Fair Use

Best of 2013: Turning back that Crimson Tide

Originally published January 8, 2013 Trademark law does not trump the right to make and sell artistic depictions of real life after all, it turns out.  Or even NCAA football. Almost exactly four years ago I wrote about the suit by the University of Alabama urging the obnoxious claim that artistic depictions of its players at play were, by virtue of utilization of the familiar uniforms and colors of those players, infringements of the Alabama…

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Trademark misuse at the AIPLA

Down at the bottom of this post is a PDF of my paper, included in the CLE materials for a panel on which I was a participant at the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s annual meeting on October 24, 2013. The panel was called “Trademarks, Goodwill and Free Speech: Does the First Amendment Give You the Right to Create a Trademark and Associated Goodwill, and Where Does That Right End?”  My scribble is called “The... Read more

Returning balance to the IP equation

My article, “Trademark, Copyright, and the Internet: Time to Return Balance to Civil Litigation” in the August 31, 2010 edition of the Federalist Society’s Engage magazine is now online.  The opening paragraph is as follows: The law and business of intellectual property are in upheaval today. Essentially, the concepts that underlay the conceptual, statutory, and judicial schemas that govern each of patent, trademark and copyright are rapidly being overwhelmed by technologies that could not have been foreseen even... Read more

Complaint in Gab.AI v. Google

Now here’s something you don’t see every day. Kudos to Marc Randazza and Jordan Rushie for having the courage to file this complaint! Yes, I helped. I wrote it. UPDATE: The law firm I was with when I wrote it would not let me file it, for political reasons.  I am now with this law firm instead. But it was too late for Gab and me; we parted ways. Still friends! They stopped suing Google,... Read more

College Belushi

Color my world

For years I’ve been writing about the envelope-pushing in trademark by the business of collegiate sports.  In a like vein, but very scholarly-like, here’s a very cool piece from the Brooklyn Law Review — even though it’s in a law review! — by Joshua Saltzman of the winners at Wolf Popper, entitled “Smack Apparel, College Color Schemes and the Muddying of Trademark Law.”  An excerpt from the introduction: In 2008, the collegiate licensing industry scored a major victory in its... Read more

True twit

[From October 26, 2009:] Here are last week’s greatest twits from @roncoleman: RT @ptolawyer: Subway sues Vegas restaurant for TM infringement -TacticalIP.com IP Bully of the Month? http://bit.ly/3c2lNO RT @nowsourcing: RT @toprank The Truth About SEO http://retwt.me/180kb RT @VBalasubramani: AutoAdmit web defame case settled http://bit.ly/1DX5kp (@bnatechlaw) case –> issues re online interaction, anonymity RT @GuyKawasaki: 25 logos that underwent makeovers in 2009 http://om.ly/RDAr RT @EFF: NPR sends bogus DMCA takedown over anti-same-sex-marriage ad; another political “fair MISuse” http://bit.ly/4q4Vzk RT @CopyrightLaw... Read more

Band books?

Google blog is celebrating — catch of the breath — “Banned Books Week”: Every year, there are hundreds of attempts to remove great books from schools and libraries nationwide. Fortunately, the American Library Association and many other organizations are fighting back with Banned Books Week, taking place this year Sept. 23-30. For 25 years, libraries and bookstores nationwide have been celebrating the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, which is sponsored by the American... Read more

Section 230 attacks get nowhere, but forests still shrink

A court seems, according to this synopsis by Eric Goldman, to lay it out straight in dismissing a case brought in California against Craigslist. The claim was that the classified-ads site should be held responsible for “discriminatory” housing listings submitting submitted by third parties and posted on Craigslist with no meaningful involvement of the website operators. This is precisely the activity 47 U.S.C. 230 is meant to exempt from liability. Eric has taken us here... Read more

Steal your plate

The Jews take a worldwide day off from eating, and what happens when they sit down and pick up their forks and knives to dig in?  Their enemies want to take their food away and get fees, too! MBA Legal intern Andie Schwartz sends along this item from Mike Masnick at TechDirt about what happens when intellectual property rights are so abused by people who should know better, that those who know less — and... Read more

No tolls for trolls

The thing about copyright law we all understand is that no one understands it. We have all written about the old Righthaven copyright trolling scam, as everyone did. As you will recall, the fatal flaw in the Righthaven scheme, though there were many, was that Righthaven owned no right in the copyright besides the right to sue for its infringement, and under copyright law, that’s no right at all. Now Pamela Chestek, who writes frequently on agency... Read more