22
Jul/18

Beijing Diaper Company Sues Chinese eCommerce App PINDUODUO In SDNY On Eve of IPO


Pinduoduo is a fast-growing Chinese eCommerce app.  It filed a Form F-1 to start the IPO process in the U.S. on July 16.  Chinese diaper company Beijing Daddy’s Choice  sued Pinduoduo Friday in the Southern District of New York,, alleging trademark infringement arising from PinDuoDUo’s allegedly allowing the sale of infringing PADDY’S CHOICE Diapers on the app, with the knowledge that such infringing diapers are sold into the U.S.

NY Times coverage here.

 



20
Jul/18

Chronicled Brand Protection




19
Jul/18

Brown: Advertising and the Public Interest


Brown, Advertising and the Public Interest: Legal Protection of Trade Symbols, 57 Yale L.J. 1165 (1948)

Abstract from eYLS scholarship repository

The law of trade symbols is of modern development, largely judge-made and only partly codified. Its impetus comes from the demands of modem advertising, a black art whose practitioners are part of the larger army which employs threats, cajolery, emotions, personality, persistence and facts in what is termed aggressive selling. Much aggressive selling involves direct personal relationships; advertising depends on the remote manipulation of symbols, most importantly of symbols directed at a mass audience through mass media, or imprinted on mass-produced goods. The essence of these symbols is distilled in the devices variously called trade-marks, trade names, brand names, or trade symbols. To the courts come frequent claims for protection, made by those who say they have fashioned a valuable symbol, and that no one else should use it. Very recently, for example, the vendors of Sun-Kist oranges lost a court battle to prevent an Illinois baker from selling Sun-Kist bread. The highest court, in its most recent encounter with a like case, upheld the power of a manufacturer of rubber footwear to prevent the use of a red circle mark by a seller of rubber heels, which the plaintiff did not manufacture.

 



19
Jul/18

Text of ASTM v Public Resource – DC Circ Decision re Fair Use of Standards Incorporated Into Laws


From the decision: Across a diverse array of commercial and industrial endeavors, from paving roads to building the Internet of Things, private organizations have developed written standards to resolve technical problems, ensure compatibility across products, and promote public safety. These technical works, which authoring organizations copyright upon publication, are typically distributed as voluntary guidelines for self-regulation. Federal, state, and local governments, however, have incorporated by reference thousands of these standards into law. The question in this case is whether private organizations whose standards have been incorporated by reference can invoke copyright and trademark law to prevent the unauthorized copying and distribution of their works. Answering yes, the district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the private organizations that brought this suit and issued injunctions prohibiting all unauthorized reproduction of their works. In doing so, the court held that, notwithstanding serious constitutional concerns, copyright persists in incorporated standards and that the Copyright Act’s “fair use” defense does not permit wholesale copying in such situations. The court also concluded that the use of the private organizations’ trademarks ran afoul of the Lanham Act and did not satisfy the judicial “nominative fair use” exception. Because the district court erred in its application of both fair use doctrines, we reverse and remand, leaving for another day the far thornier question of whether standards retain their copyright after they are incorporated by reference into law.

 



19
Jul/18

Lemley: The Modern Lanham Act and the Death of Common Sense


The Modern Lanham Act and the Death of Common Sense

Abstract: Trademark law has expanded dramatically in the last fifty years, with a number of trends combining to give trademark owners something they have never had before–protection of marks akin to the protection given real property. Professor Lemley evaluates these changes, and suggests that they are not supported by the economic learning on the functions of trademarks and advertising. He argues that many of these legal developments are unwarranted, particularly the cases which give trademark owners power to prevent political and social commentary, or to own the trademark as a thing in itself.



19
Jul/18

Demonstration of Waltonchain Blockchain Brand Protection System


WaltonChain claims to merge RFID with Blockchain technology.



16
Jul/18

Visual demonstration of Blockchain Principles


I will be discussing brand protection applications for blockchain at:

Hot Topics in IP Law, presented by the NY IP Law Association, Tuesday, July 17.

Below is Blockchain 101, a visual demonstration of blockchain principles created by Anders Brownworth.



25
Jun/18

Text of Fed Circ Decision in Royal Crown v Coke in COKE ZERO Case


Royal Crown opposed various applications by Coke to register terms that included the word ZERO, on grounds of genericness (or, in the alternative, that the terms were highly descriptive and Coke had not shown a sufficient degree of secondary menaing in the term).

The court instructed the Board to consider, on remand, whether ZERO is generic because it “refers to a key aspect of at least a sub-group or type of the claimed beverage goods.”

As to secondary meaning, the more descriptive a term is, the higher the level of secondary meaning that must be shown. A highly descriptive term such as, perhaps, ZERO, is held to an ‘exacting’ standard.

TTABlog discussion here.



25
Jun/18

“Rewriting Racist Headlines” – Video On ‘Framing’ The News




25
Jun/18

Jane Does 1-100 Will Be Appearing In Woodlands, Texas This Friday (Weezer Will Also Be Appearing)


Licensing agent for Weezer files Jane Doe order against John Does 1-100, Jane Does 1-100 and XYZ Company in advance of Weezer appearing at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Woodlands, Texas (near Houston).

Some background on what used to be called John Doe orders here.