• Update: All the Wrong Reasons

    by  • October 20, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Update: I previously reported on Sebastian Brown Prods. LLC v. Muzooka Inc., a fairly routine trademark priority dispute with a troubling holding. In it, the district court wrote out the last sentence of Section 10 of the Lanham Act, essentially holding that an intent-to-use application cannot be assigned until the trademark is in use....

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    Cutting to the Chase

    by  • October 17, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Props to the bankruptcy court in the Eastern District of North Carolina for cutting through to the meat of a trademark ownership dispute. We have a company, B6USA, Inc., doing business as “BaySix,” in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. B6USA was formed in March 2005 and was solely owned by Katherine D. Hite, who was also...

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    Choice of Law and Copyright Ownership

    by  • October 10, 2016 • 0 Comments

    RCTV International Corp. v. Rosenfeld is a exhaustive examination of how US copyright law applies to works of foreign origin. Plaintiff Radio Caracas Television RCTV C.V. is a Venezuelan television company that created the telenovela series “Juana La Virgen”1. RCTV Caracas hired defendant Perla Farias De Eskinazi (“Farias”), also Venezuelan, on four different annual...

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    A Family of Marks with Different Owners

    by  • October 3, 2016 • 0 Comments

    The “family of marks” concept in trademark law is a difficult one to win. We all understand the concept, which is that consumers realize that when trademarks share a similar trait, like restaurant food products that start with “Mc,” the goods come from the same source. Proof of a family of marks is challenging,...

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    Isn’t It the Corporate Secretary’s Job …

    by  • September 26, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Isn’t it the Corporate Secretary’s job (and in this case, the same person was also the General Counsel) to make sure that documents are signed by the right entity? In East West Bank Co. v. The Plubell Firm LLC, not once, but twice the Corporate Secretary, Douglas Krause, executed trademark maintenance documents for the...

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    Copyright Notice and Ownership

    by  • September 19, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Eminent scholar Jessica Litman has published What Notice Did, 96 B.U.L. Rev. 717 (2016), an interesting article on how copyright notice has shaped copyright ownership jurisprudence. Most interesting to me was the “head’s I win, tails you lose” nature of notice. Since 1870 an assignment had to be in writing, but publishers would name...

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    You Will Never Get a Copyright Registration Right

    by  • September 9, 2016 • 0 Comments

    I previously wrote about the licensing discussion in Palmer/Kane LLC v. Rosen Book Works LLC, but the decision also points out what is the near impossibility of successfully registering the copyright in a work so that you can actually have a lawsuit claiming it was infringed. Palmer/Kane originally alleged the infringement of 19 works,...

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    If It’s Retroactive It’s Not a “License”

    by  • September 5, 2016 • 2 Comments

    This is a big one. As I’ve written about in the past (recursive link), there is a huge upheaval in the stock photography industry over the use of photos in textbooks. In Palmer/Kane LLC v. Rosen Book Works LLC, plaintiff Palmer/Kane licensed the rights in its photos through several agencies, the relevant one here...

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    What Rights are Conveyed? We Have to Wait and See

    by  • August 30, 2016 • 0 Comments

    I asked in a prior post whether plaintiff Joseph Cooper had the right to publish his videotapes of performances of famous comedian Steve Harvey, taped at Harvey’s Texas club in 1993, based on this invoice: Click here for larger version Unfortunately we don’t know yet, because it’s most certainly a question of fact, not...

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    What Rights are Conveyed?

    by  • August 27, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Click here for larger version Can Cooper, the videographer, put his videos of now-famous comedian Steve Harvey on YouTube? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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    And You Wonder Why Litigation Is Expensive

    by  • August 22, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Golly, the things you have to explain sometimes. Plaintiff Ubu/Elements, Inc. claimed to have purchased all of the assets of Defendant Elements Personal Care, Inc. UBU/Elements accused the defendant of continuing to use the trademark AFTER THE GAME after the purchase. The Asset Purchase Agreement said this about the trademark in dispute: If you...

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