Complaint alleging direct, contributory and vicarious liabilty for copyright and trademark infringement filed November 19 in the Central District of California by Perfect 10 magazine against Google, for providing, via its Image Search, links to ‘Stolen Content Websites’ displaying unauthorized photos.
Interesting assertion from complaint: “It would be virtually impossible for consumers to locate most Stolen Content Websites if they were not directed to them by Defendant” (para 23). Plaintiff also notes that most of the Stolen Content Websites are judgement-proof.
Complaint via The Berkman Center.
Front page article in today’s Wall Street Journal: “Stuck On You: A Tiny Glue Seller Claims Identity Theft,” about how the Hunan Magic Power adhesive company of China has gone one step beyond counterfeiting and has actually stolen the identity of Indiana-based ABRO Industries, to the point of distributing products with a photo of the wife Abro’s owner on the label. Hunan Magic allegedly goes around the world indicating that it IS Abro Industries.
The essential first step for businesses protecting their trademarks and stopping counterfeits at the source, is to obtain trademark protection in foreign jurisdictions such as China BEFORE the counterfeiting begins. Unlike copyrights, which are the subject to protection under international treaty, trademarks are, for the most part, national or regional in scope (the exceptions, such as protection of famous marks, are statistically insignificant for the purpose of this conversation).
The U.S. provides protection to trademarks arising from use – there are very few other countries which do likewise. The overwhelming practice is to protect ONLY trademarks registered in that country.
While some companies have sufficient in-house legal resources to maintain a network of international trademark lawyers to manage their international trademark portfolios, many companies go to their local trademark firms (such as ours) to instruct international trademark filings.
Good introductory discussion of copyrightability of photographs apart from the underlying content of the photograph (in this case, photographs of fabric patterns).
Schiffer Publishing v. Chronicle Books, No. 03-492 (E.D. Penn. Nov 12 2004).
Practice pointer: Discourage your clients from writing internal memos giving advice on how to commit copyright infringement.
Lawsuit dismissed against Disney alleging theft of idea relating to Epcot Center. Via NY Lawyer.
After controversy regarding selection of the panel, a 3 person panel has rejected BAA’s UDRP complaint regarding registration and use of GATWICK.COM, used in connection with a directory of businesses serving Gatwick Airport. Desipte the panel’s finding that BAA had a common law rights in the trademark GATWICK, it held that the registrant’s business was legitimate, and did not appear to be on notice of BAA’s rights in this common law trademark.
Of interest was the panel’s finding as to registrant’s creation date. Registrant claimed priotiy to 1996, when the whois showed a creation date of 2000. Whois data uses a new creation date when there is a transfer. WhoWas data was entered to identify the 1996 registrant. Registrant claimed that this 1996 entity was his ‘alter ego’ but could not document any relationship to it.
Interview with the designer of the FedEx logo, via The Sneeze.
IPNewsBlog on former employee vs. former employer (ShopNBC) regarding a trademark coined by employee during her employ.
John Welch, some-time contributor to The Trademark Blog and full-time expert on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, has started the TTABlog.