7
Dec/03

Beijing 2008 Logo


Problem re third party registration of Beijing 2008 Olymipics logo, via Channelnewsasia.com.



5
Dec/03

Complaint in Google Keyword Case


Here is the complaint for declaratory judgment of non-infringement on Google v. American Blind & Wallpaper Factory.

Here’s an Internetnews.com article about the case that quotes me a lot.

Incidentally, the second unpaid Google hit for the search term AMERICAN BLIND, is the American Blind Skiing Foundation.

 



5
Dec/03

Derivative But Not Transitive Infringement


Plaintiff registered copyright in a 20 inch doll.  It then created a 48 inch doll derived from the 20 inch doll, but didn’t register copyright.  Defendant’s doll allegedly infringed the unregistered  48 inch doll but not the registered 20 inch doll.  Plaintiff argued that registration of the prior work confers jursidiction on claims of infringement on the derivative works. 

The 2d Circuit held that (1) registration of the copyright in a work does not implicitly register the copyright in its derivative work; and (2) a work does not violate a copyright holder’s right to control the production of derivative works if it is not substantially similar to the copyrighted original.

Practice pointer: File for copyright registration for derivative works you intend to base litigation on.

Well-Made Toy Mfg. v. Goffa International, 02-7881 (2d Cir. Dec. 2, 2003).

 



5
Dec/03

ipodsdirtylittlesecret.com


Interesting illustration of how consumers can talk back to big corporations these days.  This website, ipodsdirtylittlesecret.com, alleges that the iPod’s irreplaceable battery only lasts 18 months.  Comments on the site here, via kottke.org.  I’m not aware of a response from Apple as of yet but will happily link to one.



4
Dec/03

Well, My Work Here Is Finished


Article from Bizjournals.com on ‘Blogs: The Next Frontier in Biz Communication” listing the Trademark Blog as “another example of an interesting blog.”



4
Dec/03

Taking On A Life of Their Own


And speaking of juxta position, today’s Wall Street Journal, page B1, “Whose Ad Is This Anyway?,” discusses the practice of companies using their fictional pitchman, such as the Maytag Repairman, Taco Bell Chihauhua, and the Pillsbury Doughboy, to appear in ads for the products of others.  Does this enhance or blur brand image?  The experts disagree.



4
Dec/03

Today's Perhaps Unfair Juxtaposition


It was a little ironic. “Ruling Is Near On Limits Put on Film Copies” on p.4 of today’s NY Times, reports that a NY Federal court will issue a ruling soon on whether the MPAA can prohibit member studios from distributing copies of new movies to critics, given that such copies are apparently the source of piratical copying.  MPAA President Jack Valenti was quoted as testifying that movie piracy was “a malignant fungus on the face of our industry.”  Eech.

Three columns over was an article entitled “A Disney Unit Sets Global Box Office Record,” reporting that even before Christmas, Disney’s Buena Vista division has sold more than $3 billion in tickets this year, beating the record set by Sony last year of $2.86 billion.



4
Dec/03

Murder Inc. to The Inc.


Hip-Hop record executive Irv Gotti (real name Irv Lorenzo) is changing the name of his record label MURDER INC. to THE INC. so that “everyone will focus on our talent.”  Via cnn.com.



4
Dec/03

Defendant Represented by Lucius Malfoy


J.K. Rowling, Scholastic and AOLTW receive $50k in sanctions against party that had alleged infringement and apparently fabricated evidence.

Scholastic et. al. v. Stouffer, no. 02-9405 (2d Cir Dec 2, 2003).



3
Dec/03

Another Sad Story of Trademarks and Sports


Via the new Sports Law Blog, this ESPN article re Kim Clijsters (No. 2 ranked woman tennis player) that she will not play in the Olympics for her native Belgian team, as her contract with Fila prohibits her from wearing other vendor’s apparel, while the Belgian team’s sponsor, Adidas, will require team members to wear Adidas.  I suppose the King of Belgium gets involved or something and then they settle.

Note to self: Remember to insert “Olympics force majeure” clause in future licensing agreements.