• Posts Tagged ‘declaratory judgment’

    Patent Infringement Is a Frivolous Claim (If You Don’t Own the Patent)

    by  • September 20, 2017 • patent • 0 Comments

    There is a chicken-and-egg problem with patent ownership and a patent infringement claim. I’d guess that most patents are assigned, that is, since under US law it is the natural person who is the inventor, patents will generally be assigned to a business for exploitation. That underlying assignment, a contract, is therefore a creature...

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    It Just Seems Wrong UPDATE

    by  • July 26, 2016 • trademark • 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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    It Just Seems Wrong

    by  • May 19, 2014 • trademark • 0 Comments

    I don’t know whether this case is an unintended consequence or an ill-considered strategy. In any case, I think the outcome is wrong. We have four different parties using somewhat different trademarks for strip clubs.* Their relative order of priority, and the marks, is this: Owner Marks Priority date Spencer (defendant) CRAZY HORSE CLEVELAND...

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    Assignor Estoppel is Only a Shield

    by  • February 13, 2013 • patent • 1 Comment

    Here’s a bit of an odd case — too much of a stretch for the court’s taste, but I suppose a hat tip for the try, and the plaintiff got out of it without being sanctioned. The case involves “assignor estoppel.” Assignor estoppel is an equitable doctrine that prevents an assignor of a patent...

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    It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

    by  • December 4, 2011 • trademark

    Popeye vs. Popeyes: the owner of Popeyes “quick service” restaurants, AFC Enterprises, Inc., has filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment asking the court to declare that it, not the Hearst Corporation, owner of the Popeye cartoon character, is the owner of the trademark POPEYES for restaurant services. The dispute exists because AFC Enterprises originally...

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