California Intellectual Property Blog

Mandour & Associates, APC – California Intellectual Property Blog

SPOTIFY FACES $1.6 BILLION COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT REGARDING MUSIC LICENSES

By Joseph Mandour on January 11, 2018

Orange County – The new year is bringing in with it the first significant reform of music licensing rules in decades. Streaming services like Spotify are continuing to gain in popularity as consumer purchase less Compact Discs. Spotify is now facing three lawsuits alleging that it has failed to pay artists for the music it streams.

Most recently, the Swedish streaming company has to deal with a new larger copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing. Wixen Music Publishing filed a lawsuit in California federal court that alleges Spotify is using Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” the Doors’ “Light My Fire,” and several thousand Read the rest

BARSTOOL SPORTS THREATENS NFL WITH TRADEMARK LAWSUIT

By Joseph Mandour on January 3, 2018

Los Angeles – Founder Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports is ready to sue the NFL over an alleged trademark infringement. Barstool Sports has sold shirts, flags and other apparel with the phrase “Saturdays Are For The Boys.” The NFL recently began selling shirts that include the phrase “Sundays are for the Boys” which is in reference to the Dallas Cowboys.

Apart from the Cowboys, the NFL is also selling shirts that include the phrase “Sundays Are For The [Team Name]” with each team name. Barstool Sports believes that the shirts are a play on the verbiage used by Barstool Sports.

Barstool Sports and the NFL have a rocky re Read the rest

SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON WINS TRADEMARK LAWSUIT AGAINST SALT LAKE COMIC CON

By Joseph Mandour on December 15, 2017

San Diego – After a long-running battle, a jury in San Diego decided in favor of Comic-Con International, the nonprofit behind San Diego Comic-Con, which has been an iconic pop culture fan event for a whopping 50 years. The ruling holds that San Diego Comic-Con does hold trademark rights to “Comic-con”.

The lawsuit began when San Diego Comic-Con claimed that the two defendants Daniel Far Read the rest

APPLE COUNTERSUES QUALCOMM FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on December 7, 2017

San Diego – Qualcomm has long accused Apple of infringing its patents, but now the tables have turned. In a new countersuit, Apple alleges that it owns at least eight battery life patents that Qualcomm has violated. Apple, the company that kickstarted the modern smartphone, stated that Qualcomm is acting like a “common patent troll” – a company that hoards intellectual property without making any real products.

San Diego based Qualcom Read the rest

WOOF-TANG CLAN DOG WALKING COMPANY TRADEMARK OPPOSED BY WU-TANG CLAN

By Joseph Mandour on November 30, 2017

Orange County – The Wu-Tang Clan is a hip hop group from New York. Wu-Tang Clan’s producer, RZA, recently filed a trademark opposition against a Brooklyn dog-walking company after it filed a trademark application for “Woof-Tang Clan” on June 8, 2017. The opposition states that the Woof-Tang Clan trademark is likely to be confused with multiple registrations already owned by the Wu-Tang Clan.

Marty Cuatchon is the owner of Woof-Tang Clan, Read the rest

RAPPER RICK ROSS’ REVIVES COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT AGAINST LMFAO

By Joseph Mandour on November 20, 2017

Los Angeles – Last week Miami rapper Rick Ross appealed a 2016 ruling that dismissed his copyright lawsuit about alleged similarities between his song “Hustlin” and Los Angeles duo LMFAO’s song “Party Rock Anthem.” LMFAO is made up of Redfoo (Stefan Gordy) the youngest son of Motown founder Berry Gordy, and Sky Blu (Skyler Gordy) who is Stefan’s nephew.

In April 2016, the Florida court ruled that Rick Ross’ copyright registrations for the song had several errors making them invalid. Without valid registration with the U.S. Copyright Office, a copyright lawsuit cannot be filed in federal court. Back in 2016, U.S. District Court J Read the rest

MOOSEHEAD SUES HOP’N MOOSE FOR TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on November 10, 2017

Orange County – Moosehead Breweries is the oldest independently owned Brewery in Canada. The moose is an established icon for Moosehead which is a family-owned company founded in 1867. Moosehead owns multiple U.S. trademark registrations for “moose” and “moosehead” as well as moose-based images all for use related to beer.

Hop’n Moose Brewing Company LLC opened a brewpub named Hop’n Moose in downtown Rutland, Vermont in 2014. Its distribution is small, only selling canned beer in 15 stores in the area. Because the company uses “moose” in its name, as well as an image of a moose for the brand name, Moosehead Breweries h Read the rest

EMINEM WINS COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT AGAINST NEW ZEALAND POLITICAL PARTY

By Joseph Mandour on October 31, 2017

Los Angeles – A judge recently held that a New Zealand political party infringed on Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” copyright when it used a song that sounded very similar to Eminem’s hit. The song was used in a 2014 election advertisement. The judge awarded Eminem’s publishing company $415,000 after deciding that the song the National Party purchased from a stock music library was substantially similar to Eminem’s song.

The infringing song’s title is labeled as “Eminem-esque” which likely did not help the defendant. “Lose Yourself” received the 2003 Academy Award for Best Original Song and is one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Gr Read the rest

GOOGLE WINS GENERICIDE TRADEMARK CASE

By Joseph Mandour on October 19, 2017

San Diego – Google recently won a lawsuit which challenged the validity of the Google trademark. Under U.S. trademark law, trademark rights are lost when a trademark becomes the generic name for the goods or services for which it is used. Several brand names have succumbed to this tragic occurrence known as genericide.

Formerly protectible trademarks that lost trademark rights are aspirin, escalator, thermos, and kleenex.

In Elliott v. Google, t Read the rest

BANANA SUIT COSTUME SPARKS SCARY HALLOWEEN COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT

By Joseph Mandour on October 4, 2017

Orange County – Banana suit costumes are a popular favorite for Halloween, and it turns out there’s big money in them. Enough so that Kmart and Rasta Imposta are entrenched in a copyright lawsuit over a banana suit which is a registered U.S. copyright.

For nearly a decade since 2008, Kmart has been purchasing costumes from costume manufacturer Silvertop Associates which does business as Rasta Imposta. However, this year Kmart and Rasta Imposta failed t Read the rest

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