My Periscope with Adam Townsend

?LIVE: Discussing social media, the suppression of dissent and legal asymmetrical warfare with lawyer @RonColeman Please join us now and please ask questions ? — Adam Townsend (@adamscrabble) September 3, 2020 Originally posted 2020-09-02 22:21:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter Read more

“Stealth marketing” and IP

Eric Goldman writes about the regulation of “Stealth” Marketing, which I talked about in its application to blogs both here, in my dismissal of the blogola non-scandal a couple of years back, and here, where I decried the FTC’s involvement in monitoring Pay Per Post (“PPP”) blog placements. Originally posted 2013-03-05 17:36:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter Read more

Patent reform

I joke about patents here, but it’s from love, believe me. If you have anything to do with intellectual property law, however, you are likely to get buttonholed by someone who wants your opinion about “the new patent law.” So if you have to read just one opinion about it — and I can’t imagine reading more than one for free — naturally it should be Dennis Crouch’s. Originally posted 2010-02-23 23:59:25. Republished by Blog... Read more

Occupying trademark

So eventually all the “big trademark stories” catch up to you, even if you try to avoid them as you would try to avoid … certain assemblies of people in certain locations. Paul Elias of the Associated Press asked me what I thought about the OCCUPY WALL STREET trademark application, and that turned into this story in the Washington Post: [Wylie] Stecklow, the attorney for the protesters, says he believed his clients will prevail because... Read more

The return of the scandalous mark denial?

Perhaps the “immoral and scandalous” rule is nothing to sniff at, after all. The Times asks: Will the COCAINE tradememark take a powder? I don’t know, but you have to just love the Cocaine pusher himself, Jamey Kirby, who strikes one as a thoughtful, public-spirited type: Opinions differed on whether the probable loss of the federal trademark would affect Redux’s business. Jamey Kirby, the owner of Redux and inventor of the drink, has until April... Read more

Best of 2011: The entrepreneurship of trademark bullying

Originally posted January 12, 2011. I figured I must have written somewhere about that PTO trademark bullying thing — or if I didn’t, I am sure I linked to someone who did — well, I thought I did. But finally, I really did.  And I was reminded of it when I read a press release including this interesting comment from one Scott Smith.  It also links to this article about Entrepreneur magazine’s own trademark adventures... Read more

College Belushi

Trademark colors bleed

BrandWeek reports that universities are having success suing companies that make fan paraphernalia that don’t actually use team trademarks but do use slogans, colors and other devices that conjure up the trademarks: The schools successfully argued that, while they technically own trademarks only for their names and their commonly used initials, they’ve nonetheless each spent millions of dollars over the past years marketing items with their colors. This is not as sickening a development as... Read more

"Identity" is "Not Authored, Not Fixed"; God Mulls Appeal

Dennis Crouch reports on a Seventh Circuit opinion ruling that the Copyright Act does not preempt a claim under Illinois’ right of publicity. It arose in connection with a lawsuit by a model whose likeness was used by Ultra Sheen, and subsequently by L’Oreal, which acquired the former, beyond the contractual term. Here’s the heart of the opinion — I have bolded the words that define what is required for a claim to exist under... Read more

Ivan’s IP

Boing Boing reports on a chilling development: The Kremlin is using Russia’s new anti-software-piracy laws to target dissident media outlets and shut them down. This is an eerie echo of the Soviet era, when black marketeering and other universal activities were used as the excuse for arresting dissidents and other inconvenient people. The difference is that this time, the anti-piracy laws were enacted at the behest of the US trade representative, who made stringent patent... Read more

Covering your assets.

Over the weekend, all the nerdiest news outlets reported that Volpin Props—a company that makes props and replicas “mostly videogame related,” according to the outfit’s Facebook page, “but anything goes!”)—received a cease-and-desist letter from Couristan, Inc., a rug and carpeting concern… for possibly the nerdiest/coolest reason imaginable (under the circumstances): Volpin had made for two attendees of the recent DragonCon—held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, a hotel with a wide variety of some very, very... Read more

Nominative fair use: The Second Circuit names names

Nominative fair — the “unauthorized” use of a trademark as a trademark specifically to invoke the trademark, as opposed to its “non-trademark” use to describe the alleged infringer’s goods or services use — has now come East, courtesy of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium Inc. v. Security University LLC.  Let’s call this bumbling, cumbersome caption by the short title, “Security University.” The opinion (link here) (hat tip to Law360) is... Read more

Oy vey

Consider the other side of the aggrieved vandalism promoter Shepard Fairey, of HOPE poster fame: Gawker: “Obey” Trademark Law: Some guy in Pittsburgh sells little baby Steeler mascots with the phrase “Obey Steeler Baby.” Shepard Fairey demands that he stop infringing on his trademark, which he originally made famous by ripping off the image of Andre the Giant! Well, if that‘s who he ripped off, then he really does have guts, I guess! UPDATE:  Fairey’s... Read more