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Cohen Law > Blog (Page 14)

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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Foo Fighters Copyright Infringement In Australia

The Foo Fighters recently sued an Australian advertising company for Copyright Infringement for using a re-recorded version of “Learn To Fly” in one of their TV commercials. The lawsuit was filed in Australian federal court last week, and alleges that the RE/MAX company made commercials that “incorporate a musical composition… that reproduces a substantial part” of the Foo Fighters’ hit. Nicholas Thiele, regional director of RE/MAX, told TheAge.com.au, ”It’s certainly not the position of this company to intentionally infringe on anyone’s copyright. We’ve got very strong trademark and copyright issues regarding our own brand that we feel are very important.” The band...

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Copyright Litigation May Commence Without First Obtaining Registration

In order to commence a copyright infringement action in federal court, under 17 U.S.C. § 411(a), makes registration of a copyright a prerequisite prior to bringing an infringement suit. But in a May 2010, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit case, Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. v. IAC/Interactive Corp., has held otherwise. The case was an appeal from a U.S. District Court, California Central District case in which Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. sued the Home Shopping Network for copyright infringement involving a necklace. Cosmetic Ideas submitted a copyright application for a necklace, and then sued HSN before getting an official registration from...

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Dr. Dre’s Trademark Cause of Action Gets Dismissed

When hip-hop label Death Row was acquired by WIDEawake in 2009, they promptly decided to re-issue some Death Row greats, most notably Dr. Dre’s 1992 album ‘The Chronic’ in the ‘Re-Lit’ album/DVD set. Dr. Dre was not part of the re-issue process, and quickly sued WIDEawake Entertainment Group, Inc. In the United States District Court for the Central District of California (case no. 10cv01019), Dr. Dre sued for royalties owed, but also for trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false advertising, citing the Lanham Act, among other statutes. But a federal judge threw out the trademark-related portions of the claim last week (with...

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