Copyright Protection Of Designs Incorporated In Apparels And Uncertainty In The Law?

Case Analysis: Varsity Brands, Inc. V. Star Athletica, LLC Facts Varsity Brands Inc., a manufacturer of cheerleading uniforms, brought an action against Star Athletica, LLC, alleging infringement of its copyrighted uniform designs.Regarding thecopyright infringement claims raised by Varsity Brands, the district court concluded that Varsity’s designs were not copyrightable because the graphic elements were not ‘physically or conceptually separable’ from the ‘utilitarian function’ of the cheerleading uniform because the “colors, stripes, chevrons, and.. Read More

Native Advertising: The Blurred Lines between Sponsored and Non-Sponsored Content and the FTC’s Response

In the modern age of social media, companies have increasingly begun to turn to native advertising to promote their products and services. Native advertising is a form of marketing in which an advertisement resembles the form and function of the media platform on which it appears. The goal of native advertising is for a paid advertisement to blend in with the regular content that is usually featured on the platform. Examples of native.. Read More

Is There a Licensing Market for Tattoos?

  Take-Two Interactive Software, publisher of the popular video game series NBA 2K, scored a victory this past summer when it successfully dismissed a claim for statutory damages by Solid Oak Sketches, a tattoo licensing company. Solid Oak had sued over the in-game depictions of tattoos worn by several famous basketball players, including LeBron James, but its claims were dismissed by Judge Laura Swain in the Southern District of New York. In her.. Read More

Final and Unappealable: Federal Circuit Will Not Review PTAB IPR Decisions

What is inter partes review? Inter partes review (IPR) is a new procedure under the America Invents Act (AIA) for challenging the validity of one or more claims of a patent on § 102 (novelty) or § 103 (obviousness) grounds, while considering only prior art existing in patents or printed publications. The review is a trial proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”). Once the petition is filed, the Board.. Read More

Trademark Law and the Brilliance of “Dumb Starbucks”

A typical comedian would not devote an episode of his TV show to issues of trademark law, but Nathan Fielder is not a typical comedian. Most people in the U.S. familiar with the Canadian comedian’s work know him primarily from his Comedy Central TV show, “Nathan for You.” With his deadpan humor and impeccable delivery, it is hard to understand why Fielder is not more widely known. However, his relative obscurity lends itself.. Read More

California’s Strange New Age Law

Have you ever been watching a television show or movie with characters supposedly of high-school age—think Gossip Girl, Mean Girls, Greece—and then been shocked to discover that the actors portraying these characters were significantly older than their on-screen portrayals? Finding out an actor’s age has become as simple as a brief search on a smartphone, most easily on the Internet Movie Database (“IMDb”). For reference, Leighton Meester was 21 when she started playing.. Read More

Akamai and Divided Infringement of Method Claims

In August of 2015, the federal circuit met en banc in Akamai v. Limelight to settle a long-standing issue: When multiple parties perform all the steps to a patented method, but no one party performs every step, when is the patent infringed, and by whom? The decision they handed down set a new standard for divided infringement defenses. Like any legal standard, the details would need to be fleshed out by subsequent litigation.. Read More

Why Tesla Should Consider Amending its Patent Pledge

Over two years ago, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would not initiate any patent lawsuits against anyone who was using Tesla’s technology in good faith. This pledge has raised many questions as to the motivation behind Musk’s statement and its legal nature, while also stirring our beliefs about innovation and patents in general. Although the answers to these questions are far from clear, wherever one stands on these issues, perhaps.. Read More

Truth and TriFlex: The Fourth Circuit’s Ruling Regarding “Literally False” Advertising Claims

This blog post discusses the Fourth Circuit’s ruling regarding “literally false” advertising claims. The case is In re GNC Corp., 789 F.3d 505 (2015). I. Factual Background GNC, a national nutritional products retailer, has manufactured and sold a line of joint health supplements for years. These products, which contain glucosamine and chondroitin compounds, are marketed collectively under the “TriFlex” brand. The TriFlex product label represents that the supplements “promote[] joint mobility & flexibility,”.. Read More

Climbing Out of the Rabbit Hole – Post-Alice Decisions on Patentability of Software Inventions

  In early 2016, Google DeepMind unveiled the AlphaGo project, a gaming algorithm based on machine learning and dedicated to the last remaining game where humans held superior against computers—Go, the ancient Chinese board game. The AlphaGo algorithm was “fed” a database of over 30 million moves, and was subject to reinforcement learning. This allowed the algorithm to optimize the search space of actions, reducing the required calculations to optimize AlphaGo’s next move… Read More