A Troll Is Born

In May of 2016, a Facebook Live user named Kali Kanongataa offered the world something uplifting, graphic and intimate: the birth of his son for all the world to see. According to Kanongataa, he had originally attempted to share the live broadcast only with his Facebook connections, but mistakenly broadcast to all of Facebook — […] Read More

Hotel California: A Great Song, a Great Title, But a Great Hotel?

Here’s the case of a dark, desert highway with, perhaps, a cool wind in your hair:  The Eagles Ltd v. Hotel California of Baja. It concerns a hotel in Mexico that had been opened in the 1950s under the name Hotel California. The owners decided to stop using that name and retitled the property “The […] Read More

A Friend of a Friend Said… You Should Actually See a Lawyer

The other day a client sent me two pictures. One was of a someone else’s textile design, and the other was my client’s own rendering of it. The client said “We copied our design from their design. Can you tell us whether it’s infringing?” Rather than respond to the email, I called my client and reminded him […] Read More

“UL” is Not in the Public Domain. Don’t Mess with Certification Marks!

What two words are worth $500,000 each? In the case of HOVERBOARD® The Space Chariot, those two word are “UL Certified.” (Yes, HOVERBOARD is a federally registered trademark; while it appears to be on the road to becoming generic, that’s a topic for another day.) Why they are called HOVERBOARDs is beyond me. They clearly […] Read More

Breitbart’s Biggest Enemy is the Truth…Including Todd Bigelow’s Copyright

A lawsuit was recently filed in the Southern District of New York that isn’t exactly fascinating for its merits, but it does speak to the perennial issue of intellectual property rights: the erroneous but popular idea, even among commercial users, that “if it’s on the internet, it’s free to use!”   In Bigelow v. Breitbart […] Read More

No Trademark? No Problem

An interesting case was recently decided in the Southern District of New York called Charisma World Wide Corp v. Avon Products. It appears to be a case over intellectual property rights, but decided without relying on intellectual property law. The case was over a technical analysis as to whether the court had subject matter jurisdiction […] Read More

It Takes All Sorts of Torts, Indeed!

A copyright dispute late last year forced a holiday play to go dark before the Rockefeller Center tree was ever lit. The suit centers around the play Who’s Holiday by Matthew Lombardo. No, the dispute is not over the apparent typo in the play’s name. Rather, it is that the defendant’s play is based on […] Read More

Tequila or Not Tequila: A New Certification Mark is Born

Ironically, the same week that the president of Mexico declined to meet with the president of a formerly friendly nation because of various perceived (and perhaps actual) insults, the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) granted a decision in favor of a Mexican non-profit association of distilleries. The Consejo Regulador del Tequila was […] Read More

“Anything Goes”? Not Necessarily

You might think that the inaccuracy of the following statement is obvious: “If it’s on the internet, it’s free.”‘ Still, many of today’s internet users, including business owners, seem to believe it and use what they download with litigious results. There are at least two lawsuits in the Southern District of New York—Veronina v. Scores […] Read More

Creative Team Behind Broadway’s Jersey Boys Hit with Copyright Infringement

Big girls may not cry, but the creative team behind the smash Broadway musical Jersey Boys might be doing just that. On November 28, a jury in Nevada federal court found that the musical’s creators were guilty of copyright infringement—to the tune of 10% of the show’s profits. Jersey Boys centers around the life and […] Read More