Great stories about patents and other IP
While God May not be Dead, These Infringement Charges Sure Are: California District Court Rejects Infringement Lawsuit Against Pure Flix Entertainment
Oct25

While God May not be Dead, These Infringement Charges Sure Are: California District Court Rejects Infringement Lawsuit Against Pure Flix Entertainment

Another day, another thrown out claim of copyright infringement. California’s Central District Court recently dismissed a copyright infringement charge against the 2014 film “God’s Not Dead.” According to the Court, a lack of similarities of any significance existed between the work and the plaintiffs’ screenplay.     Screenwriters Michael Landon Jr. and Kelly Monroe levied an action of copyright infringement against Pure Flix...

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It’s All About Name and Place: University Trademark Disputes on the Uptick
Oct21

It’s All About Name and Place: University Trademark Disputes on the Uptick

2016 has seen an uptick in trademark disputes between academic institutions, notably universities. Recently the University of Houston levied a suit against the former South Texas College of Law, following the defendant’s name change to “Houston College of Law” and their adoption of a similar white and red color scheme. This case highlights trademark concerns faced by institutions bearing geographic namesakes and differentiates between...

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USPTO Alters Its Trademark Rules of Practice
Oct19

USPTO Alters Its Trademark Rules of Practice

The US Patent and Trade Office published a Federal Register Notice of Final Rulemaking amending the Trademark Rules of Practice on October 7th. These rules of practice govern practice before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. These amendments reduce the burden of the parties and hasten TTAB proceedings.     These amendments include administrative alterations, a new unilateral option to submit trial testimony via the declaration of...

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The US Patent and Trade Office and the Cuban Industrial Property Office Take Steps to Increase Collaboration
Oct18

The US Patent and Trade Office and the Cuban Industrial Property Office Take Steps to Increase Collaboration

This December marks the two-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s announcement of renewed diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba. This renewal presents an opportunity for scientific collaboration and innovation, and by extension, legal protection. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been taking an active role in facilitating trade and investment between the two countries. As authorized commercial ties between...

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Thirty Seconds To Dismissal: Leto’s Infringement Case Rejected by District Court
Oct10

Thirty Seconds To Dismissal: Leto’s Infringement Case Rejected by District Court

Last week, the Central District Court of California dismissed a claim of copyright infringement by actor and musician Jared Leto against TMZ.com in Sisyphus Touring Inc. v. TMZ Productions Inc. The suit was over a video that the website posted, featuring Leto criticizing musician Taylor Swift. The Court ruled that Leto copyright claims were invalid, since he was not the owner of the video, and the videographer had validly transferred...

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Fractional Licenses Get the Green Light in U.S. v. Broadcast Music Inc.
Oct10

Fractional Licenses Get the Green Light in U.S. v. Broadcast Music Inc.

Upon the request of performance rights organization Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the US Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted a review of BMI’s 1941 consent decree. The decree allowed BMI to issue licenses for works to which it owns all the rights. New York’s Southern District Court overruled the DOJ’s interpretation, holding that the decree does not prevent the issuance of fractional licenses for music, nor does it require the...

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Grand Theft, but Not of Identities: NY Court Dismisses Claims by Lohan and  Gravano
Sep23

Grand Theft, but Not of Identities: NY Court Dismisses Claims by Lohan and Gravano

Computer games are serious business. Top games can easily outsell Hollywood blockbusters, and the design and artwork involved can be as intricate as top-notch CGI. However, here the similarities end – and according to the New York Court of Appeals, this certainly applies to former “Mob Wives” star Karen Gravano and actress Lindsay Lohan. In Gravano v. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and Lohan v. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.,...

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