Internet On Trial

Internet On Trial

Modern Day Litigation, Cyber Defamation, and Law in Sports & Entertainment

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Posted in Intellectual Property, Trademark

Who knew that the word tweet wasn’t even owned by Twitter? Apparently, since 2008, a little-known advertising agency named Twittad has owned the exclusive rights to what has become a household phrase. Twitter has finally laid its hands on trademark rights to the word “tweet,” but the case provides yet another lesson in why companies… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Gives Green-light to Google AdWords’ Use of Competitors’ Marks

Posted in New Jersey, Trademark

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently departed from the 30-year-old standard by which federal courts evaluate trademark infringement claims. The issue in that case, Network Automation, Inc. v. Advanced Sys. Concepts, Inc., No. 10-55840 (9th Cir. Mar. 8, 2011), was whether a company infringes on another’s trademark by purchasing the competitor’s registered name or mark to… Continue Reading

Trademark Protection Isn’t Available for ‘Merely Descriptive’ Marks

Posted in Trademark

Here is an example of a poor judgment with regard to spending money on legal fees. In a nutshell, a popular legal blogsite filed suit to invalidate two trademarks registered by another popular legal site, Technolawyer. The trademarks in question are “BigLaw,” and “SmallLaw,” which Technolawyer uses as nicknames to classify AmLaw 100 law… Continue Reading

USPTO Denies Sarah Palin’s Trademark Application. WTF?

Posted in Trademark

                          The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), in Washington, D.C. has temporarily foiled Sarah Palin’s plans to receive trademark protection for her name. (See U.S. Trademark Application No. 85170226 pdf file). The reason for the agency’s disposition: She (or her attorney)… Continue Reading

West Moves to Overturn $5M Defamation Verdict

Posted in Defamation, Right of Publicity, Trademark

Follow-up: Jury Awards Professors $5M in Defamation Suit Against West   No surprise here; West Publishing has filed a motion to set aside the jury’s $5,000,000 verdict in the case brought against them by the two law professors whom West defamed by selling books bearing the professors’ names, which contained out-of-date and erroneous statements of… Continue Reading

Jury Awards Professors $5M in Defamation Suit Against West

Posted in Defamation, Intellectual Property, Media Law, Right of Publicity, Trademark

  For everyone who says that juries aren’t giving out mega-verdicts anymore, here’s your exception: Last week, a federal jury in Philadelphia gave a $5,000,000 early X’mas present to a couple law professors in a defamation suit.† (Jury’s Verdict pdf file). Outside of legal contexts, the term defamation gets thrown around a lot, and although… Continue Reading

“Sports Law” Doesn’t Really Exist: Part III, Intellectual Property

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Right of Publicity, Sports, Trademark

Given the way in which sports—even collegiate sports—have become so heavily branded, merchandised, and televised, another area of law that routinely intersects sports is intellectual property—namely copyright, trademark, licensing, and the all-but-forgotten right-of-publicity. For example, the University of Alabama sued the artist who painted this picture commemorating the Tide’s 2010 BCS National Championship. The artist,… Continue Reading