30
Jan/09

Stan Lee Media v Stan Lee and Marvel


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Shareholders of venture to exploit Stan Lee’s rights in famous Marvel characters sue Stan Lee and Marvel over profits. Background here.
Complaint Stan Lee

Filed under: Copyright


28
Jan/09

Financial Times Sues Blackstone for Copyright Infringement Over Password Sharing


FT accuses of Blackstone Group of passing around the password to an online subscription (the cookies gave Blackstone away).
Another password sharing suit in the District of Maryland discussed here. The same party, Costar, has been successful in password sharing cases previously.

Complaint Financial Times Black Stone



28
Jan/09

Alternative Super Bowl Logos


Alternative Super Bowl logos via the NY Times.

Filed under: Branding


27
Jan/09

Discussion of NY Times / Gatehouse Linking Settlement


Nieman Journalism Lab: Wrap-up NYT / Gatehouse (settlement of dispute re ability of Boston Globe to link to headlines of local papers). Ht Linsay Lavine.

Filed under: Linking


27
Jan/09

Prof Goldman: Paper on Brand Spillovers


Brand Spillovers by Prof Eric Goldman (to be published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology):

This Article considers the spillover effects of trademarks-in particular, “brand spillovers,” which occur when consumer interest in a trademark increases the profits of third parties who do not own the trademark. Using techniques such as loss leaders and shelf space adjacency, retailers routinely create brand spillovers for their profit, and trademark law generally has not restricted these activities. Online intermediaries, such as search engines, also create and profit from brand spillovers by selling manufacturers’ trademarks for advertising purposes (“keyword triggering”). However, in contrast to retailer practices, keyword triggering has sparked a heated and irresolute battle over its legitimacy under trademark law. By drawing lessons from retailers’ experiences with brand spillovers and through an analysis of the ways intermediaries can add value to consumers, this Article offers a new way to resolve the keyword triggering debate. The Article proposes that all intermediaries – including both retailers and online intermediaries – should be permitted to use brand spillovers as part of their effort to reduce consumer search costs, even if the intermediaries profit from the brand spillovers along the way.



26
Jan/09

"'They Are Not Exact Replications Of These Girls"


So says Ty, Inc. to allegations that it based its new Sasha and Malia dolls on Sasha and Malia Obama. Perhaps they are not exact replications because Sasha and Malia Obama are not 12 inch plush dolls.
There won’t be a suit because sitting presidents tend not to sue private manufacturers when they come out with products that (allegedly) reproduce some name, likeness or other protectable attribute of the First Family (although the former administration did protest a parody that may have implicated Mrs Cheney’s rightss – leading to this blogs first use of the term Coulrophobia).
But if there were a suit I would hope that it would find it’s way to Judge Posner (who is well acquainted with Ty).
p.s. The utilization of the IP and personality rights of public officials (and families) raises interesting First Amendment issues. Several years ago Arnold Schwarzenegger protested the use of bobble-heads that bore his image. I blogged about a different aspect of that matter but alluded briefly to the possibilitiy that his rights to his image as Governor should be treated differently to his rights to his image as a private citizen, even a celebrated one.



21
Jan/09

Major League Baseball v Donruss


Major League Baseball Properties sues former licensee Don Russ for use of various MLB properties.
Complaint MLB Don Russ Baseball



21
Jan/09

"Court of Appeals Overturns Kentucky Gambling Domain Seizure"


A domain name is not a gambling device. Coverage here.



21
Jan/09

Exclusive Rights: Copyright Blog


Exclusive Rights is a copyright blog written by an in-house attorney with enormous round hands.



15
Jan/09

Nini Ricci v Twilight


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NowSmellThis: Nina Ricci to sue makers of Twillight.