Plagiarism Today: “Twitter and the DMCA: A Fine Mess“:
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for information about Twitter and their DMCA procedure. Most of these issues stem from avatar or backgrounds that are infringing, not the tweets themselves. It seems the exponential increase in Twitter members has brought with it a wide range of individuals who are decorating their profiles with the works of artists that didn’t grant permission.
However, I’ve been hard pressed to advise these people as Twitter’s DMCA process is an unadulterated mess. There are three separate policies, one of which appears to be out of date, two separate email addresses and three different means of filing a notice.
2d Circuit reversed. FCC procedure followed but Court kicks it back to 2d Circuit to determine constitutionality.
Decision Fcc Expletive
Larson on Dec. 3 ruled that MGA couldn’t make or sell the infringing dolls. He later modified the order, saying retailers would be allowed to buy the spring and fall lines from MGA through Dec. 31, or from either Mattel or a court-appointed receiver if he awards them the rights to the infringing Bratz products.
A federal jury in Riverside, California, found last year that some of the pouty and multiethnic Bratz dolls closely held MGA started selling in 2001 were substantially similar to the drawings of a former Barbie-doll designer for Mattel.
The jury also found that designer Carter Bryant made the sketches while he was at Mattel in 1999 and 2000.
NY Times: “Joost Shops Itself to Cable Operators, Report Says“:
n March, Joost had 523,000 unique visitors to its site compared to 41.6 million for top online video site Hulu.com, according to comScore Inc. Fancast had 833,000 while TV.com, which is owned by CBS, had 3.5 million.”
Statesboro.biz: Debt Collectors and Trademark Infringement:
A creditor (credit card company, bank, physician, etc.) assigns or sells a debt for collections to a third party debt collector or debt buyer, the debt collector further assigns the debt to a law firm. The law firm is representing the 3rd party debt collector, but uses the original creditors name (trademarked name) in filing suit.
It is Trademark Infringement Folks
The law firm is not directly representing the original creditor and doesn’t have direct consent of the creditor to file suit (remember they were employed by the third party assignee or debt buyer).
This is trademark infringement and companies reputations and names are being tarnished by misuse of their names. Not only that it is dilution of their brand and causing much consumer confusion.
If you look at it another way these third party to a third party law firms are using the companies tradename to benefit financially (used in commerce).
Hmmm. Well, speaking in the abstract, if a trademark licensee says “I am trademark owner” as opposed to “I am trademark owner’s licensee,’ that may be problematic (however there is such a thing as a trading name license). Consumer debt colection is heavily regulated – there may well be state regulations governing how the debt collector identifies itself that cover this issue. However here the article is suggesting that a law firm is mis-identifying its client. You would likely want to go the professional responsibility statute to analyze that one first.
However, it seems that the law firm HAS to identify the trademark owner is some way. How else would the consumer know which debt is being collected? (as to whether a law firm can threaten suit when it has not been authorized to do again is not a trademark issue).
Maybe the Lanham Act Should Be Amended To Create A 'Reputation WIthout Use' Cause of Action Derived From Article 6Bis
John Welch blogs about a precedental TTAB case holding that Section 44 of the Lanham Act doesn’t create a ‘famous marks’ cause of action here. He reproduces an email I sent to the INTA listserv, suggesting that maybe the Us should amend its act to include a cause of action that US companies have utilized abroad, specifically a cause of action relating to the intentional adoption of a mark that is famous to the US public, even if said mark is not in use in the US.