Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Hillary Clinton’s Intellectual Property Litigation Experience

Many people are surprised to learn that Hillary Clinton was an intellectual property attorney when she practiced law from 1977-1992 for the Rose Law Firm.  While the New York Times has reported that former colleagues cannot remember any cases she tried and that court reporters in Little Rock say she appeared in court infrequently, there …

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Redskins’ Petition to Join SLANTS Case

U.S. Supreme Court today, without comment, refused the Redskins’ Petition to join the SLANTS case challenging the U.S. Trademark Office’s ban on “offensive” trademarks. Since both cases involved a provision in Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the football team hoped to have both cases considered concurrently by the high Court. However, this now means …

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Supreme Court Set to Settle Dispute over Washington Redskins Trademark Registration

There has been another twist in the story of the long battle by Native American interest groups to obtain revocation of the U.S. registration of the infamous Washington Redskins trademark. This is another step in the 20-year journey that began with the initial challenges to the team name. On Thursday, September 29, 2016, the U.S. …

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Iron Man Composer Battles Tech Giant Sony and Ghostface Killah

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the composer of the 1960s Iron Man theme song, finding material facts in dispute as to whether the song was commissioned as a work for hire. Jack Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment, Case No. 15-1778-cv (2d Cir., July 29, 2016) (Hall, J). In …

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Led Zeppelin Prevails in Copyright Infringement Case: Now on Appeal in Ninth Circuit

In May 2014, the Trust acting on behalf of the estate of Randy Wolfe (a/k/a Randy California) of the rock group Spirit filed a copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin related to the first chords in the band’s most famous song, “Stairway to Heaven.” See Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, 15-cv-03462, U.S. District Court, Central District …

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Warning: Don’t Use Trademarked Olympic Hashtags, Images

With all of the hype and public attention paid to the Olympics, you and your employees should be aware of the rules that govern the use of hashtags and images related to the Olympic games. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have historically been very aggressive in policing any use …

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Supreme Court Reinvigorates Effectiveness of Obtaining an Opinion of Counsel to Defend against Potential Enhanced Damages for Willful Infringement in Halo Electronics

On June 13, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court again reversed a decision of the Federal Circuit—the Circuit specially designated to hear all patent appeals—this time, in articulating the test for determining whether to award enhanced damages for willful patent infringement in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc.1  This is the third time in two …

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Sweeping Changes in EU Trademark Law and the Brexit Unknown

By now you have undoubtedly heard that in the Brexit Referendum held on June 23, 2016, the majority vote was in favor of United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Notwithstanding the outcome of the vote, it is presently unclear when, or even if, the UK government will give notification to the EU of its intention to …

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Federal Circuit Clarifies the “Commercial Offer for Sale” Prong of the On-Sale Bar

On July 11, 2016, a unanimous Federal Circuit en banc affirmed that The Medicines Company’s (“TMC”) use of third-party contract manufacturing services did not invalidate U.S. Patent Nos. 7,582,727 and 7,598,343 (the “patents-in-suit”) under the on-sale bar, reverting back to the district court’s original ruling but on modified grounds. The Medicines Company v. Hospira, Inc., …

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Intellectual Property and You: University Edition

It may be July, but school is still in session. Today, I’ll discuss another common but mysterious topic: intellectual property ownership, specifically in the university setting. Universities sponsor research, encourage experimentation, and foster collaboration. The hallowed halls of universities are treasure troves of intellectual property. However, the process can hit a snag when it comes …

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