American Graffiti

Graffiti: Art or crime? And by crime, I don’t mean mere vandalism. I mean criminally bad legal-decision-making. The New York Law Journal reports: On July 18, 2005, plaintiff fashion company’s founder, who began his career as a graffiti artist, obtained a permit to host an Aug. 24, 2005, art exhibition at which other artists would paint graffiti on mock two-dimensional subway cars. In an Aug. 15, letter the City of New York revoked the permit,... Read more

Cleaning Up, or Getting Their Clocks Cleaned?

I stumbled on this article in Slate and it seemed to contradict my point in one of my favorite posts. On reflection I realized that actually the two pieces actually harmonize quite well. It did make me wonder whatever happened in the ClearPlay litigation. As the company’s site describes it, ClearPlay has developed a unique DVD parental control technology that enables users to skip and mute segments of movies that contain graphic violence, nudity, and... Read more

We Who Were There Salute You in Our Leisure Suits

IP … trademarks … branding … design … interior design … awful interior design of the 1970’s! Maybe I don’t have to sweat topicality after all. I am sorry, but if you really, really need to laugh at your desk like a howling idiot — and you won’t really laugh loud if you weren’t there — take a five minute tour with James Lilek’s Interior Desecrators. This is the book he made (last fall). It’s... Read more

Political Correctness Trademark Battle Continues

We haven’t heard the last of the fight over the Washington Redskins trademark fight. The AP reports that the earlier decision rejecting the challenge based partly on laches has been reversed in part. American Indian representatives don’t like the trademarks because “they are disparaging and bring Native Americans into disrepute.” Six and ten last season? Can’t blame them. On the other hand, if that kind of record gets the Indians upset, shouldn’t the Cowboys be... Read more

Coca-Cola Classic

Have a Coke and a Trial

India doesn’t have a First Amendment, as such, but from what I read its free speech protections are similar to those in the West. So the use of threatening a trademark suit to chill criticism should distress everyone who’s not a complete Coke head. Not that such threats don’t always work; they frequently do. But we shouldn’t like it or “tolerate” it. Coca-Cola: Please limit your trademark litigation threats to the Real Thing. And save your... Read more

Likelihood of Revelation

The last week or so has been light on blogging, largely because of technological issues but also because of a slow week in topical news plus the occasional need to practice law around here. It doesn’t get better too fast because we will be out of the reality-based loop due to our office’s observance of the Jewish festival of Shavuoth, the celebration of the Revelation that made the Jews the chosen nation. (Nice! Right?) See... Read more

Good Deed for the Day: Helping Old Producers Cross Agents

In far-off Hong Kong, the Motion Picture Association has created a Boy Scout merit badge on copyright [original link lost, sorry — RDC]: Boy Scouts in Hong Kong now can earn merit badges for learning about the wonders of copyright law–at least the version described by the Motion Picture Association . . . It’s not unprecedented for one industry to create a merit badge. The Boy Scouts currently offers a long list of badges including “American Business,” “American Labor,”... Read more

The Matrix Downloaded

Data security and privacy are not big topical interests of mine. Anything Europeans are obsessive about can’t be all that important. Throw in the ACLU, that predictable bizarro-world weathervane of right and wrong, and I’m usually pretty sure “what to think.” But part of this story about the announcement that LexisNexis databases were compromised far more than had been previously believed caught my eye. It was this: Data-collection services provided by Seisint, based in Boca... Read more

Death of an Icon

A story from the L.A. Times / Washington Post syndicate, evidently sent to press before the Pope’s death, told of the increase in sales of John Paul II-related merchandise. This includes perfectly reasonable and understandable things such as the Pope’s own book, Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way (forgive me, but it reminds me of a different book by a very different man) and rather silly things like the pineapple in red lemongrass soup... Read more

Trademark Law: The Dismal Science

The Tata Group put out this press release about a trademark decision that some people seem to think is funny. It is evidently connected with this WIPO decision. Likelihood of Confusion doesn’t get it. No one said trademarks were supposed be fun, much less funny. Much less bodacious. Hat tip to John Berryhill via the INTA List. Apparently he gets it. Read more