Tag Archives: Intellectual Property

Dispatch from Durban #1: ICANN 47 Day 1 (or is it Day -2?)

Driving in to Durban from the airport this morning, I caught my first glimpse of the Indian Ocean: endless, exotic, deep, and full of mystery, it stretched to the blue horizon. While the Indian Ocean is more beautiful, it seems like ICANN 47 will be just as endless, exotic, and deep. Only time will tell what ICANN 47 is full of. Although ICANN 47 does not officially start until Monday, the weekend features a number of working meetings of various ICANN groups, and is the unofficial beginning of each ICANN meeting. I spent my day in the meeting of the GNSO Council. The GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) is a multistakeholder group tasked with developing policy recommendations for the gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) system - the domains we know and love (like .com, .net and .biz) and the domains yet to come (like .wtf, .sucks and .cool). The GNSO Council consists of representatives from each of the stakeholder groups that make up the GNSO.… Continue Reading

Jersey Shore Star Loses “Fitchuation” Lawsuit to Abercrombie & Fitch

Jersey Shore star, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, lost his lawsuit last week against Abercrombie & Fitch ("A&F") when a Florida federal judge ruled the case could not proceed to trial based on his trademark infringement, publicity rights, and false advertising claims related to a t-shirt the retail store sold labeled "The Fitchuation."… Continue Reading

White House Announces Patent Enforcement Recommendations

This post was written by Marc S. Kaufman. The White House announced several legislative recommendations and Executive Actions relating to patent enforcement. The primary objectives are to make it more difficult to enforce patents and less difficult to challenge patents. The actions are intended to address the “drain on the American economy” caused by patent … Continue Reading

Model Suing Lions Gate Over Opening Credits of Mad Men

The next time you watch Mad Men, you may find yourself paying a little closer attention to the opening credits. Last week, Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation was sued by a model from the 1950s and 1960s who is alleging the company violated her publicity and privacy rights by using a photograph from her in the show's opening credits without her permission.… Continue Reading

Car-Freshener Corporation Tries to Clear the Air

Car-Freshener Corporation and Julius Samann Ltd. ("JSL"), the companies behind the iconic LITTLE TREE air fresheners, recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against WPP's Grey Global Group Inc. ("Grey"). The action stems from a 2011 ad campaign in which Grey worked with Another Dancing Bear Productions ("ADBP") and Scent USA to develop car air fresheners for BMW's line of certified pre-owned vehicles. In particular, Car-Freshener Corp. and JSL allege that the BMW air fresheners, which contain an evergreen logo, are confusingly similar to their own trademarked tree logo.… Continue Reading

Louboutin Wins Exclusive Right To Sell Its (Red) Sole

In a decision of 5 September 2012, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the red soles used in Christian Louboutin’s shoes were a “distinctive symbol that qualifies for trade mark protection” and therefore a valid and enforceable trademark. As background to the case, Louboutin had seen red and sued … Continue Reading

Protecting Your Trademarks in the World of .XXX Domain Names

To go along with .com, .net, and the other current top-level domains (“TLD’s”), the formation of a new .xxx TLD has been approved for websites related to the adult entertainment industry. Since the .xxx TLD is intended only for adult entertainment industry websites, applicants who want to set up .xxx domains will need to certify that … Continue Reading

Facebook and Lamebook Settle Trademark Dispute

On August 25, 2011, Facebook and Lamebook, a self-described “fun humor blog” which highlights funny, absurd and “lame” things people post on Facebook, settled their trademark dispute. The dispute began in early 2010 with Facebook sending Lamebook a cease-and-desist letter to change its name and stop using the Lamebook mark. After months of discussions between the parties, … Continue Reading

Google’s New Trade Mark Policy – Buyers Beware

Google’s new trademark policy comes into play from the 14th September 2010 in UK, Ireland and Canada, and effectively most of Europe. The change has been received with differing views. One view is that it will ultimately result in a better surfing experience for users; the other is that it is nothing other than a ruse … Continue Reading

One in the Eye for Specsavers

Last week the Chancery Division dealt a blow to Specsavers when judgment was given in its trade mark infringement claim against Asda. Keen-eyed observers will also see that Specsavers were represented by the aptly named Adrian Speck. Asda ran an in-store advertising campaign for its optician’s services which featured a logo containing two ovals along … Continue Reading

AdWords – the latest clarification from the ECJ

Following the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Google’s Adwords policy in the Louis Vuitton case, which we wrote about in March, a new decision dealing with the problems associated with AdWords was handed down yesterday in the case Portakabin Ltd v Primakabin BV, Case C-558/08. Portakabin build and supply mobile buildings and own the … Continue Reading

Google on a litigation roll

Google is celebrating yet another significant litigation victory today, after a federal judge in New York ruled in favour of Google in the $1 billion claim made against them by Viacom. This follows Google’s recent victory in March this year in the case brought by Louis Vuitton about AdWords (see our Ad Guide). Viacom sued Google in 2006, after its … Continue Reading

Seeing double: using synonyms may not prevent copyright infringement

A recent, and somewhat surprising, Australian case has highlighted the risk for advertising agencies when preparing advertising copy. In Budget Eyewear v Specsavers [2010] FCA 507, the Australian Federal Court granted an interlocutory injunction stopping Specsavers from running an ad campaign in which the words used were extremely similar to wording used in a campaign … Continue Reading

World Cup Ambush Marketing Pandemonium and Implications for UK

Official sponsors of the World Cup call foul as yet another brand owner successfully pulls off an ambush marketing stunt. This week two Dutch women were arrested for organising 36 girls to appear scantily clad in orange to promote the Dutch brewery, Bavaria. Perhaps the brewery were hoping of a repeat of four years ago at the … Continue Reading

New Copyright Law in Chile

This post was written by Andrés Grunewaldt.  On the World Intellectual Property day, we want to share the following information with you: After a long and intense congressional debate that began in 2007, the Chilean government has announced the promulgation of a law amending important and sensitive subjects covered in our current Intellectual Property Law No. … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Advertising, Technology, & Media Teleseminar: Facebook Personalized URLs – A Titanic Opportunity for Brands, or the Tip of an Iceberg?

Facebook announced last week the availability of a personalized Facebook URLs for individual profiles, e.g., www.facebook.com/[your name]. As discussed in our June 12 Client Alert, “Just When You Thought You Were Too Old for Facebook,” this latest offering from Facebook raises serious issues—issues that are typically encountered when technology collides with traditional intellectual property laws … Continue Reading

Just When You Thought You’re Too Old for Facebook

Earlier today, you may have received numerous memos from law firms and bloggers anxious to respond to the announcement by Facebook that Facebook is allowing trademark owners to notify Facebook of their IP rights through use of a special electronic form. The purpose is to allow trademark owners to record their IP rights in advance of … Continue Reading

(In)Game Advertising: The European Perspective on Related Legal Problems

This post was written by Avv. Felix Hofer. 1. When I came around ‘game advertising’ for the first time my attitude as a lawyer, not necessarily familiar with what I – snobbishly – considered as basically being “kid’s or nerds’ stuff”, was obviously extremely skeptic. Running more and more frequently into articles published on the topic, … Continue Reading

Italy: The Use of a Person’s Image

This post was written by Avv. Felix Hofer. 1. The general principle is that the use of a person’s image without his/her consent is basically prohibited (this even more if such use is performed for marketing or – in general – commercial purposes). In Italy the right on a person’s image is governed both by … Continue Reading
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