California Intellectual Property Blog

Mandour & Associates, APC – California Intellectual Property Blog

CONAN O’BRIEN “JOKE” COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT PROCEEDS TO TRIAL

By Joseph Mandour on May 18, 2017

Los Angeles – Late night television host Conan O’Brien, his writing staff, and Time Warner apparently will have to defend themselves at trial in federal civil court in the coming months. The popular television show “Conan” has been accused of stealing three jokes from a blog.

The jokes were allegedly stolen from the blog of freelance comedy writer, Robert “Alex” Kaseberg in 2014 and 2015. Last F Read the rest

EMINEM SUES NEW ZEALAND GOVERNING BODY FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on May 10, 2017

San Diego – United States rap star, Eminem, is suing the current New Zealand ruling political party for copyright infringement. The dispute is over a campaign ad that the conservative National Party ran during the country’s 2014 election.

Representatives from Eminem’s Detroit based music publishing company, Eight Mile Style, claim that the music that underscores the ad is clearly from Eminem’s international bestselling track “Lose Yourself,” which was featured in the popular motion picture 8 Mile. Eight Mile Style copyright lawyer, Gary Williams, insists that the use of the song is a clear breach of copyright.
New Zealand claims t Read the rest

FARADAY BICYCLES SUES FARADAY&FUTURE ELECTRIC CAR COMPANY FOR TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on May 2, 2017

Los Angeles – Faraday Bicycles, Inc. is suing a Los Angeles, California based electric car startup company, Faraday&Future Inc., over alleged trademark infringement. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern district of California last week. This is the latest development in nearly a year and a half of conflict over the trademark.

Faraday Bicycles, which was purchased by Pon Holdings in January 2017, registered its Faraday trademark in 2013 and has been using the trademark since 2012. Faraday&Future applied for its Faraday Future trademark for “Concept cars and motor vehicle prototypes” in 2015. The United States Patent and Trad Read the rest

KFC FILES LAWSUIT TO PROTECT FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD TRADEMARK

By Joseph Mandour on April 19, 2017

San Diego – Two years ago, Brain Mastrosimone bought 70 acres of land along Canadaigua Lake in New York. Canadaigua Lake is just one of many lakes in upstate New York collectively known as the Finger Lakes. Mastrosimone’s plan is to develop the property with a little bit of every type of business he can think of. His plans for development include a brew hub, pavilion, and even a sunflower patch. He has even developed a slogan for the family owned business, “Finger Lakin’ Good.”

National fast food chain, KFC Corporation, does not appreciate the new slogan. KFC is suing Mastrosimone for alleged trademark infringement of its famous Finger Read the rest

MEXICAN RESTAURANTS BATTLE OVER “DAMN GOOD TACOS” TRADEMARK

By Joseph Mandour on April 13, 2017

Orange County – A Fort Collins, Colorado based Mexican restaurant named Dam Good Tacos is being sued for trademark infringement by a Texas restaurant chain named Torchy’s Tacos. Torchy’s Tacos claims that Dam Good Tacos is confusing customers by using a name that is identical to its Damn Good Tacos tagline.

In 2015, Torchy’s Tacos received a federal trademark registration for Damn Good Tacos which claims a 2006 date of first use. The chain Read the rest

JIMMY BUFFETT WINS TRADEMARK DISPUTE OVER MARIJUANAVILLE

By Joseph Mandour on April 6, 2017

San Diego – Jimmy Buffett and his Margaritaville brand empire recently won another trademark dispute. This time, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled against Colorado based entrepreneur, Rachel Bevis, who was attempting to register “Marijuanaville” for her cannabis based retail products and clothing store. The judge ruled that both trademarks leave a similar impression of “a chemically induced mental paradise.”

The brand Read the rest

DAN AKROYD AND CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA WIN TRADE DRESS INFRINGEMENT CASE

By Joseph Mandour on March 31, 2017

Los Angeles – A Los Angeles California federal jury found in favor of Dan Akroyd’s Skull Vodka Co, Crystal Head, on Wednesday morning. The decision finds rival distilled spirits company, Elements, guilty of trade dress infringement. Both companies sell alcohol in skull shaped bottles.

Globefill, which owns Crystal Head, claimed that its bottle came first, and that the Element’s bottle is a “cheap knockoff.” Wednesday’s decision c Read the rest

COSTCO AND TITLEIST TANGLE OVER GOLF BALL PATENTS

By Joseph Mandour on March 23, 2017

San Diego – Costco is preemptively suing Acushnet Holdings, maker of the popular Titleist golf ball. Costco is seeking a judge’s ruling that Costco’s brand new line of Kirkland Signature golf balls do not violate any of Acushnet’s patents.

In 2016, Costco released its now famous Kirkland Signature golf ball. As part of the Kirkland Signature series, the golf balls were advertised as living up to the brand’s quality pledge that they, “must be equal to or better than the national brands, and must offer a savings to our members”. Costco’s new golf balls drew favorable attention from consumers almost immediately. In a blind quality test c Read the rest

MEOWINGTON TRADEMARK FIGHT ESCALATES

By Joseph Mandour on March 17, 2017

Los Angeles – A Florida based entrepreneur is now suing professional entertainer Joel Zimmerman, better known by his stage name Deadmou5, in federal court over a cat name. The dispute began when Zimmerman filed a Petition to Cancel against Emma Bassiri’s Meowington trademark in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Ms. Bassiri owns the “Meowington” trademark registration, and Zimmerman owns a famous cat that goes by the name “Prof. Meowingtons.” Bassiri applied to register trademark “Meowingtons” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in July of 2014. Her application was approved without opposition from Zimme Read the rest

GOOGLE’S WAYMO FILES PATENT AND TRADE SECRET LAWSUIT AGAINST UBER

By Joseph Mandour on March 9, 2017

San Diego – In 2009, Google began to design self-driving cars. Since that time, the project, known as Waymo, has been an industry leader in the area and has helped Google acquire thousands of patents in nearly every aspect of autonomous driving technology.

Waymo recently filed a lawsuit against fellow automation technology giant Uber and its driverless truck division known as Otto. Waymo claims that key intellectual property was stolen by a former employee and is now being used by their competitor. The specific technology in question is called LiDAR. It is a laser sensor system that allows a car to “see” 3-D high-definition images in 360 deg Read the rest

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