Are Cheerleader Uniforms Copyrightable? Supreme Court Will Decide the Limits of Copyright ProtectionMay. 03, 2016|By Gregory B. Collins
On May 2, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, Inc. It is well-settled that an artistic design on a piece of clothing is copyrightable. In Star Athletica, the Supreme Court will decide how far copyright protection stretches. Is a "creative arrangement of sequins, beads, ribbon, and tulle" copyrightable? The Court's decision will have wide ranging implications for the fashion and apparel industry. A decision is expected by June 2017.
May. 02, 2016|By Gregory B. Collins
On May 2, 2016, the United States Supreme Court accepted cert in SCA Hygiene v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC. In SCA Hygiene, an en banc Federal Circuit ruled 6-5 that laches is a defense to patent infringement. The Supreme Court will determine whether the Federal Circuit properly distinguished Petrella v. Metro-Goldmyn-Mayer, Inc. In Petrella, the Supreme Court held that laches does not apply to claims for copyright infringement.
Sep. 30, 2015|By Molly Rogers
In September 2015, the New York Federal District Court found that Cosco Wholesale infringed the famous Tiffany & Co. TIFFANY mark by selling "Tiffanyy" engagement rings. The court entered summary judgement on infringement despite that Costco Wholesale had submitted "substantial" evdience that the TIFFANY mark was generic. The decision is on appeal. The outcome on appeal will be closely monitored by retailers throughout the country.
May. 25, 2015|By Gregory B. Collins
The NFL’s Championship Game (the NFL does not want you to call it the Super Bowl, but that is a subject for an article on trademark law, not copyright protection) was played just over a month ago. While the NFL’s season concluded that evening with the Patriots defeating the Seahawks 28-24, one participant in that evening’s festivities was just getting started: Left Shark.
Dec. 01, 2014|By Gregory B. Collins
A recent consumer survey concluded that internet marketing now has a greater impact on consumer spending than conventional television and radio advertising. But, as recent court decisions demonstrate, internet marketing should be undertaken—just as television and radio advertising was in the past—with one eye focused on creating sales and the other eye focused on avoiding legal exposure.
Nov. 02, 2014|By Gregory B. Collins
In the modern economy, your business’s most valuable asset is often intellectual property. Intellectual property is protected by trademarks, copyrights, utility patents and design patents. While the courts have provided extensive guidance regarding the enforcement of trademark, copyright and utility patent rights, design patent law has been relatively untouched since the late 1800s. On September 22, 2008, however, an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decided Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa, Inc., 543 F.3d 665 (Fed. Cir. 2008). This opinion dramatically alters the landscape of design patent law.