• The Year Is the Key

    by  • May 29, 2015 • 0 Comments

    I previously asked readers to “Name the Owner” of a copyrighted work. And the answer is: Urbont does not own the copyright* and the case is dismissed. The key is that the work was created in 1966, so whether the Iron Man Theme was a work for hire is decided under the Copyright Act...

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    Not What I Would Have Guessed …

    by  • May 27, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Plaintiff ZipSleeve, LLC had registered its ZIPSLEEVE trademark* but the registration lapsed for failure to file a declaration under Section 8 of the Trademark Act. ZipSleeve filed a new application, which hasn’t registered yet. ZipSleeve sued West Marine Inc. for trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, which is for infringement of a registered...

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    Name the Owner

    by  • May 26, 2015 • 2 Comments

    Below are the facts, and here’s the question—who owns the copyright? Answer in a later post. In 1966, songwriter and plaintiff Jack Urbont was aspiring. A friend introduced him to Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fame who was developing a television show called “Marvel Super Heroes.” Urbont wasn’t familiar with the Marvel superheroes, so...

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    Check the Clock

    by  • May 7, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Mr. Hillyar was the the former director of Gems TV (UK). Gems TV (UK) was owned by Gem TV Holdings Ltd. Gems TV (UK) owned the ‘211 Patent and intended to assign it to Gem TV Holdings Ltd. but didn’t. Gem TV Holdings Ltd. then sold Gems TV (UK) in a stock purchase agreement...

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    A Trademark Cause of Action Absent Confusion

    by  • April 13, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Sometimes it’s difficult to state a claim for a trademark ownership dispute. There is no cause of action per se for declaring or correcting ownership of a trademark.* Resolution of the ownership issue is almost always subsumed into the infringement claim, because the two warring parties are both trying to use the trademark and...

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    Assent Versus Signature

    by  • April 9, 2015 • 0 Comments

    I asked whether the below “Submit” page, used when one posts a review on Rip-Off Report (owned by defendant Xcentric), transferred an exclusive license in the submitter’s copyright: If you were to use the scrollbar on the right, you would find this grant: “By posting information or content to any public area of www.RipoffReport.com,...

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    STC.UNM v. Intel Stands

    by  • April 8, 2015 • 0 Comments

    I’ve written in the past about a patent ownership stand-off, where, because of a mix-up in assignments and a disinterested possible co-owner, the interested owner cannot enforce the patent (original decision here and en banc decision here). The Supreme Court has refused to review the decision, so Ethicon, Inc. v. United States Surgical Corp.,...

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    Sometimes It’s That Easy

    by  • April 7, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Legal doctrine has developed a manufacturer-distributor paradigm, but that is too simplistic in today’s commercial world. What we have in ACRO Biosystems v. Acrobiosystems USA LLC, an opposition, is manufacturer versus branch office. The opposer is a Chinese manufacturer of biochemical reagents sold in the US under the mark ACROBIOSYSTEMS. The applicants are a...

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    Was It Licensed?

    by  • April 6, 2015 • 1 Comment

    Below is a portion of the “Submit” page when one posts a review on Rip-Off Report, owned by defendant Xcentric. (Click on the image for the full page.) If you were to use the scrollbar on the right, you would find this grant: “By posting information or content to any public area of www.RipoffReport.com,...

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    Meet the Bloggers

    by  • April 3, 2015 • 0 Comments

    It’s time again for Meet the Bloggers on Monday, May 4th, at 8 PM, recreating the first historic gathering that John Welch and Marty Schwimmer put together at Henry’s Pub and Restaurant, 618 Fifth Avenue, in San Diego. (I was there!, I really was!, but I must have been in the bathroom or something when...

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    The Drifters, Yet Again

    by  • March 22, 2015

    One thing that’s sure to make my eyes roll back into my head is the word “Drifters” in a case caption. Westlaw has 13 cases listed, 8 federal, 3 state and 2 TTAB. Now the TTAB has had another crack at it, including looking at evidence that goes all the way back to the...

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    Who Owns a Community Trademark?

    by  • March 19, 2015

    I’ve written a lot about trademark ownership disputes under US law, where trademark rights arise through use. The question comes up when two or more formerly cooperating parties have a falling out and each claim to own the same trademark. But the issue can’t arise just in the US, certainly there are failed business...

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