Speaking About Politics: A Fireable Offense?

President Trump’s remarks that NFL owners should fire players who chose to kneel during the national anthem and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ statement that Jemele Hill’s tweets disparaging Trump were a “fireable offense” pose an important question: can a private-sector employee be fired based on his or her political speech? The simple answer is yes; an employer may impose restrictions on speech relating to politics and decide to terminate employment.. Read More

Will Allergan’s Questionable New Licensing Tactic Kill Inter Partes Review?

In 2015, Allergan, a powerhouse pharmaceutical company, filed suit against generic companies for patent infringement. Allergan, Inc. v. TEVA Pharms. USA, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-1455-WCB (E.D. Tex. Oct. 16, 2017) hosted by ipwatchdog.com. The claim alleged infringement of patents that cover Allergan’s blockbuster eye drug, Restasis. In hopes of invalidating the Restasis patents, defendants filed administrative challenges in front of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) using a procedure known as inter partes.. Read More

Descriptive There, Trademarked Here: An “Ugg”-ly Dispute

It is widely accepted in the United States that generic and descriptive terms cannot be trademarked. So what happens when a descriptive word from a foreign country makes its way to the U.S. and is trademarked by a U.S. company? Are the people from that country then barred from using that term to advertise their products in the U.S., even if they deem the term descriptive?   This is the predicament Australian sheepskin.. Read More

Theatrical Parody in an Age of Uncertain Fair Use in the Second Circuit

Fair use doctrine has been challenged and stretched by the technological leaps and bounds of recent years. In the recent Second Circuit case, Author’s Guild v. Google, the court grappled with the issue of whether Google Books snippets were fair uses of the copyrighted works. These determinations are far beyond the scope of what is contemplated by the Section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act, which sets forth factors courts should consider when.. Read More

Video Games: A Growing Market and its Intellectual Property Needs

The video game industry is a rapidly growing market. The rising prize pools of video game tournaments and the popularity of streaming personalities are just a couple of the signs of this growth. Game revenues are expected to hit $108.9 billion in 2017, an increase of nearly $8 billion from 2016. That is a near eight percent increase, with smartphone and tablet gaming seeing a twenty percent increase. The global player base is.. Read More