An interesting 1st Circuit opinion extended a hotel’s common law trademark into territory encroaching upon an incontestable junior registered mark of a competing hotel. In the case of Dorpan, S.L. v. Hotel Melià, Inc., Dorpan, a European hotel chain using the brand, Sol Melia, as a registered trademark faced off with the Hotel Melia “HMI” located … More Extending Use Under Trademark Law
For those of you who enjoy a fun case, the saga of Starbucks v. Wolfe’s Borough Coffee “WBC” is for you. During the course of this epic ten year battle pitting the famous international coffee purveyor against the small New England roaster, the law of trademark dilution has been analyzed, argued and then revised by … More Starbucks Charred Again
In the recent IRS vs. Worldcom decision, the Court of Appeals Second Circuit reversed the denial of a $38 Million communications excise tax the IRS previously collected. In Worldcom’s bankruptcy proceeding, the IRS had been ordered to refund the excise tax to Worldcom’s bankruptcy estate. The issue for the Court of Appeals: Whether Worldcom’s purchase … More Cyberlaw: 2nd Circuit Oks IRS Modem Excise Tax
The two iconic brands faced off recently in the Court of Appeals Federal Circuit over stitching. The appeal resulted from the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board “TTAB’s” decision to throw out Levi’s Opposition and Cancellation Proceedings against Abercrombie & Fitch “A&F” based upon “been there, done that” litigation at the District Court for the Northern … More S“Tit”ch for Tat Trademark War Pits Levi vs. A&F
The Stored Communications Act “SCA” prevents unlawful access to stored electronic communications to promote freedom of expression and enhance subscriber privacy. The penalty for failing to comply with the SCA can result in a fine and/or imprisonment not to exceed 5 years for the 1st offense. There are exceptions permitting disclosure for a variety of … More Stored Communications Act Update: Yahoo Wins Appeal
Plaintiffs ABC and WNET head a list of Broadcasters who appealed from an Order of the New York Federal District Court denying their request for a preliminary injunction against Defendant Aereo, Inc. (“Aereo”) for copyright infringement claiming that its transmission of their broadcasts, while their programs are still airing, infringes upon their exclusive right to … More Broadcasters Lose Their Copyright Infringement Appeal
Today, I’ll address a concept in business that I’ve labeled negative goodwill. An important concept in trademark law and business, goodwill is that intangible benefit a business derives from its reputation for providing quality products and services that consistently deliver the value promised. An added feature of the branded product or service is the goodwill … More Negative Goodwill: The Law Of Unintended Consequences
Oftentimes there is a legitimate reason to use the registered mark of another. In the case of resellers, repair services, and after-market parts suppliers, where a use of the registered mark is required to describe your own goods or services in a manner that is not misleading or confusing as to source, such may be … More Non-Infringing Trademark Use
The saying used to be during my time at Andersen, then a Big 5 Global Professional Services firm, that the most valuable assets walked out the door every evening. With companies transitioning to our service economy at warp speed, this truism has never been more pervasive. Given the threats from a variety of sources including … More Social Media Data: The New Frontier
Clients often are concerned, and rightly so, about disclosing their ideas, plans, business models, etc. to potential partners and investors. Oftentimes I’m asked to prepare, or more often download one of the many forms online, a non-disclosure agreement “NDA.” This agreement usually sets forth various terms with regard to the use of any information or … More Non-Disclosure Agreement: So What’s The Point?
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