Supreme Court to Review the Ban on Registering Disparaging Trademarks

Under Section 2 the Lanham Act of 1946, the United States Patent and Trademark Office can deny trademark registration to any mark that “consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage. . .persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” 15 USCS § 1052 (1946). While one is free to use any disparaging, scandalous or immoral mark as a signifier,.. Read More

Automated copyright infringement detection systems and their effect on music producers worldwide

  Weeks ago, Apple and Spotify announced they had reached agreements with the music royalty analysis company Dubset. Dubset’s services include the ability for streaming providers to easily and legally allow users to upload music, even if those particular pieces of music contains copyrighted material. Dubset then analyzes the copyrighted material within the song using an automated scanning technique and distributes royalties based on prior royalty agreements. This specific service is known as.. Read More

#Trademarks: Are hashtags protected by trademark law?

On August 23, 2007, Chris Messina asked a new and growing Twitter audience, “How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” The former Googler and current Uber executive is often credited with inventing the “hashtag,” a word or phrase preceded by the # symbol. Hashtags categorize topics, making it easier for social media users to organize and search for particular content. Although the hashtag first gained popularity.. Read More

Do Patents Make Inventors Legally Responsible?

In 2013, a child was paralyzed after a distracted driver in a Dodge Ram truck collided into a sports utility vehicle. The driver and a passenger of the struck vehicle were also killed. What caused the distraction? A message on the driver’s iPhone. The victims’ families filed a product liability claim against Apple. In an article in the New York Times, Matt Richtel presented the question, “Does Apple — or any cellphone maker.. Read More

CRISPR: The Final Interference

Background CRISPR (“Clustered regularly interspaced shorty palindromic repeats”), also known as CRISPR-Cas9, is a recent advancement in biotechnology that allows for genetic manipulation. This monumental discovery is currently at the center of a heated patent interference proceeding that started earlier this year. CRISPR naturally occurs in some bacteria, providing them with a means to defend against viruses. There are two main components involved in this system: Cas9 enzyme and a small RNA molecule… Read More

Understand Damages for Trademark Infringement in China

In July 2016, the Guangdong High People’s Court (the “High Court”, the highest local court in Guangdong Province) rendered judgement in the New Balance trademark infringement case, which had drawn public attention since the trial began in 2013. This case involves a number of interesting trademark law topics in China, such as conflicts between trademark and company name, defense of prior use, trademark squatting, and other such subjects. The decision also addressed how.. Read More