• The Watchman Returns

    by  • December 26, 2008

    The Law Blog at the WSJ reports that a California court held that 20th Century Fox owns at least the right of distribution in the soon-to-be-released Warner Bros. film The Watchman. I couldn’t find the decision on Pacer, but the complaint gives the background. An interesting insight into how production and distribution rights for...

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    Race To the Swiftest Without Notice

    by  • December 24, 2008

    The U.S. patent, trademark and copyright statutes all have recording provisions (“race-notice,” if my property law recollection is correct) that provide a bona fide purchaser in good faith defense to the second purchaser. I don’t remember the last time I read a case that dealt with the assignment of the same intellectual property to...

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    UK “Own Name” Defense

    by  • December 11, 2008

    The IPKat posts on a new case involving the “own name” defense under UK trademark law. The Trade Marks Act 1994 provides that “A registered trade mark is not infringed by – the use by a person of his own name . . . provided the use is in accordance with honest practices in...

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    Disarmed

    by  • December 10, 2008

    Han Nee invented, and patented, the use of various silver alloys to be used in reflective and semi-reflective layers of CDs and DVDs. He may have done it while employed for Sony DADC US Inc. (“DADC”) and Sony, Inc. (“Sony”), a company related to DADC somehow. Nee had worked for both companies at different...

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    Mattel Now Owns Bratz

    by  • December 5, 2008

    As it last stood, Mattel had moved for an order on declaratory judgment that it owned all right, title and interest in the Bratz dolls created while the designer, Carter Bryant, worked at Mattel; for a permanent injunction that MGA cease manufacturing dolls; and that the court impose a constructive trust and transfer the...

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    Paying Royalties in the Hereafter

    by  • December 4, 2008

    Contract cases (like patent cases) often come down to one word. In Imation Corp. v. Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., it was the little word “hereafter.” In 1995 Imation’s predecessor 3M and Philips entered into a patent cross-license for CD and DVD technology. The license terminated on March 1, 2000, except that the patent licenses...

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    Shares of Curlin

    by  • December 2, 2008

    It’s not intellectual property, but it is intangible property, a court case and lawyers. ESPN reports that a judge has rejected the sale of a 20% interest in the Horse of the Year Curlin for $4 million. The 20% share is owned by disbarred attorneys who need to raise money to pay former phen-fen...

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    I Swear I Invented It First

    by  • November 30, 2008

    Judge Alsup from the patent-heavy Northern District of California court has taken advantage of the almost certain appeal of patent cases by writing an “Appendix” to point out what he perceives as an unfairness in patent jurisprudence. He asks the Federal Circuit to address the burden of proof in swearing behind references. The patent...

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    A Patently Untenable Trademark Claim

    by  • November 27, 2008

    Plaintiff Robert Welsh d/b/a Big Ten Development pitched the idea of a “Big Ten Network” to the Big Ten Conference. Big Ten Conference wasn’t interested at the time, but several years later introduced the “Big Ten Network” and filed trademark applications to register the mark in various classes. Welsh brought suit under § 38...

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