Village Voice v Yelp (BEST OF _____ v BEST OF _____)

Village Voice owns local newspapers in various cities. They offer ‘incentive/promotional programs’ to local establishments under the BEST OF mark as In BEST OF DALLAS, BEST OF DENVER, etc. Yelp, the local review/directory site/app is allegedly using many of the same marks.

village voice v yelp


NSFW Copyright Complaint: Mavrix v BuzzFeed

News Agency sues BuzzFeed for ‘scraping’ paparazzi shots. Gigaom commentary here.

mavrix v buzzfeed



PUTT-PUTT is an incontestable trademark. Defendant’s Putt-Putt website here. Vintage Putt-Putt ad from here.

putt putt


When Coexistence Agreements Go Awry

Not that this has ever happened with any of my clients, but there is a certain tendency to think that, in a coexistence agreement that allows the smaller company to continue use of the mark, but must obtain permission to modify its mark or vary its field of use, that the large company, once it got what it wanted the first time, will not monitor compliance. Well, the large company monitored in this case. Deutsche Telekom sues for trademark infringement and breach of the coexistence agreement.

t mobile t system


Softball Question re Certification Marks For Bats

The Amateur Softball Association owns certification marks indicating that a equipment manufacturer complies with performance standards articulated by the ASA. Defendant allegedly sells decals bearing the ASA certification marks, for use by bat manufacturers whose bats do not meet the ASA standards.

american softball association


Plaintiff Licensed His Former Lawyer To Use The Copyright in the Complaint He (Allegedly) Drafted

Unusual fact pattern. Plaintiff finds unclaimed property. He organized individuals to bring a class action to sue a bank. Plaintiff (not a lawyer) hired defendant as lawyer for the class action. Defendant and plaintiff have a falling out and defendant ‘takes’ the case members with him. When the lawyer filed an amended complaint, the jilted plaintiff sued defendant for copyright infringement, arguing that he owns the copyright in the original complaint (because he had (allegedly) done all the drafting).

Held: The Court declines to decide whether copyright can reside in a legal complaint (which is of more than passing interest to me as a law blogger). However, even if plaintiff is the true author of the complaint, by paying the lawyer to represent the class, he granted an irrevocable license to use the complaint, and create derivative works (amended complaints) if necessary.

uprs v kaplan