The opportunity to label social media posts with hashtags are endless. But there is a tension between brandowners’ desire to get as many people as possible to see their posts and use their hashtag, and the traditional trademark laws. Trademark law surrounding social media is still full of gray areas, but this article can provide brandowners some guidance.
Top 10 Copyright Rulings of 2016 Every year, Law 360 publishes their Top 10 copyright cases from the past year. Music, film, art and entertainment are often involved in copyright cases, which is why they can gain media attention both locally and nationally.
Trademark rulings often miss the front headlines of the news outlets every year, but little do people know, these decisions often affect their everyday lives more than some of the cases that receive national attention.
When a trademark or potential trademark is challenged, courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) generally turn to the so-called DuPont factors to determine whether a likelihood of confusion exists between two marks. Courts don’t necessarily consider all 13 factors and, in fact, a single factor can settle the matter. This was the case in Oakville Hills Cellar, Inc. v. Georgallis Holdings, decided by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Verdict goes against medical device maker When the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that an appellate court’s infringement ruling should be reconsidered, it probably seemed like good news to the medical device maker that had been found liable in the initial ruling. Alas, the new ruling that followed reconsideration also went against the company. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals found the position in the company’s defense “objectively unreasonable.”
Appellate court extends EMCA safe harbor The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled on the hotly debated issue of whether the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA’s) safe harbor provision applies to sound recordings created before 1972. That’s when Congress first extended copyright protections to such recordings. With Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC, the Second Circuit is the first federal appellate court to tackle the question, and its opinion no doubt brought a huge sigh of relief from Internet service providers.
Federal Circuit narrow on-sale bar to patents The full panel of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears all patent-related appeals, has delivered a ruling in The Medicines Co. v. Hospira, Inc. that’s sure to be welcomed by patent holders. In a unanimous decision, the court provided guidance on what constitutes a sale for purposes of the on-sale bar to patent validity.
Patterson Thuente IP is pleased to present the Year End 2016 issue of Ideas on Intellectual Property Law. We encourage you to read through it for ideas about ways you can protect your intellectual property.