Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I'm Confused. How exactly does securing a registration for the mark WHITEHOUSE for use in connection with adult subject matter aid one in selling the domain name whitehouse.com to a third party if you make absence of sexual content a condition of the sale? The AP doesn't really answer that question in "Pornography site strips political references." And I have definite questions about whether Mr. Parisi actually has a bona fide intent to use the mark WHITEHOUSE with all of the goods and services listed in his 18 trademark applications.
News From Up North. The AP reports that "ISPs Win Canadian Music Downloading Case." Reuters has this report.
Is Your Client on the List? Wired reports that "EFF Publishes Patent Hit List."
Still More on the Barbie Case. Reuters reports that "Artist Hails Court Win Over Barbie Parody."

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

COPA, COPA Cabana. CNN reports that "High court bars Internet porn law enforcement." Reuters has this report, the AP reports here. Balkin has his analysis here.
But How Does it Taste? The AP reports on the long-running dispute regarding the Budweiser trademark in "Czech Brewer Favored in 'Budweiser' Fight."
The Sixth Circuit Isn't Exactly a Hotbed of Trademark Litigation. But their website is pretty. The Trademark Blog reports on a recent Sixth Circuit trademark decision.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Saturday, June 26, 2004

How Long Do You Think it Took Them to Come Up With That Name? The AP reports on the new PIRATE Act in "Senate OKs Fines for Illegal Downloading."

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Is it Just Me? The Trademark Blog had a link to this recent Second Circuit decision dealing with common law copyright issues, but I can't seem to get past the first page of the .pdf. Not sure if it's just me, or a problem with the file on the Second Circuit website. In any event, the case is Capitol Records, Inc v. Naxos America, Inc., 03-7859 (2d Cir. June 18, 2004). Update: I received this very helpful response from someone at Foley: "I had trouble opening another opinion, and it turned out to be that the 2nd Cir webmaster uses a nonstandard port (81) and my firewall blocked it. Once I adjusted the firewall (or, actually, my IT guy did it), no further problems." Thanks! If only the IT guys at my firm trusted us enough to actually let us modify our settings. (You haven't seen dummy-proof until you've seen the restrictions on our system.)
More on the Senate P2P Bill. Wired reports that "File-Trading Bill Stokes Fury."
Ninth Circuit Considers Interesting Jurisdiction Questions. Law.com reports that "9th Circuit Snaps at Gator's Argument."

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Fourth Circuit Reaffirms Broad ISP Safe-Harbor. Howard repor0ts on a recent ruling of the Fourth Circuit here. In it, the court extends the holding of Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communications Services, Inc., 907 F. Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. 1995), to find no ISP liability for passive hosting of copyrighted photographs, even if the ISP fails to qualify under the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA.
More Reason to Register Your Domains Early. BBC News reports that "Rooney sparks net names scramble."
Is Microsoft the New IBM? Once upon a time, IBM was recognized as one of the most prolific patent shops around. Looks like Microsoft is giving IBM a run for its money. C-Net reports on the latest Microsoft patent.
Boucher Finds Powerful Allies. C-Net reports that "Tech heavies support challenge to copyright law." Check out the Boucher interview here.
One of the Downsides of the Expense of Litigation... is that parties don't have an incentive to contest claims like these, since settling even a frivolous claim is often cheaper than pursuing legal vindication. Good to see Wendy being quoted, even though they got her name wrong. Of course, Jason Schultz arguably takes his claim too far, since U.S. (and presumably UK) copyright law does provide for separate copyrights in sound recordings.
Does the RIAA Really Need Congress' Help? Reuters reports that "Senate Bill Targets Internet Song-Swapping." Hatch's "Think of the Children" angle has to be a first... C-Net has reports here and here. Lessig weighs in here.
Are There Really That Many More File Sharers in St. Lois Than in New Jersey? The AP reports that "Hundreds More Sued Over Music File Swaps." Reuters has this report, while C-Net reports here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

This One Raises Interesting Questions About Contributory Trademark Infringement. Reuters reports that "Tiffany Sues eBay, Says Fake Items Sold on Web Site."
More on the Alternate Harry. Salon reports on "Harry Potter: The digital remix." (Subscription or day pass required.)

Monday, June 21, 2004

Looks Like He Won't Let This One Go... Seems a little late in the game for this. The AP reports in "Bradbury: Change 'Fahrenheit' title."

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Friday, June 11, 2004

SCO in the News Again. C-Net reports that "Mixed rulings advance two SCO cases," and "Revenue tumbles for Linux foe SCO."
More Patent News. C-Net reports that "Microsoft file patent faces exam."
Have You Ever Tried to Copy Songs off the Radio? The RIAA: Protecting the world from digital copies of songs with inane DJ voice-overs... "RIAA Moves In on Digital Radio."
So Which One Do You Want to See Go? Here's your chance to Enter the Patent Busting Contest over at EFF.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

My Brain Hurts. Interesting discussion of copyright in the digital arena. (Note: Link is to an application called Monolith, which "munges" together two arbitrarily-selected binary files.) Via BoingBoing.
Something's Fishy... According to this press release, Lite Breeze Inc., a San Diego company, has sued Britney Spears for trademark infringement. According to Lite Breeze, Spears' recent CD, "In the Zone," infringes Lite Breeze's trademark rights in its mark IN THE ZONE. Lite Breeze, "a San Diego based corporation specializing in athletic clothing and sporting team uniforms," claims that it uses the mark IN THE ZONE in connection with the promotion of "musical and live sporting event entertainment." However, a look at the PTO records shows that, while Lite Breeze owns a registration for the mark IN THE ZONE for use with "sportswear, namely shorts, T-shirts, tanktops, sweatshirts and sweatpants," the trademark application filed by Lite Breeze on January 15, 2004 for IN THE ZONE for "Phonograph records featuring music; pre-recorded audio cassettes and compact disc featuring music; pre-corded video tapes featuring music performances; magnetically encoded phone cards" and "Entertainment services in the nature of live performances by a musical artist," was based on intent-to-use. Spears' album was released on November 18, 2003. In addition, several companies have registrations for IN THE ZONE for goods and services much more closely related to those claimed by Lite Breeze than Spears' album. For example, Rehage Entertainment, Inc. owns a registration for IN THE ZONE for "sports festival services, namely, conducting a flag football festival." Lifetime Products, Inc. owns a registration for IN THE ZONE for "portable basketball standard with a weight-bearing base ballast." Not to mention the fact that Fox Sports has used the mark IN THE ZONE since 1996 for, among other things, "entertainment services in the nature of production and distribution of television programs." Looks like a frivolous suit to me.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Sampling Pioneers Speak Out. BoingBoing reports in "Public Enemy's history of copyright in hip hop."
Looks Like More Legal Troubles Ahead for Apple. Steve Jobs just can't catch a break. BoingBoing has the details in "Real 'Walkman' settles with Sony."
Testing the Waters of Fair Use. The New York Times reports on an "alternative" soundtrack for the first Harry Potter film in "Hijacking Harry Potter, Quidditch Broom and All." Good to see JZ still offering insightful media comments.
Interesting Look Inside WIPO Treaty Negotiations The folks over at EFF (and UDP) have this report on the 11th Meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. Background here.
This is a New One. An interesting use of the copyright laws in "Defendants go on the offensive."
Don't Mess with My BlackBerry. The New York Times reports on oral arguments scheduled for today before the Federal Circuit in "Contest Over BlackBerry Patent."
What's Your Favorite Pasta? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eigth Circuit issued this opinion holding the phrase "America's Favorite Pasta" to be mere commercial puffery. Via How Appealing.
Around the World in 80 Clicks. Wired attempts to map the international IP landscape in "The Free & The Unfree."

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Sounds Like a Case of Acquiescence to Me. Surely they no longer have protectable rights... The AP reports on Texas's efforts to recapture "Don't Mess with Texas" in "Don't Mess With Our Slogan, Texas Warns."
Talk About a Permanet Record. The AP discusses the permanence of text messaging in "Text Messages May Turn Up in Bryant Case."

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Microsoft Patent Raises Hackles. Wired reports in "When Two Clicks Equal One Patent." What I find interesting about this is that the patent application, filed in July 2002, contained information from a prior application, filed in 1999. I assume the examiner would have considered whether there was an on-sale bar?
Would Anyone Actually Buy This? The Register reports on the latest DRM idea to be floated by the RIAA in "RIAA wants your fingerprints."

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

So You Want to Be a Star? Well, here's your chance. David E. Kelley has a new reality TV show in the works, as Reuters reports in "Real Lawyers to Compete in TV Series."