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Cohen Law > Blog (Page 14)

Hard Rock Cafe Trademark Issues: Not Too Happy About Free Publicity

Among the already-raunchy assortment of reality TV shows, the new “Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel” is pushing the envelope. And the Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. chain (a different company than Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) doesn’t find the debauchery very entertaining. The Hard Rock Café recently filed a law suit for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and a variety of other charges regarding the tarnishing of Hard Rock’s image. Hard Rock Hotel is a licensee of the Hard Rock brand. But Hard Rock Café now wants to revoke that license agreement. The case is No. 1:10cv07244-UA, filed...

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Trademark Infringement Pancakes v. Prayer

The International House of Prayer in Pasadena, along with another house of prayer in Kansas City, MO are attracting some attention – unwanted attention. International House of Pancakes, Inc. (IHOP) filed suit last week for trademark infringement. The case is No. 2:10-cv-06622-SJO, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. This might be a tough case for the pancake people, for a couple of reasons. First is the issue of likelihood of confusion. One organization is a light n’ fluffy breakfast food chain. The other is a small, aesthetically different house of worship. Additionally, the house of...

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Facebook Trademark Infringement with Teachbook

You can bet social media megalith Facebook is actively scanning the horizon for would be intellectual property infringers. And a few weeks ago it found one. A new online community for teachers, called “Teachbook,” is using a similar networking platform to Facebook. Facebook fears that adding the “–book” suffix to words could create a whole plethora of networking Websites for different societal groups. This, in turn, would dilute the trademark brand. Facebook sued for cybersquatting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, and trademark dilution in the US District Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. 5:2010cv03654). According to the complaint: “The ‘book’...

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Jedi Mind Trademark Dispute with George Lucas

Really good trademarks often become so ingrained in the public mind that they start to take on a life of their own, distinct from the original source. Take the mega-lucrative Star Wars universe, for example. Ever since George Lucas created Star Wars, he’s had his full protecting trademarks like “Jedi,” “Lightsaber,” and even “Droid.” A new software company calling themselves Jedi Mind, Inc. recently felt the sithlike wrath of George Lucas. They had a new set of headphones which (according to them) could sense brain waves and operate a type of remote control software. The product is called “Master Mind.” Lucas,...

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Black Sabbath Trademark Dispute: Ozzy vs. Iommi

Last year, Anthony “Tommy” Iommi, long-time guitarist for Black Sabbath, and Ozzy Osbourne got in contact with each other about the band. However, this new Black Sabbath collaboration didn’t involve any music. John “Ozzy” Osbourne sued Iommi for trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court (case no. 1:09-cv-04947) Apparently, in 2000, Iommi filed a trademark application with the USPTO, to register the Black Sabbath trademark in his name only. Ozzy’s attorneys caught wind of this trademark hijacking, and filed suit in May of last year. According to the suit Ozzy was “the driving force behind the Black Sabbath band.” But Iommi...

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Lady Gaga Protects Her Trademark and Sues Knockoff Merchandisers

Lady Gaga started her 2010 “Monster Ball” tour with a pre-emptive trademark infringement lawsuit. In the past, non-licensed merchandise vendors were tolerated outside large concerts, so long as they didn’t interfere too much with legitimate merchandise sales. But lately, the music industry is taking greater measures to remain profitable. These cases, known as “John Doe” cases (because of the hundreds of “John Doe’s” named as defendants), are becoming more and more frequent. Lady Gaga’s merchandise company is Bravado International, a division of Universal Music Group. The case was filed under trademark infringement, citing the Lanham Act, unfair competition, and right to...

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Mike Tyson Trademark Fight with Michael Landrum for the Title

Most people recognize “Iron Mike” as a long-standing nickname for Mike Tyson. Apparently, there may have been a previous “Iron Mike.” Michael Wayne Landrum, a small-time L.A. boxer is suing Mike Tyson for trademark infringement to the tune of $115,000,000. The complaint was filed June 28, 2010 in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (case no. 2:2010-cv-04795). Michael Landrum last boxed in 1985, and included with the complaint is a document from 1996, a letter from the California State Athletic Commission, stating that his “professional ring name was Iron Mike Landrum.” Landrum is suing for Trademark Infringement, and claims...

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CNBC’s Crime Inc: Counterfeit Goods

An excellent episode discussing the world of counterfeit goods will show on CNBC’s Crime Inc., on Wednesday, July 14 at 9p ET/PT. I will definitely watch. Here is the description below: Sneak Peek: http://bit.ly/9iR23d Fake handbags, watches, and perfumes are a way of the past. The largest underground industry in the world, Counterfeit Goods bring in hundreds of billions, while sapping the economy, putting lives in jeopardy, and funding organized crime in the process. CNBC presents “Crime Inc.: Counterfeit Goods,” a CNBC Original reported by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla takes viewers inside where the goods are produced and confiscated in a world of high-risk...

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Playboy Sues Drake for Copyright Infringement

Hip hop artist Aubrey Drake Graham, aka “Drake” had a hit last year with the song “Best I Ever Had.” But, like many other commercially-successful songs these days, “Best I Ever Had” sampled a previous song. The original song, called “Fallin in Love,” is by 1970’s soft rockers Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. And interestingly, it’s Playboy Enterprises, Inc. that owns the copyright to “Fallin In Love.” Apparently Drake didn’t get permission to use the song, which for samplers isn’t always necessary. But Playboy just filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Drake. The case is 2:2010-cv-04750 A major question is going to...

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Rick Ross Trademark Infringement Suit Against Def Jam and Jay-Z

Ricky Donnell Ross (or ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross) was an L.A. drug kingpin who was arrested in 1996, and released from federal prison in May 2009. But most people know Rick Ross (sometimes Rick Ro$$) as a rapper from Miami who’s sold millions of records over the past five years or so. Both men have made fortunes, but ‘Freeway’ Ricky’s fortune was short lived – and now he wants it back. He is suing Rick Ro$$ for trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (case no. 2:10-cv-04528). Rapper Rick Ro$$’s real name is William Leonard Roberts II. He...

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