Category Archives: Intellectual Property Newsletter

SCOTUS: ‘The Slants’ Trademark Gets First Amendment Protection

Simon Tam, lead singer of the Asian-American rock group “The Slants,” chose the derogatory term intentionally. Tam wanted to reclaim the racial slur and turn it into a name to be proud of. However, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) … Continue reading

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Pay BEFORE You Play: Why Music Licensing Matters

Does your business need a license to play music? Do you really need a music license just to play cover songs? Music licensing is not something to gamble with. Spotify recently settled a class action lawsuit for more than $43 … Continue reading

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SCOTUS: Forum Shopping Spree Over for Patentees

Good litigation strategy involves reviewing a case and potential jurisdictions based upon historical outcomes, some which may have more positive (or more dire) effects on your client’s case. This is sometimes referred to as “forum shopping.” And frankly, it’s just good … Continue reading

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Stolen Photos Costs Company

Capturing just the right photograph, often is the result of countless hours of time, effort, attention, planning and preparation.  While capturing the photograph can represent countless hours, stealing the photograph off the internet takes only seconds.  In today’s digital world, … Continue reading

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SCOTUS: Whoever’s on First Denied Cert

The U.S. Supreme Court will not review the copyright infringement lawsuit based on a Broadway play’s use of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First.” “Hand to God” writer Robert Askins scripted a character to use portions of the famous duo’s … Continue reading

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The Billion Dollar Block

In 1958, President Eisenhower was president of the United States, Khrushchev was in charge of Russia and Charles de Gaulle was Prime Minister of France.  NASA was formed that year, satellites were launched and the computer chip, the modem and … Continue reading

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The Importance of Trademark Goodwill

A “trademark” (less commonly called a “service mark”) can be a single word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Some trademarks are a combination of words and symbols, and many evolve over … Continue reading

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Music Copyright Law: “Musical Works” and Sound Recordings

Copyright Law: Distinguishing Between Musical Works and Sound Recordings In general terms, copyright protection extends to “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” Pursuant to Section 102 of the federal Copyright Act (“the Act”), works of … Continue reading

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Go, Fight, Win: SCOTUS Says Cheerleading Uniforms Are Functional AND Creative

Stuffed miniature mascots in cheerleading uniforms. Monthly calendars featuring cheerleaders. Clothing designed to mimic cheerleading uniforms. What do all of these have in common? They are sold in university gift shops and, under the Supreme Court’s latest decision on cheerleading uniforms, they … Continue reading

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The MET Announces Access to Free Images

The Metropolitan Museum announced access to nearly 400,000 images – for free. The Museum provides these images under an Open Access license for all public-domain works in the Met collection. The Creative Commons Zero (“CC0”) license allows use of the … Continue reading

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