Posts tagged Copyright, Trademark and Other Intellectual Property.

A Prince-ly ruling for copyright holders

“If one of us is not free to celebrate ‘Taco Tuesday,’ then none of us are free to celebrate ‘Taco Tuesday.’”

In a somewhat whimsical, but still serious, trademark cancellation proceeding filed on May 16, 2023, Taco Bell is seeking to cancel the registration of the trademark TACO TUESDAY, which has been owned by Spicy Seasonings, LLC (dba Taco John’s) since 1989. Taco Bell is not seeking trademark protection of its own for the phrase. Rather, Taco Bell is arguing that no one should own the phrase, and everyone should be entitled to use it.

Taco Bell states that it is “not ...

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused chaos throughout the world and heartbreaking death and suffering to the people of Ukraine. In today’s global economy, the war has also resulted in consequences and instability beyond what is seen on the daily news. With sanctions from most Western countries and Russia’s own actions internally, global brands may begin losing their valuable intellectual property rights in Russia.

Olshan Intellectual Property/Brand Management and Protection partner Mary Grieco was quoted in a recent Bloomberg Law article (subscription required) entitled, “Russian IP Animus Fuels Risk, Uncertainty as Firms Recalibrate.”

Olshan Intellectual Property/Brand Management and Protection partner Mary Grieco was featured on IP Talk, the news blog of Inlex IP Expertise, a French industrial property law firm focusing on trademarks, domain names and data protection.

Almost all intellectual property offices throughout the world have used an online filing system for some time, which allows IP owners and attorneys the ability to file the required prosecution and maintenance documents online. In addition, many government intellectual property offices, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) have been set up to allow employees to work remotely. Therefore, while the physical offices of intellectual property government agencies are likely closed or are operating with minimal on-site staff, we do not foresee any major disruptions.

In today’s global marketplace, it is more important than ever for a brand owner to be aware of international considerations while building and marketing the brand in the United States. There are many similarities in the laws across the various jurisdictions in the world, although there are also significant differences, and a brand owner can run into serious or unintended consequences when expanding the brand into other countries. Brand owners should not assume that activities permitted or appropriate in the United States are also permitted and appropriate elsewhere. Many of these issues were discussed recently in Moscow at a conference of international intellectual property lawyers at which I presented, as the United States representative, on a panel entitled “Brand Protection Strategy in the United States and Russia.” The conference was a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Russian law firm Gorrodissky & Partners.

Bloomberg BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report published “Social Media Considerations for Real Estate Companies” authored by Olshan Partners Andrew Lustigman and Mary Grieco. 

By William MacDonald*

In anticipation of the rapid expansion of the number of top-level domain names from the current handful (.com, .net., .mobi, .jobs, etc.) to well over 1,000, earlier this week ICANN's new Trademark Clearinghouse opened for business.

By William MacDonald*

In a decision published last week, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., the United States Supreme Court held that the "first sale" doctrine under the United States Copyright Act applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.

The categories in the 2012 Annual Report are important as they typically portend future FTC scrutiny and enforcement for businesses in such areas.

By William MacDonald*

The Center for Copyright Information will soon implement a subscriber monitoring and alert system in which copyright owners and ISPs will monitor Internet traffic in an attempt to help identify potentially infringing peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted material.

Olshan will present a webinar called Cloud Computing: Keeping Employee, Customer and Confidential Information Safe on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EDT. CLE credit will be available for this complimentary program.

The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides explain to businesses how to avoid making deceptive claims about precious metal, pewter, diamond, gemstone, and pearl products, and when they should make disclosures to avoid unfair or deceptive trade practices.

By William MacDonald*

Last week the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") filed a lawsuit against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and three of its subsidiaries (collectively, "Wyndham") accusing them of failing to protect consumers' personal information leading to a series of three data security breaches over a two-year period.

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it will host a one-day public workshop on October 2, 2012, to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medications industry.

On June 26, 2012 FTC filed suit against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and three of its subsidiaries for alleged data security failures. The FTC alleges that such security failures led to three data breaches at Wyndham hotels in less than two years.

A movie-still from the final scene of Casablanca us at the heart of recently-filed lawsuits in New York and Los Angeles between Burberry and the heirs of Humphrey Bogart. 

If I pay for something, I own it, right? With most everything in the world, that is true, and it seems logical. When it comes to copyrights, however, the law and logic do not always agree.

 Two of Hollywood's hottest stars, George Clooney and Julia Roberts recently teamed up to sue Digital Projection, Inc. and Beyond Audio Inc. in California state court, for misuse of their names and images to sell expensive movie projectors and entertainment systems.

The French luxury brand Hermès has been awarded $100 million and a permanent injunction in an action against 34 websites that sold counterfeit Hermes products.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has granted summary judgment in favor of the FTC and against the marketers of three get-rich-quick systems: (1) "John Beck's Free and Clear Real Estate System," (2) "John Alexander's Real Estate Riches in 14 Days" and (3) "Jeff Paul's Shortcuts to Internet Millions."

Olshan will present a webinar focusing on "What Every Business Should Know About Creating And Protecting Its Brand" on June 21, 2012, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EDT.

On May 24, 2012, the FCC issued a final rule amending its existing Truth-in-Billing rules.

In a 345-page Initial Decision by the Chief Administrative Law Judge, the FTC's complaint against POM Wonderful LLC (POM) and its principals was upheld to the extent that the company had claimed that its products would treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction because these claims were not supported by sufficient competent and reliable evidence.

A trademark is often a company's most valuable asset. It is what distinguishes a company's products or services from that of its competitors, and many times, consumers will make their purchasing decisions based on the goodwill of a particular brand. For that reason, it is not unusual for a company to have a knee-jerk reaction to challenge another company's use or ownership of the identical mark.

Once a name, slogan or word becomes trendy, enthusiastic entrepreneurs race to file trademark applications in the hope of cashing in on the excitement.

In Viacom Int'l, Inc., et al. v. YouTube, Inc., et al., the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently reversed a district court's holding that defendants were entitled to safe harbor protection under §512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In 2010, General Motors used an image of Albert Einstein in an ad for its Terrain vehicle. The image, which GM licensed from Getty Images, depicted Einstein's head on a muscular, shirtless body with an "e=mc2" tattoo.

A judge in New York recently refused to dismiss the complaint filed by a model, Hailey Clauson, and her parents, brought against the retailer Urban Outfitters, claiming the unauthorized use of Clauson's photograph.

Google has an AdWords program, which allows third parties to buy keywords, including trademarks, that generate sponsored links when someone types the word or phrase in an online search.

The new social media website known as Pinterest has exploded in popularity in recent months.

Olshan counsel Jonathan I. Ezor was extensively quoted in a Mobile Marketer article by Chantal Tode about a new online advertising patent lawsuit brought by Augme against competitor Velti.

The Federal Trade Commission announces proposed changes to two parts of the procedures that govern the way the agency operates.

In the United States if a trademark is not in use, an applicant can still apply for a federal trademark application based on a bona fide intent to use the trademark in commerce.

A Missouri tattoo artist named S. Victor Whitmill sued the studio producing the eagerly anticipated movie The Hangover II because, get ready for this, the movie and its promotional material includes reproductions of the tattoo that Whitmill inked onto the face of boxer-turned-thespian Mike Tyson.

A July 2009 copyright decision in New York confirmed a trend towards strengthening copyright protection for fictional characters by limiting the ability of others to make commercial use of the fictional characters in outside works of literature.

Just last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important trademark ruling that affects how businesses can advertise with Internet search engines.

A District Court in Texas has been asked to decide whether an athlete has the exclusive right to his own nicknames.

A District Court in Texas has been asked to decide whether an athlete has the exclusive right to his own nicknames.

Less than a mile from The Lustigman Firm's offices in midtown Manhattan, a man calling himself The Naked Cowboy struts around Times Square in his tighty whities, posing for pictures with tourists in exchange for a couple of bucks.

Fantasy football and rotisserie baseball players rejoice! The Supreme Court has allowed fantasy sports websites to use the names and statistics of professional athletes without the permission of the sports leagues or players unions.

If you have a Web site where users may post their own thoughts, comments or files, you face the very real possibility that the materials your users post may violate someone else’s copyright.

There are a number of commonly held myths about copyright and its limitations. If you or your clients believe any of the following myths, you may be including unauthorized work within your Web site or other creative projects without intending to.


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