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Widerman Malek Law Blog

Amendments to the Lanham Act

  2000: Restructuring of the U.S.P.T.O. In 2000, there were substantial changes to the structure and administration of the Patent and Trademark Office. One important structural change was the separation of the patent and trademark functions into separate operating units within the PTO. The PTO implemented a new position, which was titled the “Director of […]

Facebook and the First Amendment

    Jennifer O’Brien had been employed as a school teacher in Paterson, New Jersey for many years. In December 2010, O’Brien was assigned to teach the first grade. There were about 700 students in the school where she taught, and the student body consisted almost entirely of minority students, including African Americans and Latinos. […]

Facebook sued again…

  Larry Klayman, an attorney and General Counsel of an organization called Freedom Watch, brought an action against Facebook, Inc. and Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, Inc., (collectively referred to as “Zuckerberg”) asserting claims of assault and negligence. Zuckerberg filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted just a couple weeks ago. […]

Trademark Law: Secondary Meaning

  In trademark law, marks are placed along a continuum of distinctiveness. If a mark is classified as not being inherently distinct, the mark must acquire distinctiveness in consumers’ minds to achieve trademark status. That acquired distinctiveness is called a “secondary meaning.” Secondary meaning is a new and additional meaning that attaches to a mark. […]

Trademark Dilution: Blurring v. Tarnishment

  The Federal Trademark Dilution Act (“FTDA”), embodied in Section 43(c)(1) of the Lanham Act, provides that famous marks are eligible for federal protection when a third party’s use of the mark dilutes the famous mark’s distinctiveness, even in the absence of competition, likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception. Protection against dilution does not exist […]

The Fair Use Doctrine: Does a Parody Qualify?

  By: Tyler Hampy As mentioned in my last post, this post will continue the discussion on the fair use doctrine. Specifically, this post will discuss whether parodies of copyrighted works can be considered fair use. To recap, the fair use doctrine permits the legal use of copyrighted material without first acquiring permission from the […]

Introduction to the Fair Use Doctrine

    To prove copyright infringement, the plaintiff must show that it owns a valid copyright and must establish that the defendant engaged in the unauthorized copying of the work protected by the copyright. “Copying” refers to the act of infringing any of the exclusive rights that accrue to the owner of a valid copyright […]

Unfair Competition: How does it relate to trademark infringement?

  By: Tyler Hampy To begin, what is unfair competition? Although the courts have had little success in defining unfair competition in the abstract, Black’s Law Dictionary defines unfair competition as dishonest or fraudulent rivalry in trade and commerce, specifically, the practice of endeavoring to pass off one’s own goods or products in the market […]

On Thanksgiving…

In the spirit of the holiday, below are a few trademark registrations to be thankful for on Thanksgiving! (click on the mark for more info from the USPTO website) HAPPY THANKSGIVING: for toys, games and playthings, namely, dolls, doll clothing and doll accessories MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE: for entertainment services, namely, organizing and conducting a parade

Louis Vuitton Sues for Trademark Infringement

Near the beginning of the film The Hangover: Part II, the four friends are walking through the Los Angeles International Airport on their way to board a flight to Thailand for Stu’s bachelor party. Alan, Mr. Socially Awkward, is carrying an over-   the-shoulder bag appearing to be a pricey and lavish Louis Vuitton. While waiting […]

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