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

“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

Trademarks: Register Early and Register Often

Recently a lawsuit over a prominent band’s name was filed in state court in Virginia. At first glance, the lawsuit has the ingredients required for an intellectual property case eligible for federal jurisdiction. So why is it being argued in state court? The lead plaintiff, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, began playing with Bob Marley and […] Read More

Protecting Cannabis Trademarks

Recently we met a client who wants to develop a brand for use in connection with a cannabis product, in one of the 23 states (and the District of Columbia) where it’s legal.  While cannabis is clearly a growing business, selling it is still a criminal offense in the eyes of the federal government.  So, […] Read More

Domain Names: Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

Recently a client of ours was approached by a company that buys and sells domain names. It was claiming to represent another company that wanted to buy our client’s domain name—but remain anonymous. I was intrigued and took to the internet to search through all of the new products coming out with names that were similar to […] Read More

A Little or a Whole Lotta Imitation? Makes You Wonder.

Recently, a copyright case years in the making has come back into the news. The heir to the composer of a song called “Taurus,” performed by a band called Spirit, had filed suit against a little-known band called Led Zeppelin over something called “Stairway to Heaven.” In March, a court in California denied Led Zeppelin’s […] Read More

Showing Use Online: The Proof Is in the Order Page

We all know that web pages often serve as retailers. With that in mind, an intellectual property attorney from Turkey asked me a great question at the INTA 2016 conference in Orlando: “Can showing products online be enough to show use of a trademark in the United States?” Fortunately, U.S. trademark guidelines for the U.S. Patent […] Read More

No Deal Breaker

Recently, a client using a form agreement we had drafted told me that a Big, Important Customer had wanted to make changes to the agreement. It was “just boilerplate” – not financial – so the client made the changes without conferring with counsel. The Customer’s legal department said that they wanted the client, an entertainment […] Read More

Trademark Demand Letters: Sometimes More Bark than Bite

A client of mine recently received an email from someone saying that since the 1990s, he had been using the same trademark she’s using now, so she should stop using it. The two trademarks were not exactly the same, but they were very similar, and for related goods and services. However, I wouldn’t recommend my […] Read More

9 Things All U.S. Trademark Owners Should Know

So you’ve just gotten your U.S. trademark registered. Congratulations! Now there are some things you should know… 1. The trademark needs to be maintained. Between the 9th and 10th year after registering your trademark, and every 10 years thereafter, you must file a combined “Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal.” This might seem like […] Read More