I’m still here…

… just a little over there, to the right. I’ve wound down the operation of the Coleman Law Firm and become a partner at the New York firm of Bragar, Wexler & Eagel, PC. It’s been fairly all consuming lately, so I hope you will not give up on Likelihood of Confusion. I should be back to blogging this week. Read more

Free speech for me, not for thee

Protest Warrior reports about the left-winger who took cyber-protest too far: On May 23, 2006, a grand jury at the U.S. District Court in Illinois handed down an indictment against Jeremy Alexander Hammond for hacking into the ProtestWarrior server. The indictment reads in part, “Between January and February 2005, defendant HAMMOND accessed ProtestWarrior.com’s server without authority on multiple occasions in an effort to obtain information not otherwise available to him or the general public, specifically... Read more

India, Scotland in same news story: Must be trademark law

Two of the least probable Commonwealth countries* slug it out! The AP reports: An Indian court has ruled that Indian whiskey manufacturers cannot use the words Scot or Scotch to describe their products, in compliance with World Trade Organization rules, a newspaper reported Monday. Indian plans its own genteel revenge (think Darjeeling tea). It’s a big setback for “Red Scot” (the Indian scotch brand), considering that, as the (real) Scotsman reports, “Analysts believe the Indian... Read more


Does it get any better/ worse than this? The Smoking Gun reports: Fearful of a dilution of his powerful brand, Donald Trump is fighting his ex-wife Ivana’s bid to trademark [register as a trademark] her name for use in the real estate business. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records show that Trump recently lodged a formal opposition to his former wife’s application to trademark [register] the term “Ivana Trump.” “Trademark Guy” Owen Smigelski has more. ... Read more

Hero or…

By now you’ve heard that Muhammed Ali has sold the rights to exploit his once-platinum name and fame for $50 million. It’s a little late in the game for The Greatest, I suppose, but why not? Here’s a trademark-and-branding sub-angle to the story, though, that really has me scratching my head: Mr. Ali, through affiliates, will retain a 20% interest in the business, which will be operated through a newly formed company named G.O.A.T. LLC.... Read more

SCOTUS to hear landmark eBay patent case

From Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments in a patent case involving online auctioneer eBay Inc. that is part of a wider struggle between the software and pharmaceutical industries over the future of the U.S. patent system. Lawyers for eBay and small e-commerce company MercExchange will square off over whether eBay should be barred from using its popular “Buy it Now” feature, which infringes on two MercExchange patents. This is of... Read more

Email instead of nail ‘n’ mail?

Important ruling for people who litigate on and about the Internet, from Evan Brown: The court allowed service of the summons to an e-mail address Pine had used in a classified ad listing his house for sale. The court held that given the uncertainty about the success of the attempted “nailing and mailing” effort [“nailing” the summons of process to the door and mailing it by first class], and the fact that the Pine’s attorneys... Read more

The only unmentionable trademark?

We alluded to this story in an earlier post. Evidently Daman Wayans’s attempt to file a trademark application for the word “Nigga” continues to hit a brick wall. Forget “immoral or scandalous,” which, as we have said before, is an increasingly hopeless position for national government to take on almost anything in this enlightened era. Interestingly, though, this one will probably stick. Political correctness — in this case, quite correct! (most of the time) —... Read more

Likelihood of confusion

Hey, guess what I just found out by tracing our incoming traffic. What do you suppose is the number-one result if you do a Google search for “likelihood of confusion”? Hint: It’s funny, brilliant, iconoclastic and makes no money whatsoever! UPDATE (The Continuing Obsession): Perhaps you were looking for an explanation of the trademark law term “likelihood of confusion” and ended up at some blog. Then you had to read it! How terrible — sounds... Read more