New York Intellectual Property Law Blog

What's in a Name?

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It's one of those things that you know, but it's rarely front of mind. You never think about it, but you're bombarded by it daily. A NAME embodies a whole effort.

When you reference your efforts in business--whether for profit or non-profit--at a certain time you use a name, or a symbol, or a sound or something else to identify those efforts (i.e., a "NAME"). Unilever does. UNICEF does, too.

Transformative Use of Copyrighted Material Is Highly Subjective

Transformative Use of Copyrighted Material Is Highly Subjective by Iva Rukelj

In our previous blog article, we explored the concept of fair use and how courts determine whether the use of copyrighted material is permitted without the rightsholder's permission under the Constitution's statute.

One way to decide whether the fair use law applies is to determine whether the third party engaged in the transformative use of the copyrighted material. New York's active Second Circuit Court recently ruled on two applicable cases, elucidating the intricacies of fair use.

It's Fair to Say Fair Use Is Complicated

It's Fair to Say Fair Use Is Complicated by Iva Rukelj

While the framers of the Constitution had no way of predicting the kinds of technology we enjoy today, they did have the foresight to understand the necessity of intellectual property rights. That is why the Constitution gives artists and inventors an exclusive right to their work under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

Out of that Constitutional clause, American copyright law was born, and with it, a qualified exception to the same exclusive rights it guarantees called fair use

What Do Chevrons, Stripes & Romance Have in Common? A US Supreme Court Decision!

Thumbnail image for What Do Chevrons Stripes Romance Have in Common A US Supreme Court Decision by Bill Samuels

If you thought that US Supreme Court justices lacked romantic proclivities, you're wrong!

Some months ago, in a conversation between the justices about a very important copyright issue involving fashion, Justice Stephen Breyer stated, "The clothes on the hanger do nothing. The clothes on the woman do everything." Justice Elena Kagan immediately interjected with, "That's so romantic!"

Romantic or not, the justices were determining whether or not a feature of a useful article is protectable under Section 101 of the Copyright Act. 

Technically, "Data Are Still Data"

 Technically Data Are Still Data DPLIC 122862168_s-2015.jpgIn Clarilogic v. FormFree Holdings, the Court Of Appeals upheld the District Court for the Southern District of California holding that the claims of U.S. Patent Application No. 8,762,243 ('243 Patent) are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 because they are directed to an abstract idea and contain no additional elements that transform the nature of the claims into a patent-eligible application of the abstract idea.

Illinois Church Adds Zeros to Adidas' Legal Bills

Illinois Church Adds Zeros to Adidas Legal Bills by Iva Rukelj

We admit we are talking about Adidas a lot lately, but that is because (i) we truly love their gear, and (ii) they have really been active. After some bruising encounters with United States trademark law, Adidas SA recently found itself on the ropes again, this time at the hands of a church in Zion, Illinois. The marks in question are a study in phonics: 

ADIZERO running shoes by Adidas vs. ADD A ZERO hats by Christian Faith Fellowship. 

The USPTO Made a New Years' Resolution & It Impacts You

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The USPTO and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") joined the rest of us in attempting to improve with a New Year's resolution. However, instead of already giving up on gym membership plans, the USPTO has taken 2017 by storm with an emphasis on digital efficiency, some rule changes, and everyone's favorite, increased fees.  

Stripes: Adidas Files Notice of Opposition to Soccer Club FC Barcelona's Trademark

Stripes: Adidas Files Notice of Opposition to Soccer Club FC Barcelona's Trademark by Iva Rukelj

The most interesting grudge match in professional soccer this season isn't between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, but rather the intellectual property lawyers representing Barcelona and footwear giant Adidas.

"Kit" sponsoring--sponsoring the uniforms of a team--is a highly competitive business dominated by Nike and Adidas. For example, Adidas pays top-rated Manchester United €83.5 million a season for the privilege of providing uniforms emblazoned with its three-stripe logo.