Monthly Archives: April 2013

Software Protection: Many Choices to Protect Your Product or Service

Software and mobile device applications are a booming business. If you discover an unmet need, or a niche that has not yet been exploited, you can launch a lucrative business. Software development is a fairly expensive endeavor and you will … Continue reading

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Trademarks as Search Terms for Pay Per Click Advertising

Google’s advertising policy has created some trademark issues. When an internet user enters a term into Google’s search engine, results are returned that include both a “natural” or “organic” list of websites calculated to be relevant to the search term … Continue reading

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Are Headphones a Fashion Accessory?

Beats manufactures distinctive headphone products in which it claims trade dress and design patent protection. The protection afforded under patent and trademark law can be broad, especially when used in combination. In a lawsuit against Yamaha on a variety of … Continue reading

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Spanx v. Yummie Tummie (a/k/a Sara Blakely v. Heather Thomson Schindler)

Yummie Tummie owns 7 design patents on its popular body shapewear. Yummie Tummie accused Spanx of patent infringement after seeing look-alike versions by the competitor. After receiving a cease and desist letter, Spanx filed a declaratory judgment action in federal … Continue reading

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A Case Study in Using a Utility Patent to Invalidate a Design Patent on the Same Article of Manufacture: Telebrands Corp v. Del Laboratories, Inc.

A New York federal district court case highlights the importance of having a unified patent strategy, and coordination between the marketing department and the legal department. This case involved alleged infringement of U.S. Design Patent D596,802, entitled “Foot Micro File.” … Continue reading

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Paris Hilton not Flattered by Imitation

Celebrity socialite Paris Hilton launched a line of fragrances and bath products in 2004. Last year, Perfume Palace unveiled its line of fragrance and beauty products called “Paris, Paris.” Paris Hilton alleges trade dress and trademark infringement on the basis … Continue reading

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We Don’t Drink that Poison in this Neck of the Woods!

Crown Royal’s purple bag with gold trim is distinctive trade dress that is protected on the Federal Trademark Register. Mexcor, Inc. manufactures and distributes a similar liquor product, Texas Crown, directly competing with Crown Royal.  Mexcor’s commercial depicted a cowboy … Continue reading

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Risks of Do-It-Yourself Patent Licenses

Patent license agreements are complex legal agreements. If you download a form on the internet, you risk not acquiring all of the rights you need to enforce the patent against infringers and to get the full scope of damages you … Continue reading

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What is Nominative Fair Use?

The nominative fair use doctrine comes into play when one company uses the mark of another company (usually a competitor) to refer to the mark holder’s product. While most people in marketing know about the nominative fair use doctrine, lawyers … Continue reading

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Successful Proof of Trade Dress in Restaurant Décor

A restaurant that has a distinctive and recognizable décor theme can protect its “look and feel” through trade dress law, keeping competitors from adopting confusingly similar décor in their restaurants. However, successful restaurant décor trade dress claims require a substantial … Continue reading

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