Holy Fiction, Batman! Imaginary Products Don’t Infringe on Real Ones
by James Creedon
In The Dark Knight Rises , the third Batman film by Warner Brothers Entertainment, antihero Catwoman seeks to remove her criminal history from every database in the world so she can return to a normal life. Towards that end, she enters a criminal conspiracy in hopes of gaining access to “the clean slate,” a powerful database “hacking” program developed by the Rykin Data Corporation. The corporation? Purely fictional. The “clean slate” software is as well. But the name of... [ Read More ]
Apple and Samsung Agree to a Truce – Outside the U.S.
Bloomberg recently reported that Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all patent lawsuits against each other outside the United States. The agreement between Apple and Samsung does not involve any licensing arrangements. Apple and Samsung recently dropped a cross-appeal of a final ITC ruling banning importation of certain Samsung products. In May, Apple and Google reached a similar truce that purportedly did not involve a license agreement but did include a global settlement of all patent litigation between the... [ Read More ]
PTAB Issues First Precedential Ruling Under America Invents Act
The PTAB recently issued its first precedential ruling under the America Invents Act in a Covered Business Method Review proceeding. In its ruling, the PTAB decided that a CBM review cannot proceed if a petitioner files a civil suit to challenge a patent's validity before filing a petition for Covered Business Method Review. The PTAB issues decisions in three categories: routine, informative, and precedential. Routine decisions may be cited as persuasive authority. Informative decisions are not binding... [ Read More ]
Victoria’s Secret Loses Most Recent Battle in the Global War over “PINK"
Two retail giants, Victoria’s Secret (L Brands) and Thomas Pink (LVMH Moet Hennessy) have been fighting over the exclusive right to use the “PINK” trademark in the United States and internationally after numerous lawsuits and countersuits have been filed on both sides of the Atlantic. Victoria’s Secret, which began as an exclusive lingerie-only brand, launched its extremely successfully “Pink” line in 2002. The “Pink” line offers both lingerie and loungewear, and many... [ Read More ]
Even a Monkey Can Do It? A Copyright Fight Over an Animal Selfie
by James Creedon
When British nature photographer David J. Slater traveled to Indonesia in 2011, his goal was to add to his list of awards with a prize image of the crested black macaque. He was in for a surprise, however, when one of the primates took the shot that would be seen by millions around the world. As Slater set up his equipment, one curious macaque knocked over a camera and accidentally snapped a picture. Hearing the click, the macaque became more curious and soon had hit the button over 300 times while looking at the reflection in... [ Read More ]
The Court of Justice of the EU Overturns German Trademark Office’s 2013 “Nein” Ruling against Apple, Inc.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has overturned a 2013 ruling by the German Patent and Trademark Office that had previously held that Apple, Inc.’s (“Apple”) retail store design was ineligible for trademark registration. Apple had already successfully registered the trademark in the United States and was relying on that 2010 registration to seek international protection under the Madrid Agreement. As many trademark lawyers already know, many parties to the Madrid Agreement may choose to accept... [ Read More ]
Beware your Avatar
by Corey Weinstein
FIFA filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice for avatars that used FIFA’s official images related to World Cup. FIFA, an entity that strictly prohibits use of its logos, stated that “Any unauthorized use of the Official Marks not only undermines the integrity of the FIFA World Cup™ and its marketing program, but also puts the interests of the worldwide football community at stake . . . .” FIFA asserted that using its logos may leave to a false association and could damage... [ Read More ]