Copyright Law, Fashion Law

Mock smocks spur suit

The New York Post reports that Diane von Furstenberg is suing over knockoffs of her designer smock dress things: The famed designer thinks cheapie-fashion store Forever 21’s $32 “Sabrina” smock dress looks suspiciously similar to her own $325 “Cerisier” design. Von Furstenberg’s studio filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit last week against Forever 21, claiming the downmarket retailer willfully copied the pattern, colors, and measurements of her popular frock – as well as another dress from a…

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Kinderfinished (with an UPDATED link)

As in stick-a-fork-in-it: A U.S. judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging the fairness of how Web search leader Google Inc. calculates the popularity of Web sites in determining search results, court papers show. In a ruling issued on Friday that came to light on Tuesday, Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit against Google by parenting information site KinderStart. The judge also imposed yet-to-be-determined... Read more

Blawg Review Centennial

Yes, Blawg Review is a hundred years old this week! At least in wasted billable hours blood, sweat, toil and tears. And, evidently, rejected first-tier college applications.* So throw ’em a bone and take a look. — *Yes, some people have to rub it in. This is the thing:  Even Tigers agree, it’s, er, not for everyone. (Hardly surprising.) But branding a college is hard work! Read more

The old IP/antitrust axis, revived

Michael Atkins examines a recent decision addressing the possibility of “restraint of trade by trademark.” The supposed nexus of antitrust and intellectual property always takes up a chapter in the textbook. Like the weather, everyone talks about it but no ever actually does anything with it. The case Michael reports on presents an interesting fact pattern, and rather unusual, and for that reason could be the case (if it were to proceed to trial and... Read more

Sheppard Mullins’s Copyright Top Ten List

The big law firm‘s sleepy but snazzy Intellectual Property Law Blog lists “The Top Ten Ways Copyright Law Can Mess Up Your Transaction.” I link to this here because: Too many small and medium-sized businesses come to me with IP disputes after they’ve cleverly saved money on legal fees in negotiating their “really simple deal” and realize that it’s not any simpler than building a Hummer in their back yard. Maybe you lot will read... Read more

SUPER BOWL!!!! (Updated and moved up)

SUPER BOWL! SUPER BOWL! SUPER BOWL! Now that they “own” the English words “Super Bowl” — terrifying everyone from even the fairest of use with the threat of linebacker-sized litigation — Marty Schwimmer reports that the NFL wants to own the euphemism of choice — THE BIG GAME — too. The opposition period is now. Do you want to oppose the granting of this trademark registration? Do you have some possible standing to do so?... Read more

Two tribes reports that Communism’s undertaker, Mikhail Gorbachev (owner of the trademark port wine stain), wants to put a human face on intellectual property, too (via ATL) (link added): Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday asked Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to intercede on behalf of a Russian teacher accused of using pirated software in his classroom. In an open letter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Gorbachev said the teacher, Alexander Ponosov, from a remote village in... Read more

Eating my words

I do it sometimes. In my case, they’re particularly tasty, and sometimes even tasteful. Definitely not tasteful, not tasty — not even edible, if “kosher” means anything (which judges refuse to admit it does). And why do I have to eat my words? The case involves the unauthorized use of the Kof-K* kosher symbol (a certification mark) by a dirty-movie maker. He put the mark on the cover of his ethnically-oriented dirty movie. “Perhaps a... Read more

Taking “IP piracy” seriously

A website called The Local reports: Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay is planning to buy its own nation in an attempt to circumvent international copyright laws. The group has set up a campaign to raise money to buy Sealand, a former British naval platform in the North Sea that has been designated a ‘micronation’, and claims to be outside the jurisdiction of the UK or any other country. Shiver me timbers! No scallywag ever... Read more

Cisco sues Apple over use of IPhone name

Go figure. Unlike G. Matthew Lombard I did see fit to address this story, however little, before; and now, unlike me, Matthew’s giving it some serious attention.  His post is worth reading.  From a straightforward trademark law point of view, check this: An Apple spokeswoman has reportedly said, “There are already several companies using the iPhone name for VoIP products. We’re the first company ever to use iPhone for a cell phone. If Cisco wants... Read more

Reminder: Corporations and blogging seminar in Philadelphia

(Repeated from an earlier post) Fox Rothschild partner, and my former college-hijinx-mate Bob Clothier sends along news of this event at Philadelphia University. If you’re anywhere near Philly you should consider attending, and you may want to urge clients (it’s really geared to non-lawyers) to look into it as well. Here’s the rundown: January 10, 2007 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A one-day seminar at Philadelphia University Catch Up on Web 2.0 for Business A... Read more