• 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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    The Contract Without End – What the Parties Did

    by  • August 18, 2016 • 2 Comments

    I previously described a situation where unhappy licensees refused to acknowledge that there was a new licensor. Bruce Kirby, Inc. was the original licensor of the defendants’ rights to build Kirby Sailboats granted in the “Builder Agreements” and then in 2008 Bruce Kirby sold his business to Global Sailing Limited (GSL). The Builder Agreements...

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    The Contract Without End

    by  • August 16, 2016 • 6 Comments

    This case relates to some kind of intellectual property, denominated in the agreement as “copyright” and “industrial design” rights, although the true nature of the rights was not examined by the court. It’s a mess of a problem, with a “solution” that turned out not to work quite as the parties planned. I’ll set...

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    The 2d Circuit Is Part Way There on Eden Toys

    by  • August 1, 2016 • 0 Comments

    I have long complained about a defense that comes up in copyright cases, originating with the Second Circuit’s Eden Toys, Inc. v. Florelee Undergarment Co. Eden Toys involved a challenge to standing based on the timing of of an exclusive license. The case has heavily-quoted language about the challenge: In this case, in which...

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    A Blessing in Disguise

    by  • July 28, 2016 • 1 Comment

    Whole Foods lost a New York tax decision to the tune of $3.5 million, but in my opinion that’s a small price to pay to avoid a decision inconsistent with ownership of the WHOLE FOODS trademarks. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. (WFMG), a Delaware corporation, is the operating company that distributes and sells natural...

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    It Just Seems Wrong UPDATE

    by  • July 26, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Update: The 9th Circuit has affirmed, in an opinion that only further confuses matters. The analysis is this: Trademarks are assignable. Co-existence agreements are enforceable. Contracts are assignable unless doing so changes the terms or the document says otherwise, and neither is the case here. Therefore, the co-existence agreement was assignable. I have no...

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    How to Steal a Trademark

    by  • July 25, 2016 • 1 Comment

    Progressive Emu, Inc. v. Nutrition & Fitness, Inc. is mostly a dispute about paying for emu oil, but there’s also a trademark claim involved. In 2000 Progressive Emu began developing an emu oil pain cream and added blue coloring to it, “thus birthed ‘Blue Emu.'” Nutrition & Fitness (NFI) was then “brought on board...

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    It’s All About the Facts

    by  • July 18, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Who the true trademark owner is, as between a member of an LLC (or shareholder of a close corporation) and the entity that the person owns, can be a vexing question. When there are only one or two owners of an entity the lines are very blurry—see here and here and here and here...

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    All the Wrong Reasons

    by  • July 11, 2016 • 0 Comments

    In a recent Trademark Reporter Commentary, I went on a tirade about a two district court cases that, in my view, misinterpreted Section 10 of the Lanham Act. Section 10 generally prohibits assignment of intent-to-use applications “except for an assignment to a successor to the business of the applicant, or portion thereof, to which...

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    Dodged a Bullet

    by  • June 27, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Awhile back I titled a blog “Pay Attention to This One.” People did. You can read in more detail about the facts in the appeals court opinion blogged here, but the crux is that an inventor had an oral agreement with his employer that he would be paid a bonus for his inventions in...

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    Why You Have That Employment Agreement Gobbledygook

    by  • June 20, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Plaintiff Advanced Video Technologies has been around the block a few times already. AVT claimed to be the successor to a patent for a video codec. It had successfully asserted the patent against other defendants but ran into some problems when trying to sue HTC Corp., Blackberry and Motorola Mobility. Its first attempt failed...

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