Thursday, November 29, 2007

Patent (Pending) Attorneys

Erik Heels explains why he is now a "patent pending attorney." As always, Erik provides excellent, well-written analysis that even a lowly trademark attorney like myself can understand.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Xtreme Trademark Application!

Trademork reports on the latest Mountain Dew applications filed by PepsiCo.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fake Louis Doesn't Rate

Sure we have fake handbags, watches, and DVDs. But nothing compares to fake currency.


Monday, November 19, 2007

MySpace Liable in France for Copyright Infringement as Publisher

In France, MySpace has been found liable for infringement of comic Jean-Yves Lambert's publicity rights and copyrights.

MySpace was held liable because the court ruled that it was not only a hosting provider but also a publisher of the infringing content. The court observed that, according to its terms of service, MySpace defined itself as “a social networking service that allows its members to create unique personal profiles online in order to find and communicate with old and new friends.”

The court also observed that MySpace “allowed its members to create personal web pages structured by frames displayed in a way specific to the website.” All MySpace pages, the court noted “display on the top an advertisement banner and then a number of frames within the page, each displaying specific information about the member such as its picture, identity and contact details, URL address, interests, personal details, friends and comments from friends etc…”

The court concluded that “by imposing such a specific, frame-based, structure for members to present their personal information and by displaying [revenue generating] ads for each and every visit [made on the pages], [MySpace acted] as a publisher.”

Unlike in the US, French courts have been fairly consistent in finding social networking sites and search engines liable for infringement.


McAfee: The State of Typo-Squatting 2007

McAfee study on the current state of typo-squatting. The upshot is that the problem is getting worse. The report has a nice graphic showing the "Squatter Money Cycle." (via C|Net)


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Martha Stewart and the Katonah Village Improvement Society Settle Trademark Dispute

It appears that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Katonah Village Improvement Society have settled their differences regarding the KATONAH mark. MSO will be able to use the mark on some goods, but not on others. Of MSO's three federal trademark applications for the KATONAH mark, only one has not been abandoned. Details of the various Opposition proceedings can be found here. In the "Mark" field, simply enter the word KATONAH. (via NameWire)


Art and Egg Nog

Somerville, Mass.-based artist Jenn Ski will have her space age bachelor pad style works featured in an upcoming television ad campaign for Hood's new flavored egg nogs. If she's really lucky, she'll get a case of the stuff gratis. Hood nog is Legal Fixation's nog of choice (mine, anyway).


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What else can you say

but amen.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Haute Diggity Dog Affirmed

Rebecca Tushnet is reporting that the Fourth Circuit has affirmed the Haute Diggity Dog trademark dilution decision.


The Art of the 360 Deal

Jeff Leeds in The New York Times has a nice look at what's known as the 360 deal, whereby a record label profits not just from its artists' record sales, but merchandising, endorsements, touring, and anything else they can get their hands on. In return, the theory goes, the artist is given more time to develop, rather than immediately pressured to sell millions of albums.

From the article, an idea of what makes up a typical 360:

Atlantic’s document offers a conventional cash advance to sign the artist, who would receive a royalty for sales after expenses were recouped. With the release of the artist’s first album, however, the label has an option to pay an additional $200,000 in exchange for 30 percent of the net income from all touring, merchandise, endorsements and fan-club fees.

Atlantic would also have the right to approve the act’s tour schedule, and the salaries of certain tour and merchandise sales employees hired by the artist. But the label also offers the artist a 30 percent cut of the label’s album profits — if any — which represents an improvement from the typical industry royalty of 15 percent.

Not so bad on the surface, with the understanding that thirty percent of album profits is just as likely to equal zero as the original fifteen percent. And it's hard to trust a label to commit a year and a half or more to developing an artist when turnover is as high as it is. Still, as Coolfer notes, it's early yet, so we'll need to check back in a year or so to see how bands like Paramore are doing under the deal.

By far the scariest quote comes from Craig Kallman of Atlantic Records: “We used to look at jam bands as bands that absolutely we shouldn’t sign,” Mr. Kallman said. “Now all of a sudden I’m saying: ‘Guys, you absolutely must find the next hottest jam band. I need the next Phish. Urgently.’”

Do. Not. Want.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Archive of Corporate Identities

For trademark lovers only. (via MeFi)


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Website

The Stanford Copyright & Fair Use website has been updated, and is chock-full of resources, news, and much more good stuff. Definitely worthy of a bookmark, whether you're a practitioner or a content creator.