California Intellectual Property Blog

Mandour & Associates, APC – California Intellectual Property Blog

THE SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN LAW BANNING OFFENSIVE TRADEMARKS

By Joseph Mandour on June 27, 2017

Orange County – The United States Supreme court has ruled in favor of an Asian American rock band who were refused by the trademark office when they applied to trademark their band name the Slants. In their decision, SCOTUS unanimously struck down part of a 71-year-old law that banned “disparaging” terms from being trademarked. According to the court ruling, the law that had banned offensive trademarks infringed on free speech rights, which are guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Simon Tam, the founder of The Slants, said he was “beyond humbled and thrilled” with the decision. According to Tam, the band did not ch Read the rest

OVER 30 TRADEMARK APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN FILED FOR TRUMP “COVFEFE” TYPO

By Joseph Mandour on June 23, 2017

San Diego – On May 31st, 2017, at 12:06am, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” Very quickly thereafter, Covfefe went viral on social media. In the subsequent weeks, the word Covfefe has become a cultural phenomenon. It has been at the center of much debate and speculation, as people try to decide what happened during the President’s tweet.

Predictably, a large number of new trademark applications containing the word Covfefe were quickly filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to the USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System, more than 30 trademark applications have alr Read the rest

TIVO WINS A PRELIMINARY PATENT RULING IN THE ITC AGAINST #COMCAST

By Joseph Mandour on June 16, 2017

TiVo and Rovi (which purchased TiVo for $1.1 billion dollars last year) won an initial patent ruling in the International Trade Commission against Comcast. In the complaint against Comcast, TiVo claimed that Comcast had violated six patents. The ruling finds that Comcast, and its hardware partners Arris and Technicolor, had violated two patents held by TiVo.

The ruling is the latest development in a series of ongoing lawsuits between Comcast and TiVo. In addition to the ITC complaint, TiVo is in the midst of federal litigation against Comcast. TiVo sued Comcast and its top suppliers in 2016 for allegedly infringing 14 patents. The case is bei Read the rest

IVANKA TRUMP’S COMPANY HAS FILED 14 ADDITIONAL TRADEMARK APPLICATIONS IN CHINA

By Joseph Mandour on June 8, 2017

Los Angeles – On March 28th, 2017, Ivanka Trump’s company filed for at least 14 trademarks in China. It is the latest wave of trademark applications filed by the Trump family companies. Last year, Ms. Trump’s company filed 36 applications. These trademark applications raise ethical concerns over the Trump family’s business ties while holding public office.

Specifically, there is concern that the Trumps are susceptible to influence from foreign nations. According the Larry Noble, general counsel for the US watchdog group, Campaign Legal Center, China knows that denying these trademarks would draw a negative reaction from the Preside Read the rest

SCHUTT SPORTS SUES RIDDELL OVER FOOTBALL HELMET PATENT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on June 2, 2017

Orange County – On May 18th 2017, Kranos Corp, operating as Schutt Sports, filed a lawsuit against Riddell Inc. for patent infringement. The two companies are market rivals in the football helmet design and manufacturing industry. Schutt Sports claims that Riddell has infringed three different helmet designs. Schutt is seeking an injunction as well as an undisclosed amount in damages.

Robert Erb, president and CEO of Schutt, in a statement to Read the rest

PAYPAL CLAIMS TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT OVER THE PANDORA APP LOGO

By Joseph Mandour on May 25, 2017

San Diego – The famous online payment app, PayPal, is suing the famous online music streaming app, Pandora, for trademark infringement and trademark diffusion. The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court, is in reaction to Pandora’s change of its logo late last year.

Trademark dilution varies from standard trademark infringement in that it focuses on famous trademarks. The law forbids the use of trademarks that are Read the rest

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

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