30
Apr/04

Reading Other People's Confidential and Copyrighted Mail: Ahnold v. Bobbleheads


The Smoking Gun reproduces here a letter from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lawyer to a manufacturer of Arnold bobble-heads.  The letter alleges breach of right of publicity.

The first interesting question is: should an unauthorized bobble-head of an actor be treated differently from an unauthorized bobble-head of a public official?

Second, the next to last line of the letter is:

“This is a confidential legal notice and may not be published in whole or in part.”

Lastly, the letter concludes with:

“Any republishing or dissemination of same, including but not limited to the printing of the contents hereof on the Internet, shall constitute a copyright infringement and will subject the republishers) to civil liability for such actions.”

Update:  This post has been picked up by other blogs which have the comment feature enabled.  Some posters are not getting the confidentiality point.

Confidentiality is lost when disclosed in an unprotected communication. Confidentiality is ordinarily protected when (1) the confidential information is disclosed to someone who owes you a duty of confidentiality (your priest or your lawyer, for example) or (2) the information is disclosed under a contract which imposes a duty of confidentiality.

You cannot foist a duty of confidentiality onto a stranger, such as someone to whom you send an unsolicited demand letter.

It is conceivable that adversaries could agree to deem their communications to be confidential.  Of course the parties would have to manifest the ordinary elements of contract – offer and acceptance (If you agree to keep this confidential, I will answer your question – agreed?).

Think of the public policy ramifications of granting confidentiality to unsolicited communications.  Evil law firms could send demand letters to widows and orphans accusing them of imaginary violations of statutes, asking them for undeserved damages – and threatening them with further damages if they tell a soul.

 



29
Apr/04

This Will Likely Delay Community Trademark Processing


The Staff Committee of OHIM (the EEC entity tasked with administering the Community Trademark) has resigned en masse over working conditions.  Via IPKat



29
Apr/04

Derby Jockeys To Wear Ads


Jockeys at this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will be allowed to wear advertising logos, having been granted relief from a Kentucky law barring the practice, via Findlaw.

Jockey diagram from here.

Kentucky Derby site here.



29
Apr/04

LEGO Blocks v. Mega Blocks


Supreme Court of Canada to hear appeal of LEGO’s argument that its blocks, and their famous 360 degrees of clutching power, function as a trademark, via CBC.

Why don’t they make real houses out of really big LEGO blocks?  It seems faster.



29
Apr/04

See You in Atlanta


Say hello to me at the INTA meeting.  Remember, my name badge won’t say The Trademark Blog, it will say Marty Schwimmer.

Information on MARTA, Atlanta’s rapid transit system here.



28
Apr/04

George W. Bush on The Apprentice


View this political video parodying The Apprentice, then read this decision in the Mastercard v. Nader2000 case.

Discuss NBC’s and Trump’s rights against TrueMajority (source of the video).



27
Apr/04

The Sensual World Of Trademarks


BrandChannel on non-conventional trademarks (sight, sound, smell).



27
Apr/04

Copyright Analysis of Data Harvesting.


Accusing a website of infringing your copyright when it is merely harvesting data (using software to extract data (such as pricing) from a website), may constitute defamation.  A jury awarded $250,000 to the defamed data harvester.  Via By No Other blog.

The findings of facts in hte matter, via BNA, is a useful analysis of the legality of data harvesting.



27
Apr/04

EEC Decision on Three-Dimensional Marks


Opinion of the Advocate General in Henkel v. OHIM and Procter and Gamble v. OHIM, rejecting the registrability of three-dimensional trademarks, in this case tablets of compressed laundry detergent.

More EEC news here via IPKAT.



27
Apr/04

Peninsula Hotel v. Peninsula Hotel


This article reports that the Chinese state-owned power company has built a replica of Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel (including use of the PENINSULA name and logo) in Yichang, in the Three Gorges area.  The Peninsula Hotel Group has a hotel in Beijing.

Book your stay at the Beijing Peninsula here.

More on the Yichang Peninsula here.  Side by side pictures here.