7th Circuit rules in favor of Catwoman!

By Christina Severino | amdlawgroup.com
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed that security software company Fortres Grand has failed to state an adequate claim for trademark infringement against Warner Brothers under the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1114 and 1125)and for unfair competition under Indiana law. The district court held that Fortres Grand did not assert a conceivable theory of consumer confusion. In addition, the court ruled that Warner Brothers’ First Amendment right in using the words “the clean slate” remains intact.

You Can’t Have My Blessing…Or The Music!

By Breanna Pendilton | amdlawgroup.com
Copyright law is founded upon the theory that it will promote and incentivize new works, while also giving credit to the originator.  But what happens when the owner of that work, will not share it?  Does that promote and incentivize new works?  Lifetime has recently announced its plans to make a biopic of the late singer Aaliyah, who died tragically in a plane crash at the age of 22 in 2001.  Her family, who was not contacted about the biopic, is not happy, and feels as if Aaliyah’s life was enough of a story to be told on the big screen.  But what can they really do right?  I mean, Aaliyah’s life, itself, is nothing but a bunch of facts.  In the eyes of copyright law, facts are not copyrightable, and Aaliyah’s family does not own her life story.

Protecting Your Manuscripts for Reality TV

By Diana Chan | amdlawgroup.com
Have you completed a manuscript for a reality tv show? In addition to federal copyright protection, Secure Script Registration with the Writer’s Guild of America can help writers protect their manuscripts associated with radio, film, and TV. Through the Writer’s Guild of America, authors protect their works by establishing legal evidence of the completion date of their original work and their prior claim to authorship–useful aspects against infringers.

Train A Child In the Way He Should Go…. And He Will Call YOU A Copycat

Last month, small Atlanta-based shoe designer, Antonio Brown, sued big time company, Louis Vuitton, for trademark infringement. Since the earlier months of 2013, Brown’s sneaker collection has been known for its distinctive metal plate placed across the toe box of its shoes. In February of this year, Louis Vuitton’s new “On the Road” collection made its debut with an all too familiar metal plate, placed right across the toe of the shoe.

Amazon’s Merchandising and Trademark Law

Muti Time Machine Inc, v. Amazon.com deals with the question of whether Amazon’s search results violate trademark law. Multi Time Machine sued Amazon for copyright infringement. For those of us who are familiar with Amazon, we have probably found ourselves searching for something on Amazon, adding it to our shopping bag, and then proceeding to find another ten items we would also like to buy. There is no doubt that Amazon benefits customers in the way that it offers complementary and competitive products. On the other hand this does not make many trademark owners happy as they may loose the purchase to a competitor

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Criminal Copyright Infringement – International Intellectual Property Law – Case Study #15

Jeramiah B. Perkins of Virginia, the alleged leader of an online piracy group, IMAGiNE, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Criminal copyright infringement is a serious crime; criminal copyright is the subject of the warning labels you view before the start of a movie. You know, those messages after the previews. Most people fast forward past the warnings, however, misappropriating and making copies of copyrighted materials is illegal.

Don a Henley, Get Sued by an Eagle

Last week, clothing company Duluth Trading Company was sued by former Eagles band mate Don Henley. In his complaint, Henley alleges that Duluth failed to obtain licensing rights to use Henley’s name in one of its email ads. The email advertisement was for a Duluth Henley t-shirt, and included the description, “Don a Henley and Take It Easy,” in the body of the email. In Henley’s complaint, he asserts that Duluth has infringed on both his name and likeness, in addition to an Eagle’s song titled, “Take It Easy.”

Merchandise Designers, Hold the Confetti! The Redskins’ Name and Logo are Not Open for Business…

By Ozelle Martin | amdlawgroup.com
There is a well-known professional football team in the National Football League (NFL) called the Washington Redskins and their logo features a Native American man wearing a feathered headdress. While the franchise has been in existence for over 80 years, there has been much debate surrounding the connotation of the term “redskins.” Moreover, a quick search of the Oxford dictionary defines the term as “an American Indian” with a note that the term is deemed “offensive.” Consequently, the Washington Redskins franchise has found itself in the midst of many fiery discussions as to whether the franchise should be allowed to legally own and utilize the name.

Parody or Trademark Infringement? The Tale of Print T-Shirts

By Ozelle Martin | amdlawgroup.com
Lately, there seems to be a sudden burst in the number of print t-shirt lines that bear designs that are strikingly similar to those of well-known luxury brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Givenchy. Undoubtedly, these print t-shirt creators have ventured such a path, in an effort to appeal to the audiences of these very brands to whom they have become parasitic. With ammunition, in the form of potent legal departments, in tow- many of these brands are shooting off cease and desist letters like paintballs. Very often, their claim is that the printed t-shirt creators are infringing upon their marks. In response, the printed t-shirt creators raise their shields and assert that their inspired designs are mere parodies, a defense borrowed from copyright law’s fair use doctrine.

Amazon’s Loss to Lush

Lush is a beauty brand that produces products from fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Their products such as makeup, soap, and face wash are not animal tested and are made fresh by hand with little or no preservative. Lush brand chose not to sell their products on Amazon but when customers searched “lush” into the search bar, similar beauty products sold by Lush appeared in the results.