Counterfeiting & Piracy

Tide, logic turn on eBay counterfeit cases

Choose the quote that was actually attributed to a leading business magazine: “Ford shoulders too much of the burden, its ability to wring a profit from the sales of cars with easily-ignited gas tanks could be compromised,” wrote BusinessWeek. “If the financial institutions shoulder too much of the burden, their ability to wring a profit from the fees and interest generated by money laundering could be compromised,” wrote BusinessWeek. “If the Web companies shoulder too…

Read more

Centerfield: Blog Name Theft

Very interesting brouhaha beginning over on the Center Field blog published by a group of self-described political centrists. (I had hoped it would feature commentary by Andruw Jones and Bernie Williams.) The question is the same one everyone has asked himself when registering for his first ever blog:  What if someone steals a blog name? Bob Cox of the Media Bloggers Association asked me to weigh in semi-officially on the Centerfield: Blog Name Theft colloquy.... Read more

Yes, Virginia, domain names do matter

That’s one thing I learned at the New York Intellectual Property Law Association’s “Hot Topics in” all kinds of stuff CLE seminar last Wednesday, July 17th, from Marty Schwimmer. I learned other hot topic stuff from other people, and I will write about them later.  But endorsing the recency effect over the primacy effect, I will start with the talk by the Trademark Blogger.  Marty’s PowerPoint is here. One of the great things about Marty’s... Read more

Hershey muffin pan

Kissing trademark rights goodbye?

Eric Johnson‘s Pixelization blog has a sweet insight into a sticky trademark mess that Hershey’s could be, theoretically, getting itself into: It’s a Hershey’s-brand three-compartment silicone muffin pan. When you bake muffins in this pan, they come out – adorably, of course – in the shape of oversized Hershey’s chocolate bars – complete with the Hershey’s name and logo intaglioed in the shape of the finished muffin. The imprint of the Hershey’s name and logo... Read more

Sun, Oracle, Microsoft, Google, trademark, patents, copyright and David Boies

There’s a lot going on, conceptually, in this article entitled “The $800M question: What’s the difference between trademark and copyright?” in VentureBeat: Ten years ago, when Sun sued Microsoft over Java, Sun alleged trademark infringement because Microsoft was not implementing Java according to Sun’s specification. Microsoft had entered into a license agreement with Sun — promising to follow the specification. When Microsoft deviated from the specification, Sun rightly claimed breach of contract and trademark infringement.... Read more

DMCA takedown backlash

The EFF is suing Viacom over their DMCA takedown notice for a Stephen Colbert parody clip on YouTube which EFF says is non-infringing. Viacom sent out about 37 million of those puppies, based on the well known legal-analytical principle of “what the heck!” But you’re not supposed to do that under the DMCA. EFF has annoyed me in the past with its unfathomable selectivity about which cases to take, and which cases to ignore. (Okay,... Read more

De-Branding Columbia University’s Nazi triumph

(First posted September 24, 2007) “If Columbia is not ashamed of the decision,” writes Justin Hart, why did it de-brand Holocaust denier / promiser Ahmadinejad of Iran at today’s controversial speech by blacking out the podium behind him, unlike the “Columbia” motif provided as a background for past Columbia speakers (see at the link)? (No information was available if their would-be Hitler program would have had the same backdrop.) A good question, and not a difficult one.... Read more

More on international law and the Web

Instapundit reports: YAHOO! HELPS TURN THE SCREWS: According to Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders), Information supplied by Yahoo! helped Chinese journalist Shi Tao get 10 years in prison The text of the verdict in the case of journalist Shi Tao — sentenced in April to 10 years in prison for “divulging state secrets abroad” — shows that Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. provided China’s state security authorities with details that helped to identify and... Read more