May. 19, 2016|By Gregory B. CollinsToday, the Washington Post published the results of its poll regarding the Washington Redskins’ name. In that poll of 502 Native American adults, 9 in 10 Native Americans said they were not offended by the name “Redskins.” Given the recent media coverage on this issue, the results of this poll are surprising. As the Washington Post article notes, 23% of non-Native American adults it surveyed find the name offensive. Put another way, non-Native Americans are actually more offended (at least percentage-wise) by the Washington Redskins' name than Native Americans. The poll results are more than just attention-grabbing, they may be legally relevant.
May. 17, 2016|By Gregory B. Collins
On behalf of our clients, we have alleged that a competitor falsely advertises it products as “natural” when the product contains synthetic materials. Some attorneys have argued that because the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has not defined “natural,” a jury is not competent to determine whether a product is in fact natural. Under this erroneous reasoning, a company could advertise any product as “natural,” no matter how artificial its ingredients. On April 12, 2016, the FTC made clear that Kercsmar & Feltus’s position on “natural” is the law.
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.