The Chilling Adventures of Copyright Infringement

This past fall, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was the Netflix Original that everyone was talking about. This show reimagines the world of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (a popular show released in the 90’s) with a new, dark spin. In this version of the show, Sabrina must choose between joining the world of witchcraft that her family belongs to and remaining in the human world with her boyfriend and friends. Yet what appeared.. Read More

Post-Sale Confusion

Traditionally, the main purposes of trademark law are consequentialist by nature. They are to reduce consumer search costs and to create incentives for producers to invest in product quality. If the source of a good is unclear or confusing, then markets will function less efficiently because consumers will expend wasteful resources searching for goods of a particular quality and producers, who will not derive the full benefit of their investments in product quality,.. Read More

Trademark Infringement Merit Badge for Boy Scouts? Girl Scouts Claim Boy Scouts Aren’t Playing Fair.

On November 6, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (“GSUSA”) filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) alleging, most notably, that BSA’s use of its SCOUTS and SCOUTING marks and derivatives thereof in connection with services offered to both boys and girls infringes GSUSA’s GIRLS SCOUTS marks. Both GSUSA and BSA offer leadership development services geared towards children and young adults and have generally followed gender-exclusive membership.. Read More

MoMA v. MoMaCha—Mo Matcha, Mo Problems

On September 28, 2018, Judge Louis L. Stanton, U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York, issued a preliminary injunction against a café and gallery space previously known as MoMaCha. He ruled that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is likely to succeed on the merits for its claims that the café infringed on its trademark name and logo design and diluted its trademark. The café has since changed its URL,.. Read More

Copyright Office Review Board Denies Copyright Registration for Two Corporate Logos

Despite the growing pressure on corporations and organizations to strengthen legal protection of their corporate logos, their attempts to enlarge the utility of copyright law for this purpose have proven futile. Two recent decisions by the Copyright Office Review Board (“CORB”) are particularly illustrative. The first decision concerns the Union des Associations Européennes de Football’s (“UEFA”) “Starball” logo. Comprising a pattern of black stars and white polygons that are “warped” within a white.. 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

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

Gucci is Ghosting and Louis is Lunging: An Examination of Disparate Luxury IP Enforcement Strategies

These days it seems that nothing is safe from millennials. The running joke is that strengthened by their addiction to avocado toast, and with all of their free time due to unemployment, millennials have started a killing spree against wholesome staples like napkins, cereal, and “Breastaurants.” I will be focusing on the replies from one of the “murder victim” industries, luxury goods. While luxury brands have seen a market increase of 4% in.. Read More

When Teams Move Out

When a team relocation is announced, the move will mean heartbreak for some sports fans, but it also offers the opportunity to build for others. Former Cleveland Browns placekicker and offensive tackle Lou Groza compared his team’s relocation to a fire that “has just burned out. And all you’re left with is ashes.” Excitement or dismay aside, what do these moves mean for the teams’ intellectual property? Football In 1995, then-Browns owner Arthur.. Read More

Invasion of the Bot E-Snatchers? Not Quite.

Automated software programs, or “bots,” have been in use since the early days of the internet, perhaps most notably by search engines and online market aggregators to power their services. This type of bot usage has mostly been tolerated because of its synergistic effects, but companies have grown warier of who they allow on their servers as bots have become more numerous and sophisticated. From “scrapers” that trawl LinkedIn user profiles for data.. Read More