“Disparaging” Trademark Meets Commercial Speech Protections

Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act prohibiting the federal trademark registration of disparaging marks was recently held to violate the 1st Amendment freedom of speech protections by the Federal Circuit Court in “In Re Tam.”  The mark refused registration is the name of an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants.”  Though the band’s lead singer, … More “Disparaging” Trademark Meets Commercial Speech Protections

Facebook’s Windfall

Corporate Tax reform is a shifty goal. Companies seek to lower the 35% rate while suggesting the other guy’s deductions be eliminated. As the NYT reported today, Facebook received a substantial tax deduction on Founder Mark Zuckerbergs cashless exercise of options…. Facebook is the classic example. Its co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, had options to buy stock … More Facebook’s Windfall

Kia Soul Hamsters are Funny and Transformative

Last week I addressed fair use as an exception to copyright infringement.  Among the situations that gave rise to fair use were those deemed transformative.  What is a transformative work?  As the copyright statute suggests, it is an important consideration that the work neither diminish the value nor damage the market for the original or its … More Kia Soul Hamsters are Funny and Transformative

CyberLaw: Internet Threat?

The criminal defendant was charged with making a threat by posting a communication on the Internet, Craig’s List, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(c). After the District Court overruled Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, Defendant plead guilty subject to the appeal of his Motion. The statement communicated by the Defendant, published on … More CyberLaw: Internet Threat?

Right of Publicity Trumps 1st Amendment in Hart Case

In a precedential decision, the Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit, reversed a New Jersey District Court that had granted a Summary Judgment to Defendant Electronic Arts, Inc. “EA” in a video game dispute with the Plaintiff, former Rutgers quarterback, Ryan Hart.  Hart played for Rutgers from 2002-2005 taking the Scarlet Knights to the Insight Bowl … More Right of Publicity Trumps 1st Amendment in Hart Case

Limited Copyright Assignment For Lawsuit Not Valid

According to the Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit, Plaintiff did not have standing, the legal jurisdictional requirement necessary to sue the alleged copyright infringing Defendants in the case of Righthaven LLC v. Hoehn. Plaintiff Righthaven LLC was founded, according to its charter, to identify copyright infringements on behalf of third parties, receive “limited, revocable assignments” … More Limited Copyright Assignment For Lawsuit Not Valid