Here are several stories that I have been wanting to blog about, but have not been able to get to because of the new Local Patent Rules, my webinar on reducing IP litigation costs (I was glad to see that so many of you attended and found the presentation valuable) and pressing client matters:
Judge Zagel was interviewed by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. He discussed how his docket has been impacted by the recession and noted, among other things, that parties have been much more interested in and willing to agree to staying cases or slow discovery — click here to read the story. He also briefly discusses discovery of electronically stored information.
Seattle Trademark Lawyer has an excellent series of posts on the US Olympic Committee’s enforcement of the Olympic marks, to which it has almost absolute rights based upon federal law — click here, here, here, here and here. I had planned to write about these issues myself early this week while Chicago enjoyed winning the 2016 Summer Olympics, but as you all likely know by now that is not quite how the vote went.

Continue Reading IP News Shorts

I have noticed that my news updates tend to be patent-focused, so today they focus on trademarks and copyrights:
IP Law & Business (subscription required to access the article) has an interesting article in the February/March 2009 issue identifying Justice Ginsburg as the Supreme Court’s “champion of copyright holders” because of recent opinions supporting broader copyrights. The article also identifies Justice Breyer, based on dissents in the same cases, as leading the cause for narrower copyrights. And the article predicts that the Supreme Court is trending toward a narrower view of copyrights.
Seattle Trademark Lawyer Michael Atkins has a timely post (click here to read it) that traces the March Madness trademark back to the Illinois high school basketball playoffs, as early as the 1940s. The NCAA and the Illinois High School Association have since pooled their rights and both have a license to use the marks.
Victoria Pynchon has a great series of posts looking at laches in trademark law based upon a recent Ninth Circuit decision — click here and here.

Continue Reading Copyright & Trademark News

Here are several items that did not necessarily warrant a separate post, but are worth some attention:
Chicago blogger Evan Brown of Internet Cases recently participated in episode 16 of the This Week in the Law podcast with law blog luminaries Denise Howell (the host), Nicole Black, Marty Schwimmer and Ernie Svenson — click here for Brown’s post and a link to the podcast. Their lively discussion included numerous IP topics including:
DMCA anticircumvention provisions;
ediscovery; and
the Viacom v. Google discovery issues (the parties ultimately agreed that the compelled user data could be produced anonymously).
Mike Atkins did a great series of post comparing the benefits of state and federal trademark registration — click here and here for the posts. These posts are a great primer, if you want to understand the differences between and trade offs for state versus federal registration.
The John Marshall Law School has been included in the PTO’s new Law School Clinic Program. Beginning this fall, second and third year John Marshall students will represent inventors in actual PTO proceedings. This is a great opportunity for both the students and the inventors. Click here for John Marshall’s press release about the new program.

Continue Reading IP Legal News

Mike Atkins at the Seattle Trademark Lawyer has an interesting post — click here for the post — about a pending Chinese trademark infringement suit, in which plaintiff seeks monetary damages and a public apology to be published in newspapers. IP Dragon follows up Atkins’s post, explaining that an apology is a Chinese trademark remedy and that an apology is a punishment in a “face saving culture,” as IP Dragon describes China and Japan, the nationalities of the two entities involved in the suit. Click here for IP Dragon’s post.
But punishment or not, this raises an interesting question for US trademark law. It seems to me that a public apology (or acknowledgement of the infringement) would be a more powerful tool for the consumers that trademark law intends to protect than just monetary damages and an injunction. An acknowledgement of the infringement would warn consumers who might still unwittingly purchase items based upon the infringing marks after the injunction is in place. Maybe it is time to amend the Lanham Act.

Continue Reading Should Apologies be Added to Trademark Damages?

The Northern District had 72 trademark cases filed during the first half of 2008. That is well on the way to meeting or exceeding 2007’s total of 138 cases — click here to read about the 2007 case filings. So, it looks like, as with patents, the Northern District continues to have an active trademark infringement docket. A difficult economy is not slowing the Northern District’s IP cases.
Thanks to Mike Atkins at the Seattle Trademark Lawyer for the idea of a mid-year status report. Expect a similar copyright mid-year report shortly.

Continue Reading Northern District’s 2008 Trademark Infringment Filings Strong