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Cohen Law > Blog (Page 8)

We Buy Ugly Houses Trademark Dispute

“We Buy Ugly Houses” is the trademark that HomeVestors of America, Inc. registered back in 2001. The company specializes in training franchisees to buy homes, “flip,” and resell the homes. HomeVestors has in subsequent years also registered variations on “We Buy Ugly Houses” such as “We Buy Ugly Houses And Make Them Nice Again” and a Spanish translation “Compramos Casas Feas.” Since popularizing its slogan, HomeVestors has stayed active in enforcing protection of its federally registered trademark. This includes preventing other real-estate companies from using “We Buy Ugly Houses” or something of that sort on their websites and as a part...

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New Boyz Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The American rap group, New Boyz, has experienced large success in a short period of time. The New Boyz music capitalizes on catchy beats and lyrics like: “You’re a jerk! Jerk Jerk Jerk!” and “Tell all the homies she got bunz, bunz, bunz.” Surprisingly, the group has yet to trademark its name “New Boyz.” In the polar opposite genre of music–Christian music, an Australian band called Newsboys has been around since 1985 and remains popular with Christian music listeners. The band registered the trademark “Newsboys” in 1994. The band recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the New Boyz for allegedly infringing...

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Apple Trademark Dispute in China of Xuebao

Apple is engaged in yet ANOTHER trademark dispute in China. This time, the lawsuit involves the trademark “Snow Leopard,” which is the name of Apple’s operating system OS X 10.6 released in 2009. Jiangsu Xuebao, a Chinese company, alleges that it owns the Chinese trademark rights for “Xuebao.” You may be thinking, but wait a minute how is that the same as “Snow Leopard.” Well, the Chinese word “Xuebao” literally translates to “Snow Leopard.” Jiangsu Xuebao claims that Apple’s use of “Snow Leopard” confuses consumers because it also makes computer products and now demands about $80,000 from Apple. Back in 1998, Jiangsu...

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Trademark Infringement of Brave?

Disney released yet another mega blockbuster new animated movie this weekend called “Brave”. To no one’s surprise, the movie scored the top box office spot and has already grossed over $80 million worldwide. Just a few days before the release of Disney’s “Brave,” a company called Phase 4 Films released a low-budget version called “Kiara the Brave.” “Kiara” wasn’t released in theaters, but distributed through iTunes, Amazon, and I even saw it offered on On-Demand service through my TV. Both of the animated films feature a redheaded, adventurous heroine and use a similar plot. So what gives? Lately there has been...

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Hamilton Ventura Trade Dress Infringement Against Stuhrling Original

Did any of you moviegoers notice Will Smith’s watch during Men in Black III? Apparently Will Smith wore the same watch, a “Hamilton Ventura”, in all three of the Men in Black movies. The watch has also graced the wrists of Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii and Rod Sterling on The Twilight Zone. The Swatch Group Inc., which manufactures Hamilton brand watches, has filed a trade dress and trademark infringement lawsuit against Stuhrling Original LLC for “intentionally copying” the Ventura watch. A product can only receive trade dress protection if there is public recognition of its “look.” This can be achieved through...

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Havana Club Trademark Dispute with US and Bacardi

Cuba and the US are at war…over Rum! Cuba’s state distillery sells the popular rum “Havana Club” in over 120 different countries (distributed through Pernod Ricard, a French company). But entry of Cuba’s delectable national drink is barred into the U.S. because of the embargo. The USPTO did however granted Havana Club International the U.S. trademark rights for “Havana Club.” However, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, did not issue a license to the company to make a $200 renewal payment. Thus, a court recently refused the “Havana Club”...

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No Doubt Lawsuit with Activision Right of Publicity

No Doubt enjoyed mainstream success during the 90s with hits like “Don’t Speak” and “Just a Girl.” Last week, the band announced its plans to reunite and release an album this September. The same day that the band shared the news of their planned comeback, a judge gave permission for the band’s lawsuit against video game maker Activision to be heard by a jury. “Hella Good” day for No Doubt. The video game created by Activision, Band Hero, features the band members’ likenesses as video game characters. Players of this video game can select a character that is modeled after a...

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Google’s Fair Use Defense to Authors Copyright Infringement

Last month, Google got the vote for “most popular technology brand,” beating out Facebook, Twitter, and Apple. Google has grown to include its own specialized search tool for Maps, News, Shopping, Videos, etc. A few years back, Google started Google Books and made an agreement with several research libraries to scan books for its Google Books Library Project. It has scanned 12 million books over the course of the project. The website for Google Books describes that you can view a few “snippets” or sentences of copyrighted books and you can fully view a book that is out of copyright. The website...

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Charlie Sheen Trademark Infringement and Right of Publicity

For $250, guests of a New York Gentlemen’s Club could eat sushi off the body of an almost-naked woman in the “Charlie Sheen Room.” At least until Sheen’s lawyer sent the Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit for millions, which the club complied with. The “Charlie Sheen Room” featured Sheen’s name and images. It sounds a little creepy, but hey, to each his own. The president of the company owning Cheetahs, Sam Zherka, denied that it used Sheen’s name to promote the business. Rather, he says that the strip club used the name for comical effect...

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Gucci Trademark Infringement Against Guess

After three years, the Gucci v. Guess trademark infringement battle finally ended earlier this month when Gucci received a settlement of $4.7 million in damages (Gucci initially demanded $221 million). The judge’s words: “Over the past three years, the parties have put in countless hours and spent untold sums of money, all in the service of fashion — what Oscar Wilde aptly called ‘a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.’” Ever since the end of the case, the web has been abuzz with talk about what this decision means for future trademark disputes...

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