• A Sensible Decision

    by  • July 16, 2014 • 1 Comment

    John Welch at the must-read site The TTABlog published a post about a recent ownership decision, Conolty v. Conolty O’Connor NYC LLC. The gist is that two women started a business without any formal business structure, one of the women, O’Connor, formed the defendant LLC as a single member limited liability company, and the...

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    A Patent Assignment Isn’t Rescinded Just Because You Say So

    by  • July 10, 2014 • 0 Comments

    In December, 2010, plaintiff Dominion Assets assigned its patents to non-party Acacia Patent Acquisition, LLC, a subsidiary of the notorious non-practicing entity Acacia Research Corp., for Acacia to monetize. Below is the operative assignment language: If you can’t read the image, it says: Effective immediately upon the date of Acceptable Completion as set forth...

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    When is a Trademark License Not a License?

    by  • July 9, 2014 • 0 Comments

    The legal significance of a “license” to the BUTTERNUT trademark has been in dispute for ten years now. I put “license” in quotes because while the document in question is called a license, it’s not your typical trademark license. In 1996, in settlement of an antitrust suit brought by the Justice Department, defendant Interstate...

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    The Photography Suits In a Nutshell

    by  • July 8, 2014 • 0 Comments

    I’ve been writing for some time (recursive link) about numerous lawsuits between photographers, or their agencies, and textbook publishers that have used photographs in excess of what they originally licensed for their books. Mostly I’ve been writing about challenges to standing, which are early in the cases on a motion to dismiss. But some...

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    It’s So Hard to Value Trademarks

    by  • July 7, 2014 • 0 Comments

    It always gets interesting when an owner has incentive to make inconsistent claims about the same intangible asset in different venues. Say, for example, where you claim that copyrights are part of your deceased spouse’s estate to keep them out of bankruptcy and then try to claim you are the owner for purposes of...

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    I Hate Copyright Termination

    by  • July 2, 2014 • 0 Comments

    I mean, I hate to write about it. It’s convoluted, tedious, and the cases don’t generally tell the good juicy stories that I like so much. Luckily for all of us though, there is someone who loves to write about copyright termination, Dave Fagundes. He has a blog devoted to the topic  and it’s...

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    The Wrist-Rocket Factors

    by  • July 1, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Small businesses or community organizations, like restaurants or well-meaning citizens running a charitable fund-raising event, often don’t have many formalities around their operation, so when there is a dispute over the ownership of the name it’s bound to be very messy. But I don’t think there is any more vexing trademark ownership situation than...

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    Joinder of an Unwilling Co-owner

    by  • June 30, 2014 • 0 Comments

    On the left we have a disinterested patent owner; there was a mixup about the status of an inventor, Bruce Draper, so he assigned his rights in what ultimately became the ’321 patent to the University of New Mexico (UNM) rather than his employer, Sandia. UNM realized the mistake and assigned to Sandia “those...

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    Executing on Copyrights to Satisfy a Judgment

    by  • June 27, 2014 • 0 Comments

    I previously reported on the matter of Hendricks & Lewis PLLC v. Clinton, that is, a law firm versus George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic fame. Clinton owed Hendricks & Lewis a lot of money but didn’t pay. In the opinion I previously covered, the lower court appointed a receiver who was given the authority to...

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