The Federal Circuit Breathes Life into the Redskins’ Appeal

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

If you’re a fan of intellectual property or the National Football League, you may have heard about last July’s ruling in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. There, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s ruling that the team’s moniker is offensive to Native Americans, and therefore ineligible for trademark protection under the Lanham Act, which prohibits registration of disparaging marks. This battle was fought over more than 20 years.

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When Copying is Not Copyright Infringement

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

A longstanding battle between Google and the authors of published books has been resolved (at least for now) in favor of Google. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has held that Google’s use of copyrighted books in its Library Project and Google Books website, without the permission of the authors, is fair use and therefore not copyright infringement. The Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. (2nd Cir. 2015) 804 F.3d 202.

In 2004,

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The Beef Between In-N-Out Burger and Doordash

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

Everyone on the West Coast knows In-N-Out Burger. For some of us Californians, the burgers may even be considered a state treasure. Doordash, on the other hand, is much less recognizable. It is an on-demand delivery service that connects its customers with local businesses. According to Doordash, it enables its users to purchase food from merchants and have it delivered within 45 minutes. While providing this service, Doordash delivered In-N-Out food products to its customers all across the nation.

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ISPs That Ignore Notices From “Copyright Trolls” Risk Losing DMCA Safe Harbor Protections

by Scott M. Hervey
The IP Law Blog

Representing copyright owners attempting to enforce online infringement is often routine, but can sometimes prove challenging. This tends to be the case when a content owner is trying to address large scale infringement of one or multiple works. Most often ISPs are cooperative, but on occasion an ISP may resist responding to a content owner when the owner is represented by an organization like Rightscorp — often referred to as “copyright trolls.” Based on the recent ruling by the Eastern District Court of Virginia against Cox Communications,

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Why Business Methods Are Difficult to Patent

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

Although the general rule (based on 35 USC section 101) is that anything made by humans is patentable, there are exceptions. Laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable. Inventions that fall in these categories are “patent-ineligible,” that is, directed to subject matter that is not eligible to be patented. After the Supreme Court’s key decisions over the last few years in Bilski v. Kappos, 130 S. Ct. 3218 (2010); Mayo Collaborative Services v.

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Pacifico Defends its Trademark Rights on Canadian Soil

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

Another intellectual property dispute has arisen in the brewing industry. This time, however, the battle took place on Canadian soil. British Columbia based Pacific Western Brewing (“PWB”) sued renowned Mexican brewery Cerveceria del Pacifico (“CDP”), arguing the latter’s name was confusingly similar to PWB’s various brew-related trademarks. For those who do not know, Cerveceria del Pacifico is the brewery responsible for Cerveza Pacifico Clara, better known as Pacifico. Although the claim concerns numerous PWB marks,

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Court Provides Fair Use Guidance On YouTuber’s Use of Viral Video

by Scott M. Hervey
The IP Law Blog

This copyright case pitted two big YouTube content brands against each other over issues of fair use. On one side is Equals Three, LLC, a YouTube content studio and channel created and owned by Ray William Johnson, an early YouTube content pioneer. The Equals Three channel has over 10 million subscribers and over 3 billion total views making it one of the most viewed channels on YouTube. Equals Three produces YouTube comedy content. A typical program involves a host who gives an introduction to a particular video clip,

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Yoga and the Copyright Idea/Expression Dichotomy

by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog

Over the last half century there has been an explosion in the popularity of yoga in the United States, much of it attributable to Bikram Choudhury, the self-proclaimed “Yogi to the Stars.” In 1979, he published a book titled Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class, which centered on a sequence of 26 yoga poses and two breathing exercises. Two former students of his started a new type of yoga (hot yoga) which resulted in Choudhury suing them for copyright infringement.

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Does Trump Own “Make America Great Again?”

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

 

As I frequently mention in my articles, trademark law is a much more prevalent part of the average person’s life than they realize. We are surrounded by the trademarks of numerous companies every time that we step outside, or even when we look around our own homes. However, we would not generally expect for trademark law to be inserted into a presidential campaign. At least, not until Donald Trump threw his hat in the ring.

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Patent Owners Beware: Don’t Sleep on Your Rights!

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

Laches, a judicially created defense based on the plaintiff’s delay and prejudice to the defendant, is a proper defense to the recovery of damages in a patent infringement suit, even though the Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that laches does not apply in copyright infringement cases.

A divided en banc Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held in SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products (September 18, 2015) 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16621 that Congress specifically provided for a laches defense in the Patent Act,

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