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Cohen Law > Blog (Page 10)

NFL Trademark Use a no-no

Every year, about this time, businesses are unexpectedly sued for using two seemingly harmless words: “Super Bowl”. Any advertising, promotion or announcement that is not sanctioned by the National Football League is subject to swift legal action by the NFL. The NFL owns registered trademarks for “Super Bowl,” and “Super Bowl Sunday.” And they aggressively monitor and enforce those trademarks. “NFL,” “AFL,” and the names and nicknames of all NFL teams are also registered trademarks, owned by the NFL. In fact, even if the terms are not used, it could be considered a copyright violation if the game is broadcast on a screen larger than 55 diagonal inches,...

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China Trademark Dispute with Apple: We Own the iPad Trademark

Trademark lawyers are known to be zealous advocates for their owners marks.  But Apple’s lawyers will not quit by appealing the court ruling in China that rejected its ownership of the iPad trademark in that country.  Last month, the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province ruled that a local company, Proview International actually owns the trademark in China.  According to Apple, they bought the rights to the name legally from a UK-based company known as I.P. Applications.  I.P. Applications had previously purchased the mark from a Proview subsidiary in Taiwan.  But the Chinese court ruled that the Proview subsidiary did...

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SOPA Blackout Gathers Momentum, Includes Wikipedia

Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales If you’re planning on using Wikipedia this Wednesday, January 18th, you may be disappointed.  The web site is strongly considering a 12 hour blackout, to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, or “SOPA.”  Other major sites, most notably Reddit.com have already announced blackouts that day.  According to a statement by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on a recent Wiki discussion board: “I’m all in favor of it, and I think it would be great if we could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit. I’d like to talk to our government affairs advisor to see if they agree on this...

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Rose Bowl Copyright Infringement

Copyright litigation can be tricky without an attorney.  Take, for example, the case of David Bartholomew, a man who claims he is the original designer of the Rose Bowl and Parade logo.  Bartholomew claims he came up with the logo while attending school at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design in 1977.  Bartholomew claims that he made the design and gave it to the tournament’s staff, who released it a few years later as the work of a different student, Susan Karasic.  Karasic vehemently denies any of this, and says that she has various sketchbook drawings, showing the evolution of...

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Young Buck Trademark Bankruptcy

What’s the real value of intellectual property?  Consider the recent case of rapper David Brown, aka “Young Buck.”  The Tennessean recently reported that Buck is has fallen on some rough times, and is involved in a bankruptcy case.  Buck owes money for child support, taxes, and a reported $10 million to his current label – 50 Cent’s G-Unit records.   If the judge in the case approves a bankruptcy liquidation, the most valuable piece of property he stands to lose is his trademarked name. Buck wants to sign with Cash Money Records, and claims that if signed, he could pay his debts...

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Patents and the Stock Market

Time and again I am reminded what an important asset patents can be to company’s growth or continued existence. For example, I was reading an article in the Motley Fool today and their review of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the owners of the “K-Cup” for coffee. The author quoted: “My Foolish colleague Rick Munarriz says he’ll be buying shares of Green Mountain by week’s end because the Keurig machine remains popular, the patent expiration battle is overblown, and the stock is cheap. I think what he’s doing amounts to balancing a steaming cup of coffee in his lap. The K-cup is...

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Grand Theft Auto 5 Trademark Infringement with Speedo?

With Grand Theft Auto 5’s release all gamers are excited.  But who would of thought that GTA and Speedo would get into a trademark spat?  One of the most highly anticipated video games of the year, Grand Theft Auto 5, recently released an online trailer. The trailer spread like wildfire, and one apparent detail of the new game may cause a big headache for Rockstar Games, the maker of the iconic and very popular racing game. That detail is the word “Speedophile” printed on the side of a Jetski, looking something like a logo. The word Speedophile may have a simply descriptive...

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GTL Trademark Lawsuit by The Situation

Jersey Shore star Mike Sorrentino (aka The Situation) is making sure he stays on top.  Of his trademarks, that is.  Has sued, in the Florida Southern District Court, a newcomer who wants to use Sorrentino’s “GTL” brand to market lifestyle products reminiscent of Jersey Shore style and fashion.  MyGTLFuel.com is aimed toward viewers and fans of Jersey Shore, selling Energy Shots, Tanning Lotion and the like.  So does the owner, Dana Valentino, actually have any trademark rights that are superior to The Situation?  Or is he simply trying to cash in on the ‘Guido’ trend?  GTL Fuel, LLC which we believe is...

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Opt Out “.xxx” Domain Name..You Have Until October 28

As part of its list of new “Sponsored Top-Level Domain” names, or sTLD’s the suffix .xxx was created by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) back in March. This gave adult industry companies the option to get a domain name that ends in .xxx. But what about companies that don’t want a .xxx web site created, using their trademark or name? ICANN is offering a “sunrise period” to companies, that allows them, for a limited time, to opt out of ever having a .xxx version of themselves online. The deadline to opt out is October 28, 2011. After...

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