Visual demonstration of Blockchain Principles

I will be discussing brand protection applications for blockchain at:

Hot Topics in IP Law, presented by the NY IP Law Association, Tuesday, July 17.

Below is Blockchain 101, a visual demonstration of blockchain principles created by Anders Brownworth.


Text of Fed Circ Decision in Royal Crown v Coke in COKE ZERO Case

Royal Crown opposed various applications by Coke to register terms that included the word ZERO, on grounds of genericness (or, in the alternative, that the terms were highly descriptive and Coke had not shown a sufficient degree of secondary menaing in the term).

The court instructed the Board to consider, on remand, whether ZERO is generic because it “refers to a key aspect of at least a sub-group or type of the claimed beverage goods.”

As to secondary meaning, the more descriptive a term is, the higher the level of secondary meaning that must be shown. A highly descriptive term such as, perhaps, ZERO, is held to an ‘exacting’ standard.

TTABlog discussion here.


“Rewriting Racist Headlines” – Video On ‘Framing’ The News


Jane Does 1-100 Will Be Appearing In Woodlands, Texas This Friday (Weezer Will Also Be Appearing)

Licensing agent for Weezer files Jane Doe order against John Does 1-100, Jane Does 1-100 and XYZ Company in advance of Weezer appearing at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Woodlands, Texas (near Houston).

Some background on what used to be called John Doe orders here.



Barbour Brings SDNY DJ Action Against Levis re Shirt Flag Tab

Barbour, a UK apparel company, sells shirts with a ‘flag’ on the breast pocket:

Levis sells apparel which has ‘tabs’ on the pockets.  It owns various registrations for the tab.

Levis aggressively polices its tab trademarks.  It sent a demand letter to Barbour, alleging infringement and dilution.  Barbour brought a DJ action. Barbour notes third-party use of tabs.


Disclosure: I have a heavy cable-knit Barbour sweater which is over twenty years old, and a more recently-purchased Barbour wind-breaker.




Applying Lexmark, ED Pa. Holds 43(a)(1)(A) Claim May Be Brought Against Competitor But Not Competitor’s Customers

Plaintiff extracts spring water. One defendant allegedly extracts well water, which it misrepresents as spring water to other defendants, who are bottlers, and who also misrepresent the water as spring water.

Applying Lexmark, court holds that bottler defendants’ alleged false statements do not proximately injury plaintiff (as opposed to the false statements by extractor defendant,  a competitor of plaintiff, which statements could proximately injure plaintiff).

43(B)log discussion here.


Text of SDNY Decision in Knight Institute v Trump (Twitter Blocking Case)

Plaintiff Knight Institute’s summary of issues in lawsuit:

The Knight First Amendment Institute filed suit in the Southern District of New York contending that President Trump and his communications team violated the First Amendment by blocking seven people from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account because they criticized the president or his policies.

The suit argues that the @realDonaldTrump account is a “public forum” under the First Amendment, meaning that the government cannot exclude people from it simply because of their views. It also argues that the White House is violating the seven individual plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to petition their government for redress of grievances. Finally, the lawsuit argues that by altering the @realDonaldTrump public forum, it is violating the rights of people who have not been blocked — such as the Knight Institute, another plaintiff in the case — who must now participate in a forum that has been purged of many critical voices. 

At summary judgment, Judge Buchwald ruled that the president violated the First Amendment by blocking access to the @realdonaldtrump Twitter to several of plaintiffs, based on their  political views.


False Advertising Suit by LegalForce Against Trademark Filing Firm TM411 Dismissed

Law firm LegalForce RAPC is the largest filer of trademarks in the U.S.. It has filed several lawsuits against document preparation services, generally premised on the allegation that these firms are engaged in the unlicensed practice of law.

In this action against document preparation service TM411, LegalForce’s false advertising claim was dismissed as it insufficiently plead facts that various statements on TM411’s website would mislead consumers. With the federal claim out, the Court dismissed the remaining state unfair competition claims as well.

43blog discussion here.


Text of 9th Circuit Decision in adidas v Skechers (three stripes)

Justia summary: Skechers challenged the district court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction prohibiting it from selling shoes that allegedly infringe and dilute adidas America, Inc.’s Stan Smith trade dress and Three-Stripe trademark. The panel affirmed in part, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction as to adidas’s claim that Skechers’s Onix shoe infringes on adidas’s unregistered trade dress of its Stan Smith shoe. However, the panel reversed in part, holding that the district court erred in issuing a preliminary injunction as to adidas’s claim that Skechers’s Cross Court shoe infringes and dilutes its Three-Stripe mark.


Text of SDNY Alibaba v Alibabacoin decision

Alibaba fails to show that defendant promoting ALIBABACOIN crypto-currency, has minimum contacts with NY.