• Illustrating Why Registration Should Not Be Required

    by  • October 15, 2018 • 0 Comments

    I suggested in a recent blog post that the Copyright Act should be amended to eliminate the requirement that a copyright must be registered before one can file a copyright infringement lawsuit. My position is that the registration does nothing to aid the court in its decisionmaking and the additional step it adds to...

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    The Cluster That Is Copyright Registration

    by  • October 1, 2018 • 0 Comments

    Subtitled “Writing it so @RickSanders doesn’t have to“ The copyright registration system, as it relates to an infringement case, is utterly and completely broken. We need reform. Here are the facts we’ll assume are true for purposes of today’s rant. Plaintiff SellPoolSuppliesOnline.com, LLC (SPSO) provided Ugly Pools Arizona, Inc., the defendant and a company...

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    What Is the Mark Being Used?

    by  • September 24, 2018 • 0 Comments

    What Is the Mark Being Used? Two entities are disputing the ownership of the domain name “coralgardens.com.” The domain name is owned by Reef Residences Management Ltd., a company that manages short term rentals for the Coral Gardens condominium resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies. The Proprietors, Strata Plan No....

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    Real Party in Interest

    by  • September 19, 2018 • 0 Comments

    There is an ongoing dispute between the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, more commonly known as “The Grange,” and a former chapter in California. National Grange established the California State Grange in 1873 and it registered as a California corporation in 1946. In 2012, there was a dispute between the...

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    Saved by the Paris Convention

    by  • September 17, 2018 • 0 Comments

    Here’s a drafting lesson: if you’re granting rights to a trademark, you should have the trademark rights. That sounds like an obvious lesson, but I’ll bet it happens all the time, in the same way it happened to defendant Worldwide Entertainment Group. I’ll bet a lot of you have done it. The plaintiff Adria...

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    Removing the Veil

    by  • September 10, 2018 • 0 Comments

    We’re all familiar with the concept of “piercing the corporate veil.” As a general rule, the owner of a legal entity, like the parent of a subsidiary, or the shareholder of a company, is legally insulated from the wrongdoing of the owned company. In some cases though, where the owner and the company haven’t...

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    It’s About the Evidence

    by  • August 27, 2018 • 0 Comments

    Whole Foods Market filed an application to register the mark IDEAL MARKET for grocery stores, giving a first use date in 1940. Opposers Muwafak Kaki and Kaki Inc. opposed on the basis that they were joint owners of an IDEAL MARKET trademark that predated Whole Foods’ first use. Whole Foods filed a motion for...

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    When Is It a License?

    by  • August 20, 2018 • 0 Comments

    When reviewing a settlement agreement, I often ponder the parts where it says something like “Party B agrees not to infringe the trademark in the future.” The agreement doesn’t need it; whether you say it or not Party B isn’t allowed to break the law. I suppose adding the language gives you a breach...

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    Breach of a Copyright License in State Court

    by  • July 30, 2018 • 0 Comments

    It’s unusual to see what looks like a copyright case in state court, particularly one that reaches the highest court. It is Associated Management Services, Inc. v. Ruff, a license case in the Supreme Court of Montana. Plaintiff Associated Management Services provides payroll and business services to its parent company Associated Employer, a non-profit...

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    Just “Slip It In Nebulously”

    by  • June 25, 2018 • 0 Comments

    When you see “slip it in” in an email about contract negotiations, it’s a good bet it’s not going to go well for the person trying to “slip it in.” Especially when their goal is to do it “nebulously.” The transaction was, to the defendant Mitel Networks, a vanilla domain name sale. However, the...

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    It’s All About the Evidence

    by  • June 4, 2018 • 1 Comment

    One of the interesting things about TTAB proceedings is that there is no live testimony before the people who will decide the case, the judges. That’s generally a good thing; it means the proceeding is less expensive and time-consuming. Trial testimony is done like a deposition, with just the parties and a court reporter,...

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    You Will Be There – MTB-XIV

    by  • May 16, 2018 • 0 Comments

    Who could resist the lure of bowling and billiards? Surely I can’t, which is why on Tuesday, May 22, you’ll find me at the above locale, Garage Billiards, 1130 Broadway, in Seattle. After your marathon day of fifteen minute meetings and sterno-warmed chicken and penne eaten during your committee meeting, join the fabulous collection...

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