30
Jun/03

You've Tried the Rest, Now Try the Best


Via the Miami Herald, Pizza Magia and Papa John’s have settled their lawsuit that involved trade secrets for making pizzas.



30
Jun/03

Savage Stupidity Prevails Over Savage


SAVAGE STUPIDITY is not confusingly similar to MICHAEL SAVAGE.  Perhaps he should be flattered by that.  Respondent’s website apparently is critical of complainant’s radio show.  Respondent’s press release here.

Talk Show Network v. Thomas Leavitt, FA0304000155182 (NAF June 24, 2003).



30
Jun/03

Injunction Upheld in Aimster Case


Posner on Aimster.  Injunction against Aimster upheld. Decision here.



30
Jun/03

Entrepreneur Media v. EntrepreneurPR


Text of the decision in the ENTREPRENEUR case.  Entrepreneur Media v. Scott Smith dba EntrepreneurPR, (C.D. Cal June 24, 2003).



30
Jun/03

Volokh on Commercial Speech


Prof. Eugene Volokh, of the highly recommended Volokh Conspiracy, wrote a good concise commentary of the Nike/Klasky commercial speech case, which case the Supreme Court decided not to hear, after initially granting cert.  Look for it on the editorial page of today’s Wall St. Journal.



29
Jun/03

New IPKAT on the Block


There goes my monopoly on the Arsenal v. Reed case.  Professor Jeremy Phillips is the founder and editor of the European Trade Mark Reports for Sweet and Maxwell (which I recommend).  He and his colleague Ilanah Simons have started an IP blog named IPKAT.  Its subject matter is broader than mine in that the first week of articles include pieces on trademark, copyright and patents.   In fact, they advise:

We colour-code our blogs: red for copyright, teal for patents, purple for trade marks, green for confidentiality, dark blue for competition and black for everything else.  

Geographically, their focus is European.  Welcome to the blogging neighborhood.



29
Jun/03

Fo Sizzle My Nizzle, M'Lud.


Not trademark, but an interesting UK copyright case wherin the court must interpret the phrase SIZZLE MY NIZZLE, among others.  Via IPKAT.



29
Jun/03

Ten Years After


It was ten years ago this month that Adam Curry registered the domain name MTV.COM in his own name and all hell broke loose.  My old firm represented MTV.  I was thrown on the case because I was the only attorney who owned a modem (maybe 14.4 but I don’t remember).  I saw mtv.com the first time using a text-based browser called Lynx, downloaded from my then-ISP (Mindvox).



22
Jun/03

Pornography for Children, Zuccarini, Joker and ICANN.


Perhaps parents want to show their pre-school children the BOB THE BUILDER website at BOBTHEBUILDER.COM

Oops, that was really BOBTHEBIULDER.COM, which directs to a pornography site.

Maybe your children want to see websites about Aaron Carter,  Britney Spears,  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Digimon, Dragonball Z, the Muppets, Rug Rats, or Sailor Moon.  They better type carefully because domain names consisting of close misspellings have been registered for all these names, registered to someone or something named Zuccarini, and registered with a registrar named Joker.

So who picks names like these to typo-squat, and who continues to do business with him?

Zuccarini is reportedly a fugitive for justice.  The FTC obtained an order freezing 5000 or so names and attempting to collect $!.8 million from him.  Some U.S. registrars have complied.  Joker, of Germany, refuses.   In fact, he appears to have registered another 3000 names since the FTC order, according to this report.  Not only that, but Joker is refusing to comply with UDRP panels ordering it to transfer names.  Ben Edelman, at my request, compiled a new report indicating that there are 21 domain names subject to un-appealed UDRP transfer orders which still remain registered to the originat registrant, usually an alias for Zuccarini.

It is too easy and incorrect to conclude that this is an unsolvable problem caused by the borderless Interet.  It is reasonable to conclude that ICANN can and should do something about this.  Joker is allowed to register gTLDs to the root solely due to its accreditation agreement with ICANN.  This agreement requires it to, among other things, enforce UDRP decisions, and maintain correct whois info (and de-register names which have willfuly false contact data).  In my opinion, Joker’s refusal to honor these UDRP decisions, and its actual knowledge of Zuccarini’s names containing false data, puts it in breach of its agreement.

ICANN’s behavior to date on Joker is sphinx-like in view of what is now common knowledge.  Two years ago an attorney wrote ICANN’s general counsel to advise him of Joker’s systematic refusal to honor the UDRP.   The letter was not acknowledged.  When I indicated to a high-ranking ICANN official that I was having troubles with a registrar, his immediate reaction was: “Joker, right?”

The rationale for privatization of the DNS was that ICANN’s ‘web of contracts’ would provide a regulatory mechanism.  If ICANN can enforce the accreditation agreement, then it should either advise Joker that it is in breach of the agreement, or it should explain to the public why it chooses not to.  If you are attending the ICANN meeting today, ask ICANN that question.

In the meanwhile, BOBTHEBIULDER.COM and MUPPITS.COM and many other names like them primarily of interest to children, point to pornography.

 



21
Jun/03

Honeywell Loses Roundness Case


Honeywell has lost its motion for a preliminary injunction regarding Eco Manufacturing’s distribution of a round thermostat.  Honeywell’s own thermostat had been the subject of a long-expired utility patent, and thus the round shape of the dial was functional, and not protectable as trade dress.

Eco Manufacturing v. Honeywell, 1:03-cv-0170 (S.D. Ind. June 20, 2003).