Trademarks and Brands

Decoding Rosetta Stone: Trademark Lessons and Unanswered Questions From The Fourth Circuit’s Decision Regarding Google’s Keyword Advertising Program

On April 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed down its decision in Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google Inc. At issue in the appeal was whether Google’s sale of “Rosetta Stone” keywords for use in Google’s AdWords advertisements constituted primary (direct) or secondary (contributory/vicarious) trademark infringement or diluted Rosetta Stone’s trademarks. Continue reading

Pinning Down the Copyright Issues in Pinterest

By Eleanor M. Lackman & Jennette Wiser

The newest trend in social media, with over 10 million members and drawing 11.7 million viewers each month according to comScore, is the virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest. Pinterest allows members to upload their favorite images from the Internet or their computers and share them immediately with other members. Continue reading

Viacom v. YouTube/Google: How Red Must a Red Flag Be?

Update: In an update to the below, on Thursday, April 5, 2012, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals revived and remanded the case to a lower court, instructing the district judge to determine if YouTube had knowledge or awareness of specific infringing material and whether it willfully blinded itself to that specific knowledge. Please visit this site for an analysis of this news shortly.

In the ongoing Viacom v. YouTube lawsuit, the case is now on appeal before the Second Circuit. Continue reading

Buzz Aldrin Grounded

The Topps Company recently released a set of “American Heroes” trading cards which include well-known politicians, actors, athletes, scientists and events. Famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin attempted to block the release of certain cards believing the cards improperly incorporate his name, likeness and image in a commercial manner. The cards in question include the famous “Visor Shot” image of Aldrin on the outside of the cardboard box packaging, a mission card, and a “signature cut” card which contains original signatures taken from other documents. Continue reading

Madonna’s Not the Only “Material Girl”: Judge Denies Summary Judgment

In California, a Federal Court Judge denied the defendent’s — Madonna’s — Motion for Summary Judgment that she is the “senior trademark user” of the “Material Girl” mark. This now clears the path for a lawsuit by the plaintiff, clothing company L.A. Triumph, which has sold a “Material Girl clothing line since 1997. Continue reading

Good Day for Green Day: Judge Rules in Favor of Fair Use

In a lawsuit against the band Green Day, by Derek Seltzer (an L.A. Based Artist), the U.S. District Court Judge ruled in favor of Green Day in a motion for summary judgment on the basis of their fair use defense. Seltzer accused Green Day of violating his intellectual property rights through their unauthorized use of, and by altering, Seltzer’s notorious work, “Scream Icon”. Green Day’s use of the work appeared in a video backdrop during live performances of their song East Jesus Nowhere, throughout their 2009 tour. Continue reading

War for your “App Store”: Apple vs. Amazon: Federal Judge Unconvinced

Federal Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, denied Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction to bar Amazon.com from referring to its online software marketplace as an “Appstore” pending the outcome of Apple’s suit regarding the matter. Since 2008, Apple has used the term “App Store” to describe the online location where its shoppers can purchase software applications for their mobile devices (such as the iPhone and iPod). Since then, the online market has become saturated with similar downloadable software applications for mobile devices and online shops to purchase these products. Continue reading

Christian Louboutin and the Fight for Your Red Sole!

Christian Louboutin (“Louboutin”), the popular shoe company, has sued several other companies for the infringing use of their trademarked red sole which has become synonymous with the brand’s identity for over 20 years. Louboutin first registered the red sole in 2008 and has since sued such brands as Carmen Steffans, Oh…DEER!, and most recently Yves Saint Laurent (“YSL”). Louboutin claimed YSL, another brand associated with luxury, infringed their trademark with YSL’s new line of shoes, that include red-soled shoes amongst other colors. Continue reading

1 5 6 7