NCAA to Allow Athletes to Profit from their Name, Likeness & Image

On October 29th, the NCAA announced it will begin a process that will eventually allow athletes to profit from their image, name and likeness.  For years student athletes have used their talents to negotiate college scholarships but many see this as insufficient compensation in light of the enormous revenue that sports bring to these universities.Continue reading “NCAA to Allow Athletes to Profit from their Name, Likeness & Image”

Does Sovereign Immunity Apply to States in Copyright Infringement Cases?

In 1996, Blackbeard’s famed ship Queen Anne’s Revenge was discovered by a private salvage company.  A film crew was subsequently hired to capture the expedition.  The State of North Carolina used both the videos and images captured during the shoot without a license and a copyright suit was filed.  North Carolina is defending itself byContinue reading “Does Sovereign Immunity Apply to States in Copyright Infringement Cases?”

Can Artificial Intelligence Invent?

British researchers are claiming that an artificial intelligence (AI) system invented both a complex system for interlocking food containers as well as a new warning light.  The researchers have filed patents in the US as well as other countries, claiming the AI as the inventor.  This would be the first time AI is credited asContinue reading “Can Artificial Intelligence Invent?”

Trademark Scam Letters – Things to Look For

More and more of my clients have been receiving trademark scam letters purporting to be from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  These letters often appear official in nature and include scary notations such as “CANCELLATION PENDING.”  These companies have defruaded trademark owners of millions. If you have received this type of note, theContinue reading “Trademark Scam Letters – Things to Look For”

Draft Patent Eligibility Bill

Draft legislation addressing patent eligibility is expected sometime this fall.  The hope is that the bill will clarify patent eligibility issues and tackle inventions classified as abstract ideas, laws of nature and natural phenomena. Proposed changes to section 101 are expected to broaden patentability for “any invention or discovery that provides specific and practical utilityContinue reading “Draft Patent Eligibility Bill”

“Scandalous” Trademarks on the Heels of Matal v. Tam

Proctor & Gamble has recently filed two trademark applications for  “WTF” and “FML” – two colorful acronyms containing the word “F*CK”.  These marks would have formerly been rejected on the basis that they are “scandalous” or “immoral;”  however, recent decisions validating registration of THE SLANTS (a band with Asian members) and REDSKINS (an NFL team)Continue reading ““Scandalous” Trademarks on the Heels of Matal v. Tam”

New EU Copyright Law Requires Tech Giants to Pay for Content

New EU Copyright Law Requires Tech Giants to Pay for Content New EU legislation known as Article 11 and Article 13 was recently passed, requiring companies such as Facebook, YouTube and Google to take more responsibility and provide compensation for copyrighted material posted on their respective sites.  The law also limits how copyrighted material mayContinue reading “New EU Copyright Law Requires Tech Giants to Pay for Content”

Walmart Ordered to pay $95.5M for Trademark Infringement

Walmart was recently ordered to pay Variety Stores after a jury found that the company infringed Variety’s registered trademark BACKYARD. The jury concluded that Walmart’s use of the mark in a line of grilling products constituted willful infringement, resulting in a $95.5M treble damage award. Click here for back story

Levi Throws its Weight in Trademark Suit and Loses

Since 1936, Levi has been placing a small fabric tag with the name LEVI on the pockets of its denim products.  The company recently filed a trademark suit against Barbour, an English clothier that has been in business since 1894.  Levi claimed that the blue fabric tags placed in the pockets of Barbour clothing createdContinue reading “Levi Throws its Weight in Trademark Suit and Loses”