New York City’s Bizarre Law Against Dancing

Until very recently, New York City’s “Cabaret Law” hung like a black cloud over the music and dance scene in one of the world’s most famously cultured cities. Though the law has been scarcely enforced since the early 1920s, it remained on the books until a group called the Dance Liberation Network petitioned successfully to have the law repealed on November 2nd, 2017. The law required that any “public dance hall” or “cabaret”.. Read More

Standing in Patent Infringement Suits and the “All Substantial Rights” Doctrine

On Thursday, November 16 at New York University School of Law, patent lawyers and students gathered for the Patent Law Reading Group Alumni Night hoping to gain some insight on who has standing to bring a suit for patent infringement. NYU alum and patent lawyer at Goodwin Christopher Morten (’15) gave a presentation on his research decoding the federal circuit’s “All Substantial Rights” doctrine and, in his opinion, which factors are truly dispositive.. Read More

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

An Unstoppable Force Meets an Immovable Object: A Glimpse at the Emerging Effects of the DMCA’s Anti-Circumvention Provision on the Internet of Things

Next year will mark the twentieth anniversary of the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), Congress’s controversial response to novel copyright protection issues posed by digital media and new technologies that facilitate piracy and other infringing activity.  Signed into law by President Clinton a mere seven months before the release of the infamous pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing platform, Napster, the DMCA presciently provided copyright owners and prosecutors with a powerful new.. 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

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