• 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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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,...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    Were the Patent Rights Assigned?

    by  • May 4, 2018 • 2 Comments

    Defendant J2 Cloud Services (JFAX) hired plaintiff Greg James to write some software. Unbeknownst to James, JFAX filed a patent on the software. Many years later, James sued JFAX for correction of inventorship. JFAX argued that James didn’t have standing for correction of inventorship because he had assigned his patent rights to JFAX. The...

    Read more →

    The Scope of the License

    by  • May 1, 2018 • 0 Comments

    The opinion is sparse on the facts and the law, so we have to do some interpretation. But it’s worth some thought about how the court construed the scope of an implied copyright license. Defendant Kushner wrote software for plaintiff Vickerman Co. Their relationship ended, Vickerman Co. sued Kushner (the court doesn’t say why,...

    Read more →

    Get the Agreement Signed

    by  • April 30, 2018 • 0 Comments

    This is a remarkable story. It’s a counter-intuitive result, not wrong, but so surprising. I present: THE VILLAGE PEOPLE!! (Go ahead, full screen. You know you want to.) There is no dispute that the plaintiff in this case, Can’t Stop Productions, Inc., created the Village People. The front man in the video, the police...

    Read more →