24
Feb/04

CIA v. ACI


CIA (Culinary Institute of America) views ACI (American Culinary Institute) as imminent threat to its trademark.    ACI press release here. x

CIA recipes here.

 



24
Feb/04

The Political Cybersquatting Season Opens


More domain name disputes between politicians, via Washingtonpost.com.



24
Feb/04

We're Not Your Law Firm But We're Prepared to Reconsider


New York Lawyer article on disclaimers for law firms’ websites.  The article contrasts Mayer Brown’s 4000 word disclaimer to Davis Polk’s “The information on this site does not convey legal advice of any kind.”  I looked at its site, it doesn’t.

I’m not sure whether, on the whole, passive law firm websites by themselves create more risk than any other publication by a lawyer, in any medium, that conveys legal information.  The real problem, in my view, lies in unsolicited communications to the firm that begin “I was wondering what your take is on . . .”  Alternately: “My friend received a demand letter . . .”

By the way, the information on this site does not convey legal advice of any kind.

UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that the NY Lawyer article was based on this post.



23
Feb/04

Madrid Protocol Resource Page


Resource guide for the Madrid Protocol, courtesy of Carl Oppedahl.



23
Feb/04

Use of RFID Tags to Combat Drug Counterfeiting


Via Internetnews.com, an article on the use of RFID technology to combat drug counterfeiting.



22
Feb/04

Google v. Yahoo


The Scobleizer runs a test of Google v. Yahoo and encourages other bloggers to do the same.  It’s interesting to see what search terms people use and what they consider to be acceptable results.



21
Feb/04

New Anti-Counterfeiting Tool for Whiskey


Article on use of an ‘in-the-field’ authenticator to spot counterfeit whiskey, via Beverage Daily.

Pictured right, my favorite single malt, the real Lagavulin.



20
Feb/04

Mandrake the Magician Wants MandrakeSoft Logo To Disappear


Hearst, owner of rights in the MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN comic strip, has prevailed against MandrakeSoft’s penguin/magician logo in France.  MandrakeSoft has announced it will appeal.  Via ZDNet.

Info on Mandrake the Magician here.

Info on Mandrake roots here.



20
Feb/04

Fourth Circuit Decides 'Limited Area Prior User' Case


Texas Whataburger (“TEXAS”) adopts and obtains federal registration of mark in 1957.  It expands regionally but not into Virginia.  Virginia company (“VIRGINIA”) adopts virtually WHAT-A-BURGER for identical services, allegedly before 1957.  It never expands beyond Virginia.  TEXAS runs across VIRGINIA in 1970, and alleges ownership of superior rights.  The matter remains unresolved. In 2002, TEXAS approaches VIRGINIA again, with a somewhat unusual letter, saying in effect “Either you received a license from us in 1970, or you are infringing, which is it?”  VIRGINIA brings declaratory judgment action, seeking declaration that it has priority in Virginia and that it has the right to use the mark in Virginia.  TEXAS brings counter-claim, seeking declaration that it has priority in Virginia (but DOES NOT seek judgment that VIRGINIA is infringing its rights).

Fourth Circuit:  As to priority, because VIRGINIA could not prove its pre-1957 use, it was not a ‘limted-area prior user.’  Thus TEXAS had priority in Virignia (and could in theory prevent use by a second-comer).

TEXAS had not protested VIRGINIA’s right to use, but if it had, it would not have been barred by laches after its 1970 contact.  This is because TEXAS did not have rights to assert in 1970.  It had had no ability to enter the Virginia market in 1970, and therefore there was no likelihood of confusion in 1970 (thus no colorable claim in 1970).  The laches clock would not start running until Texas W. had a colorable claim.

What-a-burger of Virginia v. Whataburger, Inc., No. 03-1517 (4th Cir, Feb 11 2004).

Current locations of Texas Whataburger here.

 



20
Feb/04

Hum 'Sweet Georgia Brown' While Reading This


Several former players (including Marques Haynes and Curly Neal) are suing the Harlem Globetrotters, alleging that the Globetrotters are selling merchandise bearing their likenesses, without authorization.  Via SI.com.