We have this pillow and this sofa, in microfiber (because of the dogs) at home. Anyway, Galbraith & Paul owns the copyright in this donut design and someone, allegedly, produced lamp shades that allegedly infringe the fabric, and Ruby Tuesday has such lamps in its restaurants. It then ran photos of its restaurants with the lamps in the background in promotional materials (cropped example above).
Galbraith & Paul has now sued Ruby Tuesday in the SDNY, on copyright and trademark grounds.
Galbraith & Paul v. Ruby Tuesday, 07 cv 10512 (SDNY Nov. 29 2007)
PRACTICE POINTER: If you operate a business in some sort of public space, such as a restaurant, and you utilize a furnishing or a decoration that may contain a copyrightable element (such as a lampshade, or a wallpaper or a poster), then your use of such an item may constitute a public display of the work, and if the item is infringing, then you may have some exposure for copyright infringement. You may have a claim against the supply store that sold you the 50,000 lampshades or whatever, which you may be able to collect on if they still return phone calls. When buying items, even useful items like lamps and chairs, that will be displayed in public, you need reps and warranties and indemnification from the supplier, that will cover potential copyright and trade dress claims.
Marketplace: “There’s Only One Burger King In This Town“:
“For 50 years, the Burger King in Mattoon, Ill., has been a favorite spot. And thanks to a judge’s ruling, that other Burger King has had to keep its distance”
Good short (5 page) paper by UK domain name registry Nominet on domain name monetization.
Discourse.net: “Can Typosquatting Be Counterfeiting?”
“The story there is about Dell bringing a very large and organized case against a bunch of domain tasters (people who register domain names for a very brief period then drop them, so they don’t have to pay for them) who were apparently typosquatting on a grand scale.
What makes the story interesting is that Dell’s lawyers threw in a counterfeiting claim into their complaint. It’s artfully worded, but the essence of it is that the counterfeits are the domain names, and/or the act of putting up web sites at the domain names that have popups or pop-under ads.”
The Trademark Blog was selected as one of the ABA Journal Blawg 100 (it’s in the ‘black letter law’ section. Check out the other 99 blogs.
A Dagwood sandwich is a very big sandwich, named after the comic strip character, Dagwood Bumsted, who liked to make big sandwiches. An Indiana company alleges that it has operated Dagwood sandwich shops in Indiana since the 80’s. A nationwide chain, Dagwood Sandwich Shops, LLC, has federal registrations. The Indiana company sued the chain in Indiana state court; the chain has now removed to federal court.
Of interest: “Dagwood Sandwich” has become a dictionary word, while King Features still syndicates “Blondie and Dagwood.”
Dagwood’s Deli-sub Shop, Inc. v. Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppe, LLC, 2007cv01507 (S.D. Indiana Nov 21 2007).
Counterfeit Chic: “The Manolo’s Guide to Holiday (Photo)Shopping” commenting on the Manolo website pointing out the photos of the Christian Louboutin shoe on the left and the Steve Madden shoe on the right.
I was on Thursday’s edition of PBS’ Nightly Business Report, which focused on intellectual property.. Here is the streamed version that will be at this link until 9 PM on Friday. I appear about 22 minutes into the show.
Here’s the transcript of our segment (I appear with Prof. Noveck of New York Law School).
Prof Goldman: “Online Word of Mouth and its Implications for Trademark Law“:
This Chapter discusses the emergence of online word of mouth, the process by which consumers disseminate their views about marketplace goods and services. Due to online word of mouth, consumers have an unprecedented ability to influence the brand perceptions of other consumers. Unfortunately, these effects have put doctrinal pressure on trademark law, leading to judicial interpretations that inhibit the flow of online word of mouth and may damage the efficacy of marketplace mechanisms. This Chapter will explore how trademark law should be interpreted to preserve the flow of socially beneficial online word of mouth.
Blink and you miss the LV logo. There are some versions of “Do Something” on YouTube that seem to have the 1 second of LV footage edited out.