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18 May 0

Cheerleading Fashions Copyright Clash

Can you copyright your fashions? In general, clothing designs: i.e., the cut and design of articles of clothing, are not protected by copyright law because the statute expressly excludes protection for “useful articles.” One of the murkiest issues in copyright law is how to determine what transforms a “useful article” otherwise not protected by copyright […]

13 May 0

Political Satire Gets ‘Berned’ on IP Laws

The 2016 Presidential election campaign is in full swing and the world of IP law is not immune from it. But we aren’t talking about policy positions, we’re talking trademark and copyright. Last month, lawyers for the Bernie Sanders campaign sent a cease and desist letter to political satire gear creator Liberty Maniacs claiming that […]

11 May 0

Your Batmobile Might Be Infringing on IP Rights

Your car can be a copyrighted character. Ok, not really. But the Batmobile is. And other cars in films may be as well. DC Comics sued Gotham Garage for copyright infringement alleging that the custom “Batmobile” cars and car modification kits manufactured by Gotham Garage violated DC Comics’ copyrights. Gotham countered that cars are not […]

5 May 0
2016-05-05 star trek axnar podcast

Star Trek Fan Fiction Gets the Ax-nar from Infringement

Can you copyright a language? Or a species? Or a yellow shirt? CBS and Paramount who own copyrights to the Star Trek television series and movies sued Axnar Productions, Inc. and Alec Peters alleging copyright infringement based on their short film “Prelude to Axnar” and their crowd-funding campaign to produce a feature length film titled […]

28 Apr 0

The Song Remains… Litigated

Back in June of 2014, I wrote about a lawsuit by the estate of Randy Craig Wolfe alleging that Led Zeppelin’s 1971 “Stairway to Heaven” infringed the copyrighted 1967 song “Taurus” written by Wolfe and performed by his band, Spirit. Initially filed in Pennsylvania, the case was transferred to the Central District of California. Nearly […]

22 Apr 0

You’ve Filed Your Taxes, Time for An Audit (of Your Marks)!

It’s that time of year: you set your clocks ahead, change the batteries in the smoke detectors, and pay your taxes. Now it’s time for an audit. No, don’t call your accountant. We’re talking trademarks. Many companies maintain sizeable trademark portfolios, but lack the time or tools to evaluate their trademark protection strategy as their […]

20 Apr 0

Press Release: Antigone Peyton is a 2016 Virginia Super Lawyer!

We knew this already, but now it’s official. Antigone Peyton is a Virginia Super Lawyer! This elite recognition is awarded to only 5% of the lawyers in each state. Antigone was singled out because of her significant accomplishments in the field of intellectual property. She is an accomplished member of the patent bar. She writes […]

8 Apr 0
2016-04-08_yosemite podcast

National Parks & Trademark Disputes Continue

As of March 1, visitors to Yosemite National Park could no longer stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel or the Wawona Hotel or visit Curry Village or Badger Pass. That’s because the National Park Service changed the names due to a trademark dispute with DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., the former concessionaire from the […]

31 Mar 0

Battle Over Disparagement Rocks on at USPTO

There’s more news in the constitutional fight we’ve discussed before over trademarks, rock bands, and football teams. You’ll recall that the constitutionality of the so-called “disparagement” provision of the trademark act is an issue in the Redskins case, which is still pending in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. It was also an issue in […]

16 Mar 0

Should Litigation Losers Pay Attorney Fee Awards?

Let’s Talk Attorney Fees Section 505 of the Copyright Act allows courts to award attorney’s fees and costs to successful litigants in copyright litigation. But when are fee awards appropriate? Courts in different parts of the country have different answers, so the United States Supreme Court is taking up the issue this term in Kirtsaeng […]