• Steamboat Willie as Public Domain

    by  • August 25, 2008

    The LA Times recently ran a story about whether some early “Steamboat Willie” cartoons are still protected by copyright. It’s not new news; in 2003, inspired by an internet article, Douglas Hedenkamp wrote a law review article on the subject and concluded they are not. But an entertaining article for both the gist of...

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    The NFL is One Entity – For Trademark Licensing, Anyway

    by  • August 23, 2008

    An appropriate decision for football season; the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has affirmed, in an antitrust case, that the exclusive licensing of all professional football teams marks to one vendor is not a violation of the Sherman Act. NFL Properties is an unincorporated organization of 32 separately owned teams. Each team...

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    Goodwill for Sale

    by  • August 21, 2008

    The area of “residual goodwill” seems to be a hot one lately. I posted recently on River West Brands and Chrysler LLC v. Pimpo, two “residual goodwill” situations, and the TTABlog recently posted on a third one involving the LaSalle trademark for automobiles. “Residual goodwill” describes the significance of a trademark when it is...

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    EasyTrademark Licensing

    by  • August 19, 2008

    The IPKat has brought our attention to a spat between Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet, and that airline over its use of “easy” for more than just plain Jane “easyJet.” Seems Sir Stelios licenses the easyJet name to the airline through a licensing company called easyGroup IP Licensing, and finds that easyJet’s use...

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    And Not Even a Passing Reference to Whitman’s Chocolates

    by  • August 17, 2008

    Family relationships are frequent fodder for a blog about ownership of IP and also my favorite kind of case, because they are such tangled human stories. The contracts are also poor or nonexistent and the IP rights misunderstood if recognized at all, so trying to get to a fair outcome sometimes an interesting exercise....

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    Penguin to Continue Publishing Steinbeck

    by  • August 15, 2008

    In the past I could have just linked to William Patry’s blog for a case like this, but unfortunately no more. We’ll just have to soldier on and do our best to understand the intricacies of termination rights in copyright law without the benefit of his knowledge and insight. A recently published termination case,...

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    Bratz Mandamus Denied

    by  • August 13, 2008

    The 9th Circuit, brief and to the point: Petitioners’ motion to file portions of the emergency motion and the petition for writ of mandamus under seal is granted. The motion to exceed the page limitation on the petition is granted. The emergency motion for an order suspending trial is denied. Petitioners have not demonstrated...

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    Fall River’s Own Lizzie Borden

    by  • August 12, 2008

    A local segment from WBUR’s broadcast of this morning’s NPR show “Morning Edition” was about a dispute in Massachusetts over the rightful owner of Lizzie Borden’s history. The argument is in the form of a trademark lawsuit, where the owner of the “Lizzie Borden Museum” trademark (website here) filed a complaint for trademark infringement...

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    Bratz Hobby

    by  • August 9, 2008

    Watching the Bratz litigation has become a bit of a hobby for me. Law.com reports that MGA applied for a writ of mandamus with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, asking it to overturn the district court’s denial of the motion for mistrial that MGA filed when it learned that a juror...

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