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Color Trademark

Shoe designer, Christian Louboutin recently won their case in the federal appeals court that the signature contrasting red soles that appear on all of their shows are distinctive and unique enough to be protected under trademark law. This ruling sets an important precedent in color trademarks and creates very broad implications that will spread into other parts of the fashion industry. People have begun to question what winning this appeal will do in other areas of fashion, in particular website colors. Will colors on websites warrant trademark protection?

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More Patent Offices in the US: Will This Encourage American Innovation?

Recently, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that they would be opening field offices in Silicon Valley, Detroit, Denver and Dallas. This is the first set of field offices to be opened. The America Invents Act of 2011 mandated this move. They did this in part in an effort to mend the country’s damaged patent system. While the effort is acknowledged, some think the effort is misguided. While it is assumed that the problem with the patent system is that applications are processed too slowly, the real problem may be that too many patents are granted. This means that more time is spent in litigation than actual innovation.

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FEAR NOT All Ye Sporting a Unibrow

It’s increasingly evident that current and would-be professional athletes should be required to take a course in Trademark Law.  Two recent happenings in the sports world have led me to this conclusion.
First, Washington Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper filed a trademark application for “THAT’S A CLOWN QUESTION, BRO.” on June 13, 2012.  More startling was an article I read this week about Kentucky basketball star Anthony Davis (selected first overall in the 2012 NBA draft), who allegedly trademarked his unibrow.
Davis, in an interview with CNBC, said, “I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it.”  He continued, “Me and my family decided to trademark it because it’s very unique.”
Really, Mr. Davis?  Really?

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The Black Keys Sue Over Copyright Infringement

Grammy award winning band, The Black Keys, filed copyright infringement lawsuits against Pizza Hut and Home Depot. The band is suing Home Depot and Pizza Hut for using elements of their song without their permission.  The band and their producer, Brian Burton are both filing claims again the two companies. The damages are unspecific, but the band will likely seek more than $75,000 apiece from the two companies.

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Gucci vs. Guess

After a three year legal battle, a verdict has been reached in the Gucci vs. Guess copyright case. Gucci has been awarded $4.7 million over a Guess logo and pattern that Gucci claimed were direct copies of their trademark. While the luxury brand may have won, Gucci for $221 million in damages. As well as the monetary settlement, Gucci was awarded a permanent injunction that bans Guess from using Gucci’s patented Quattro G pattern, the green and red stripe and other square G marks on their products.

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Trademark Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program Expands

The United States Patent and Trademark Office are now accepting admittance to 15 additional schools for the Fall 2012 Trademark Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program. This program allows students to have some practice in trademark law before the agency with a law school faculty member’s guidance.

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