Your Trademarks Are Protected Speech

A few months ago we reported on a case in which the U.S. Trademark Office had refused registration of THE SLANTS as a trademark for live musical performances as being disparaging of people of Asian descent. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the basis for that refusal, the Trademark Act’s “disparagement clause”, was … Continued

What’s the meaning of “Google”

We enjoy seeing our patent and trademark clients become successful. When a brand becomes so successful that simply everyone knows it and talks about it, however, a new threat to trademark rights arises: the threat of a trademark becoming the “generic” term for a class of goods and/or services and incapable of being a trademark. This … Continued

Patent Laws Just Keep Changing…

The first US Patent Act was passed in 1790, yet in 2017 the Supreme Court is still issuing foundation-altering decisions.  Recently two separate cases altered long standing legal principles. First, in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag et al. v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, et al., the Court ruled that laches may no longer be used … Continued

Can I Copyright My Pants?

Apparently now you can.  Since time immemorial – or at least for a couple hundred years – the fashion industry has wished, hoped, lobbied, and otherwise prayed for copyright protection for articles of clothing.  A recent Supreme Court ruling in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity  Brands, Inc., may have tilted the matter in favor of … Continued

What’s the shape of your iPhone worth? $400 million?

Maybe Not. In May, 2015, Apple was awarded $399 million dollars in a judgment against Samsung for infringement of three design patents.  The amount of the award was 100% of the profits Samsung obtained through its sales of the infringing smartphones.  The design patents generally covered the shape of the original iPhone and its user … Continued

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