Blog

New Guidelines Provide Clarity for Cannabis and Hemp Trademark Applications

Jeannette Carmadella

The path to trademark registration for hemp and CBD-based products may be a little easier now. In response to the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently issued Official Guidelines for the examination of marks for cannabis and cannabis-related goods and services. Brand owners […]

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Register Your Work Sooner Rather Than Later: The Supreme Court Clarifies the Copyright Registration Requirement

Meagan Glynn

On March 4, 2019, the Supreme Court decided Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, settling a long-standing dispute over the Copyright Act’s registration requirement. Under the Copyright Act, a copyright owner generally may not institute a copyright infringement action until the work at issue has been registered in accordance with 17 U.S.C. § […]

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Alphabet Soup: WHOIS, GDPR (European Union General Data Protection Regulation), and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)

Carolyn Wimbly Martin

The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective on May 25, 2018. In light of this sweeping new law, the WHOIS global database of domain name registrants has ceased to be a key resource for intellectual property stakeholders seeking to protect their rights online. Registries will now need to have a good […]

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Clash of the Titans – European Union Copyright Holders Versus Technology Giants

Carolyn Wimbly Martin

On September 12, 2018, the European Parliament took a first, but crucial, step in adopting sweeping changes to copyright law on the Internet in the European Union. The vote on this copyright directive pitted media companies who hold the copyright to music and news content against technology platforms such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. […]

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Cultural Appropriation & the Lack of Legal Protection for Indigenous Australian Art

Samuel Meredith

Note: “Marking the Infinite,” a stunning exhibit of works by contemporary women artists from Aboriginal Australia is on view until September 9, 2018 at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. In spring 2018, a Utah high-school student named Keziah Daum caused a controversy when she tweeted out some prom pictures in which she was wearing […]

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Di-Stink–tive Trade Dress: Play-Doh Registers Its Scent with the USPTO

Samuel Meredith

On May 18, 2018, Hasbro announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) approved its application to register the scent of its well-known Play-Doh clay. 1 Barring a successful legal challenge to the registration, this development means that Hasbro will be able to prevent its competitors from using confusingly similar scents for their […]

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Love It or Hate It: The U.S. Supreme Court Gave a Green Light to Disparaging Trademarks

Maryna Koberidze

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Matal v. Tam that the Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause and constitutes viewpoint discrimination.[1] The trademark at issue in Tam was THE SLANTS for live music performances. By using this mark, an Asian-American rock band, The […]

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The DMCA Subpoena Process: An Underutilized Tool for Identifying Anonymous Infringers

Ben Sternberg

Typically, for a copyright owner to identify and pursue an anonymous infringer on the Internet, he or she must initiate a copyright infringement lawsuit against a “John Doe” and use the discovery process to unmask the defendant’s identity. Although commencing a “John Doe” litigation is appropriate in certain circumstances, it can be an expensive and […]

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