Nancy Axilrod, IP and Litigation Guru

On November 10, Nancy Axilrod came to NYU to talk about her work as a litigator, in house lawyer, and currently her work as General Counsel, for Tapestry, Inc. She gave insightful tips on how to succeed in the industry as well as giving students a look inside her work as a general counsel lawyer.   Tapestry, Inc (formerly known as Coach, Inc) is an American luxury fashion company. They own three major.. Read More

When Are Artists “Featured” In Songs?

On November 15, 2016, Canadian artist Able “The Weeknd” Tesfaye released his third studio album, titled “Starboy”. The album contains 18 tracks, all of which credit Tesfaye as a writer. Additionally, the album credits indicate contributions from several other artists on each song. Notwithstanding these fine-print credits, only six of the tracks identify a featured artist in the track title. A closer examination of the credits reveal more apparent inconsistencies. Artist Future performs.. Read More

Matal v. Tam and Disparaging Trademarks

Simon Tam,  “I’d be happy to send [Redskins or Daniel Snyder] some legal bills.”   Simon Tam, the front man of a Portland based dance-rock band named “The Slants”, filed suit against the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) when the PTO refused to trademark their band’s name. Their trademark was rejected under section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the disparagement clause. The disparagement clause provides that the PTO may prohibit the registration of.. Read More

Interview: Professor Fromer and the Star Athletica case

In this interview, Jeanne Fromer, professor at NYU School of Law, discusses her experience filing an amicus brief in the Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. case decided this past year. The Court ruled that the useful article doctrine did not pose a bar to Varsity Brands’ enforcement of copyright against Star Athletica in five designs of Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms. Jeanne Fromer also discusses her views on and critiques of the.. 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

Trademark Litigation in the Shadow of B&B Hardware

In 2015, the Supreme Court decided a trademark dispute, B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis, Indus. However, in the light of more public trademark cases, such as the Washington Redskins trademark cancelation, the decision has not received much press. In many respects, this is not terribly surprising. B&B Hardware decided a very narrow issue of trademark litigation procedure. However, the consequences will be dramatic for litigants going forward. B&B Hardware was an incredibly drawn-out.. 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

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, unless it’s from Tiffany’s: An Analysis of Tiffany & Co. v. Costco Wholesale Corp.

Picture this scenario: a young woman has been doing research on engagement rings so that she can tell her boyfriend what kind of ring she’d like. She decides that she absolutely wants a “Tiffany setting” for her ring because she thinks that shape is the prettiest, and tells her boyfriend to get her a ring with a “Tiffany setting.” Her boyfriend has been searching for the perfect engagement ring to propose to his.. 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

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