• The Standing of an Exclusive Trademark Licensee (or not)

    by  • July 6, 2020 • 0 Comments

    July 7, 2020: Updated to add footnote 2. Section 32 of the Lanham Act is for infringement of registered trademarks. The section says that the liability for infringement is to the “registrant.” That category undisputedly includes a successor-in-interest, such as an assignee. A minority of courts have also held that “registrant” encompasses an exclusive...

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    One Work or Two?

    by  • May 26, 2020 • 0 Comments

    I read the headlines about Johnson v. Nike with passing surprise, because the case was decided of on a motion to dismiss. The designs aren’t that different and what crossed my brief attention led me to think that it was a copyright infringement case about the similarity of these two designs: But it is...

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    Second and Ninth Circuits Split and Also Agree

    by  • May 18, 2020 • 1 Comment

    I have long disagreed with the Ninth Circuit on a standard that I think is unduly crabbed. I’m talking specifically about the cause of action, and therefore remedies available, when the obligations in an agreement that include a copyright license are not met. The courts are in agreement that the obligations can be put...

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    Accrual of an Authorship Claim

    by  • May 13, 2020 • 0 Comments

    Copyright ownership claims are not unusual. But what about authorship? Often the distinction doesn’t matter because, in infringement claims, the owner stands in the shoes of author. But it does matter to termination – the author (or the author’s heirs) is the only one with termination rights; a mere owner cannot exercise a termination...

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    You Can’t Just “Re-Form” a Plaintiff

    by  • April 27, 2020 • 0 Comments

    Here are the facts: Ness Stewart Irvine was a patentee. Irvine assigned his patents-in-suit to InterAD Technologies, LLC. InterAD assigned them to Zeroclick, LLC (“Zeroclick I”), the plaintiff, a Texas entity. Zeroclick I sued Apple for patent infringement. Erich Spangenberg, listed as the “governing person,” terminated the Zeroclick I entity.1 Non-party Granicus IP, LLC...

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    A License to Embed (See What I’m Doing Here?)

    by  • April 15, 2020 • 0 Comments

    I was going to blog Sinclair v. Ziff Davis, LLC, but @MarkJKings explained everything you need to know in a Twitter thread. So, by virtue of the license granted to me by Twitter, I present Sinclair. Plaintiff Sinclair is a professional photographer. Mashable approached her about including one of her photographs in an article...

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    Foreign Manufacturer Continues to Own Its Mark

    by  • April 13, 2020 • 0 Comments

    Liger6, LLC v. Sarto is right in my wheelhouse, two claimants to the same mark. I passed on it at the district court level, though, because it wasn’t particularly remarkable. However, there is a decision on appeal now, and it’s a slow news week for non-Covid news. The district court opinion is marked “Not...

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    The Implied Sublicense

    by  • March 23, 2020 • 0 Comments

    Plaintiff Photographic Illustrators Corp. (PIC) did beauty shots of lightbulbs for Osram Sylvania. The parties had a falling out and in 2006 entered into a settlement agreement. The agreement settled all past claims and set forth the terms of the parties’ future relationship. Relevant to the case, Sylvania had a broad license to use...

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