Counterfeiting & Piracy

Bringing big IP plaintiffs down a peg — or two

Mike Atkins is paying attention to Microsoft’s IP docket, as a Seattle Trademark Lawyer will do. He’s reporting about a default judgment and award the software maker achieved in California, with a rather surprising anticlimax in the dollars-and-cents category: Microsoft sought more than $3 million in statutory damages. However, the court only awarded $12,500 in damages and $2,000 in fees and costs. The court explained its decision by stating: “Plaintiff asks for the maximum enhanced…

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Trademarks: The IP that isn’t IP

I have asked, begged, cajoled and — well, no I haven’t threatened Ed Timberlake; who could do that? — but in any event, he won’t write a guest post on this topic. So I have to rely on this tweet to get the post going: Frankly, a significant part of the problem is that we (who should know better) keep describing things as “IP” that have little or no relation to each other. It’s not... Read more


We wouldn’t that happening to you or to me.  So this week, while I am guest-blogging at Overlawyered, I will probably not have all that much to say that’s new over here. I can, however, recommend some fine, very recent Overlawyered posts that are topical to this blog.  These two are by me: Paulie Unsaturated:  About the silly trademark lawsuit between one Paulie and another Paulie.  One of them is on a TV show.  The... Read more

Benny Goodman website thumbnail

Best of 2012: Sing, sing, sing!

First published August 1, 2012. John Welch suggests the musical question, “How is Section 2(a) false association like 43(c) dilution protection?” Great question.  In other words, are the famous — even dead — different from the rest of us? It came up in the context of this post on the TTABlog: The Board affirmed a Section 2(a) refusal to register the mark BENNY GOODMAN COLLECTION THE FINEST QUALITY (stylized), shown below, for fragrances, cosmetics, leather goods... Read more

Locking it down

Every lawyer who practices in the intellectual property area is asked frequently how to go about protecting a unique or creative idea that someone fears is at risk of being stolen by a prospective investor, partner or advisor to whom early disclosure is necessary. During the dot-com bubble, everyone walked around, it seemed, with an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) ready to be beamed from his Palm. Is an NDA still the answer?  This post is actually... Read more

Update on proposed New York anti-law-blog bill

Today’s New York Law Journal has an article on the proposed new regulations that would destroy the use of the Internet by lawyers, stating that most of the bar groups commenting on them consider them too broad or worse. It makes reference to a magnum opus on the topic by real estate attorney Joshua Stein, whose down to earth site does not necessarily scream, “Latham & Watkins partner” — but that’s what he is. The... Read more

Starting ’em out young

Counterfeit Chic looks at tomorrow’s counterfeiters. Well, that’s how Susan looks at them, anyway. When you’re a carpenter everything looks like a nail, you know? Originally posted 2014-07-14 14:36:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter Read more

The “Fair Use Massacre” (updated)

First, this vintage LOC item: Fred von Lohmann of the EFF calls out YouTube: Fair use has always been at risk on YouTube, thanks to abusive DMCA takedown notices sent by copyright owners (sometimes carelessly, sometimes not). But in the past several weeks, two things have made things much worse for those who want to sing a song, post an a capella tribute, or set machinima to music. First, it appears that more and more... Read more

Celebrity sin

This is good.. Thanks, Greta Lee Jackson! We all learn and grow, amirite? Turns out the celebs behind the #ITakeResponsibility video got it a bit wrong and want to apologise.Let’s hear them out…. — Greta Lee Jackson (@gretaleejackson) June 12, 2020 UPDATE: Birth of a genre: I Take Responsibility — Liberal Larry ? model, travel, fashion vlogger (@larrydaliberal) June 13, 2020 Read more

America’s trademark litigation gravy train – the Bratz / Barbie case is back!

I can’t claim to be keeping close tabs on what’s going on in theBarbie / Bratz trademark litigation. But lookie here: A federal appeals court has ruled that Mattel Inc. doesn’t have to pay $172 million to MGA Entertainment Inc. to settle a trade secrets theft claim over Bratz dolls because a key claim should have been dismissed before trial. The ruling filed Thursday by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest wrinkle... Read more

Best of 2010: Lug me tender

First published on February 24, 2010. Should a law school be tendering seven figures of money to a minor league baseball team for stadium naming rights?  That is certainly a novel question. I tackled the whole concept of branding, memory and stadium names in the context of the Mets’ Citi Field deal a few years ago–but a bank is one thing.  Heck, these guys know how to make record profits just by threatening to go... Read more

Trademark rights in interdigitization

Nick Daly drops me a note to the effect that one Jay-Z, gazillionaire rhyming scatologist, has been sued by a professional perspirer and leaping stage goon called Diamond Dallas Page — ach! my kingdom for a stage name! — for the former’s “Roc-A-Fella Hand Gesture,” also known as the “Diamond Cutter” hand gesture. Evidently Mr. Z uses the former, Mr. Page the latter of these nicknames for the clever manipulation of the human carpal, metacarpal and... Read more