Intellectual Property

Trademarking a Name and the Right of Publicity

Suppose that you want to register a trademark that incorporates a name of a person to identify the source of goods or services for your business.  Should you register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)?  What about the right of publicity of the individual?  Can you obtain a registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  The answer may be YES! depending on the specific facts regarding the person.

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Colorado Privacy Act Draft Rules Issued

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office released Draft Rules for the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA). Issued on September 30, 2022 the Draft Rules address how the CPA will be implemented when it takes effect on July 1, 2023. A public comment period began Oct. 10 and will close Feb. 1, when the Colorado AG’s Office will hold a public hearing. Therefore, we are still months away from seeing the final CPA rules.However, given the upcoming requirements under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA) and new laws in Utah and Connecticut, companies subject to the CPA should begin assessing their compliance obligations well before the new law takes effect. Read more…

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High Court of Delhi holds that acquired distinctiveness is necessary for obtaining registration of a shape mark

In today’s age, the importance of brands (and in turn trademarks) cannot be undermined. It is through brands that businesses (be it domestic or international) are able to thrive and flourish in various highly competitive sectors. While the brand promotion, protection, and enforcement strategy has been focused for many decades on conventional marks (such as a word mark or a logo mark), businesses have realised the potential of non-conventional trademarks (including colour, shape, or even smell and scent). Amongst these, shape has the unique status of expressly finding its place in the trademark statutes of most developed nations, yet the number of trademark registrations being granted to shapes remains quite low.

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Just Humor Them: Jests, Jokes, Satire, and Parody In Infringement and Defamation Cases

Legend has it that shortly after Adam was created, he complained: ‘O, Lord! you have given the lion fierce teeth and claws, and the elephant formidable tusks; you have given the deer swiftness of legs, and the turtle a protective shell; you have given the birds of flight wings, but you have left me altogether defenseless.’  And the Lord said unto Adam:  ‘I shall give you an invisible weapon that will serve you and your children better than any weapons of fight or flight, a power that will save you even from yourself.  I shall give you the sense of humor.'”

[G. Swaminath, “Jokes a Part:  In Defense of Humor,” 48 Indian J Psychiatry 177–180 (2006)]

I thought of that story, and the unique power humor has, literally and legally, to disarm many who might otherwise complain over any number of legal issues and perceived slights. For even though, as one writer noted, some “legal textbook[s like] Gatley on Libel and Slander [are ones where] neither ‘joke’ nor ‘humour’ makes the index” because “[w]ords are defamatory, or they are not” and “intention is irrelevant,” humor remains at the forefront of any codex of responses available to claim of infringement or defamation.  While intent may be irrelevant, meaning, understanding, impact, and setting are not.  We were reminded of this just recently in the case of Roy Moore v. Sasha Baron Cohen, where the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of a defamation action arising out of a mock comedic interview. Mo[ø]re on that case later (pun perhaps intended).

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Copyright Infringement before the Copyright Claims Board?

Suppose you have not registered your copyright in a book with the U.S. Copyright Office until someone has infringed your copyright by copying substantial portions of your book. Let’s also suppose you can prove that the alleged infringer has infringed your work and you can prove that the infringement caused you lost sales, lost opportunities to license, or diminution in the value of the copyright in the amount of $20,000. Can you sue the alleged infringer for actual damages for the copyright infringement without going to federal court? The answer to this question is YES!

The U.S. Congress has established the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act) to provide an alternative forum to federal court before the Copyright Office called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) for resolving certain copyright disputes that involve up to $30,000 (called “small claims”). The use of the CCB is voluntary and both parties must agree to participate. The CCB provides advantages over federal court because certain copyright disputes may be resolved before a panel of copyright experts as opposed to a jury or a federal judge. The CCB proceeding is a streamlined proceeding and a less-expensive alternative compared to federal court.

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CANADIAN INNOVATION DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Canadian Innovation Week, namely November 16th to November 20th this year, is a movement organized by the Rideau Hall Foundation and Canadian Innovation Space which seeks to recognize Canadians advancing their respective industries and sectors, to connect individuals across the country and to encourage collaboration, creativity and innovation amongst current and future innovators.

Canadian Innovation Week is being held virtually this year. Many of the week’s conversations concern efforts related to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, we briefly outline some of the major developments in the past eight months with respect to intellectual property innovation during the pandemic.

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IP CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUSINESSES OPERATING ONLINE – AN AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE

Recent changes in consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that few businesses can afford to ignore the internet, and the opportunities for efficiencies and scale that it offers.  Operating a business online presents tremendous opportunities for growth by opening up new geographical markets, however it also creates new challenges for businesses in ensuring that their key intellectual property assets, which are made available online, are adequately protected.

So how can businesses manage their intellectual property, and ensure they are not infringing on the intellectual property rights of others, when trading online?

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COVID-19 Intellectual Property Extensions Ending in Many Countries; Caution Over Potential Flood of Filings

Deadline suspensions by intellectual property offices around the world are rapidly coming to a close. Many of these extensions, including in the United States, Brazil, Canada, and other countries, were granted after the COVID-19 pandemic closed governmental offices and served as the basis for unprecedented relief from otherwise firm statutory deadlines for patent and trademark filings. Read more>>

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The Open COVID Pledge

Intellectual property rights are – by definition – monopolistic. How, then, can researchers, charities and NGOs collaborate with business in the development of new technologies to control and eradicate COVID-19?

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Compulsory Licensing in Russia in the view of COVID-19

Nowadays the sphere of healthcare is becoming one of the mostly discussed because of a mass spread of the coronavirus pandemic (also COVID-19). Confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world have passed more than a 2.4 million. As the disease is continuing to surge the World Health Organization is warning that there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19 as for today. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments and developing drugs conducted by different laboratories in developed countries.

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