t spent a lot of time on the site and so don’t know if there is other material that might be infringing, but I don’t see how a list of spells with this type of commentary is anything other than fair use.”

Me, neither. Writes a good children’s book, but in the penumbras and emanations she’s quite the moral poseur, is Lady Rowling. I wonder what “house” of Hogwarts she belongs in?

The trendiest of trends

Originally posted 2011-05-05 17:33:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

View from Mt. Holyoke - Thomas Cole“Green trademarks” that is. Green-themed, green-related, green to go, green for action! Well, trends aren’t just for marketers — you can find them in the media too. First, Susan Scafidi — trend-tracker extraordinaire, and, as you will see, a trend-maker too. This was on her awesomely chic blog but refers to an interview she did that was published in a Milwaukee newspaper on April 21st:

Eco-friendly fashion has escaped the confines of shapeless, formless, colorless sack dresses and ugly earth sandals to become a major fashion trend, with cutting-edge retailers like Barney’s New York shouting, “Don’t Panic! It’s Organic!” and celebrities adding their names to labels that promise sustainable, recycled, natural, biodegradable, cruelty-free, fair trade fashion fixes. With the text on some hang tags longer than an editorial in an alternative weekly and the British Advertising Standards Authority cracking down on unsustainable claims regarding “sustainable” cotton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Lori Price asked your favorite law prof whether U.S. law offers any specific regulations regarding green clothing claims.

That should just about do it right there! But nope. Two days later, here’s the big trademark story on Ad Age:

Getting ready well in advance for today’s Earth Day events, marketers bombarded the Patent and Trademark Office last year for green-themed marks, leading to a 10% spike in trademark filings over 2006, according to a report released by the law firm Dechert.

According to the annual report “Trends in Trademarks,” filings for new trademarks last year topped 300,000, setting a record buoyed by interest in environmentalism. The previous record was 289,000 filings, set in 2000 during the internet boom.

Now that’s a trend!  Articles about eco-trademarks.

Now… “an interest in environmentalism,” eh? Let me suggest an inconvenient truth: Trademarks are about gelt. That’s what the article quoting Susan is about — the fact that there is (gasp!) no regulation over claims of “greenness” made on the stuff people sell you. As Susan says:

“The law hasn’t caught up with eco or organic, so frankly, it’s still easy to be green,” said Susan Scafidi, a visiting professor at Fordham Law School, who teaches fashion law. “So long as you are not defrauding the consumer, you can say anything, and so long as no one complains, you can do anything.”

Actually, it sounds like the law has caught up pretty well, no? At least until some legislator or interest group finds a way to catch up with it and… “buoy” some governmental “interest.”

Lawyers.com: No cigar

Originally posted 2007-04-13 12:06:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

lawyers_com_logoMartindale Hubbell law directory loses its Circuit Court appeal of the denial of a trademark registration for LAWYERS.COM, the trademark that’s too good to be a trademark.

Not like LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION. Now, there‘s a trademark.

UPDATE:  Want to put in a bid on Patents.com?

War Is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

Originally posted 2014-11-26 12:58:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

And free speech is a form of negotiable intellectual property, right?

Maybe I can give up the blog. There is no percentage in clever commentary when the claimants provide the self-parody.  Credit to Instapundit.

Ain’t she chic

Originally posted 2014-08-11 18:52:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Counterfeit Chic, that is, with another knockout Knockoff News!

The Nutty Ninth

Originally posted 2007-12-21 11:32:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Michael Atkins:

The Ninth Circuit yesterday addressed the question: “whether an award of statutory damages for trademark counterfeiting under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c) precludes an award of attorney’s fees under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(b).” Reversing the Central District of California in the case of K and N Engineering, Inc. v. Bulat, the Ninth Circuit found that it does. . . .

This seems like a strange result. Injured trademark owners opt for statutory damages because counterfeiters don’t keep records needed for the injured owners to prove damages or the counterfeiters’ profits. If a counterfeiter keeps good records, Section 1117(b) generally enables the injured trademark owner to obtain a judgment for “three times such profits or damages, whichever is greater, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee….” But if a counterfeiter doesn’t keep good records, the injured owner only gets statutory damages? I suppose the statute says what it says, but from a policy standpoint, this conclusion makes no sense.

Michael is right on. This ridiculous holding is contrary to many cases, including one I was involved in, Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Veit. What are these guys thinking?!

UPDATE:  For what they’re thinking, read the insightful comments below from Ryan Fountain, the successful attorney for the appellants.

IP piggies

Originally posted 2015-06-12 09:15:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Ars Technica:

Not content with the current (and already massive) statutory damages allowed under copyright law, the RIAA is pushing to expand the provision. The issue is compilations, which now are treated as a single work. In the RIAA’s perfect world, each copied track would count as a separate act of infringement, meaning that a copying a ten-song CD evenpig_2_md.gif one time could end up costing a defendant $1.5 million if done willfully. Sound fair? Proportional? Necessary? Not really, but that doesn’t mean it won’t become law.

The change to statutory damages is contained in the PRO-IP Act that is currently up for consideration in Congress. We’ve reported on the bill before, noting that Google’s top copyright lawyer (and the man who wrote a seven-volume treatise on the subject of copyright law), William Patry, called the bill the most “outrageously gluttonous IP bill ever introduced in the US.”

Out. Of. Control.

Should we be doing something?