Trademark Protection and the Lawful Use Requirement

by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog

Trademark law was developed to help protect a seller’s “brand” in connection with the marketing and labeling of products for sale to avoid “consumer confusion.” One rarely litigated aspect of trademark law is that the use of the trademark must be for a lawful purpose. The Ninth Circuit recently tackled this issue in AK Futures LLC v. Boyd Street Distro, LLC (decided May 19, 2022), a case that involved e-cigarette and vaping products derived from cannabis.

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What is a Design Patent?

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

A design patent protects a new, original, ornamental design for an article of manufacture. 35 USC section 171. “Ornamental” means that the design is purely decorative; the patentability is based on its visual aspects. Those aspects are the shape or configuration of an article (like the shape of a bottle or a vase), the surface ornamentation on the article (like a painting on the bottle or vase), or a combination of both. The design must be a design for a specific article;

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District Court Considers Acceptable Limits to Attorney Participation in Drafting of Expert Reports

by Eric Caligiuri
The IP Law Blog

In Munchkin, Inc. v. Tomy International, Inc., 1-18-cv-06337 (NDIL May. 24, 2022) the Court considered the permissible extent of attorney participation in the preparation of an expert report. The Court did so in response to plaintiff’s motion to exclude the testimony of defendant’s technical expert for failing to prepare his own report. Specifically, plaintiff Munchkin sought to exclude the opinion of defendant TOMY’s technical expert, Jesse Darley, who offered opinions regarding non-infringement.

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Senator Hawley's Sham Copyright Reform Bill Takes Aim at The Walt Disney Company

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

Last week, Senator Josh Hawley proposed a new copyright bill in the Senate that would have the effect of eviscerating existing copyrights for certain parties. The bill is known as the Copyright Clause Restoration Act. The bill would only affect entities with market caps exceeding $150 billion, which for practical purposes demonstrates that it is unambiguously intended to punish the Walt Disney Company for Disney’s recent stance against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida.

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