• More on What Nunc Pro Tunc Means

    by  • December 5, 2016 • 0 Comments

    One of my most read posts is “What Nunc Pro Tunc Means.” It means “now for then” in Latin, which is hardly much help. Extensive Google research tells me that it’s used to correct judicial orders, but that’s not what brings readers to my blog. In the IP field we typically use “nunc pro...

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    Two Band Members Heave a Sigh of Relief

    by  • November 18, 2016 • 0 Comments

    I have written several times before (caution recursive link) about the copyright infringement lawsuit over the highly-successful “Jersey Boys” musical, based on the band the Four Seasons. Briefly, the widow of an author of an unpublished biography of one of the band members, Tommy DeVito, claimed infringement of the book. It’s very convoluted with...

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    Round and Round

    by  • November 14, 2016 • 0 Comments

    We have one of my favorite things, a chain of title case, and one about a band name to boot. Usually band name cases are pretty ugly, about a bunch of people getting together without any legal formalities. But this is not that case. We have the 80’s glam band RATT (official website –...

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    Read It Twice

    by  • November 7, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Boy, is it hard to write an effective invention assignment for an employment agreement. First, under US law only a natural person can be an inventor, not a juristic person. When you have an employee whose job is inventing, the solution is to create an automatic assignment to the employer, which is generally done...

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    Never Underestimate the Value of Section 7

    by  • October 31, 2016 • 0 Comments

    We have a case at the intersection of band names and zombie marks, clearly one for which the melody lingers on. In 1997 there was a jam session at SXSW that included the band Los Lobos. In 1998 some of the SXSW performers created a Grammy award-winning album called Los Super Seven; petitioner Daniel...

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    The Subsidiary Standing In

    by  • October 24, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Lately we’ve been seeing an increasing number of trademark cases that revolve around the relative rights of different members of the same enterprise: a family of companies asserting a family of marks theory in Wise F&I v. Allstate Ins. Co., different chapters of the Salvation Army allowed to register similar trademarks in In re...

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    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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