Entries tagged: intellectual property

Ban on “Disparaging” Trademarks Struck Down

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: July 28th, 2017

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On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 70-year-old provision under the Lanham Act that barred the federal registration of disparaging trademarks.  In Matal v. Tam (15-1293), the Court held that that the disparagement clause was an unconstitutional restriction on speech and the U.S. government cannot refuse to register a trademark based […]

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Supreme Court Limits Venue Shopping in Patent Cases

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: June 26th, 2017

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The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous decision that will limit the controversial practice of “venue shopping” by plaintiffs who pick court locations they believe will be more favorable to their case, and who unnecessarily drag defendants into patent disputes in a faraway venue in the process.  The decision has important implications for businesses […]

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“Fearless Girl” and “Charging Bull” Square Off

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: April 26th, 2017

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Last month, on International Women’s Day, the “Fearless Girl” statue was installed in New York City’s Financial District as a symbol of female empowerment, standing opposite the iconic “Charging Bull” statue that has come to symbolize Wall Street.  However, earlier this month, the sculptor who created the “Charging Bull” said “Fearless Girl” violates his copyright […]

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Damages Dispute in Design Patent Case Heats Up

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: January 27th, 2017

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As design patents become a more popular method for businesses to protect their products, how damages are determined in the highly-publicized Samsung v. Apple litigation will merit close attention this year. In early December 2016, the Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision that forced Samsung to pay $399 million in profits for violating three […]

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Important New DMCA Safe Harbor Requirements for Web Operators

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: November 28th, 2016

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If you or your company has a website or app that hosts material submitted by users or that provides links to materials to other websites, take note: the U.S. Copyright Office has a new electronic filing system for registering websites, apps and other online platforms for “safe harbor” protection from copyright infringement liability under the […]

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President Signs Bill Providing for a Federal Trade Secret Cause of Action

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: May 23rd, 2016

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On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), long-proposed legislation that establishes a federal trade secrets law.  Now companies seeking civil remedies for misappropriation of their trade secrets can bring their claim in federal court and obtain other remedies such as seizure orders and injunctive relief. […]

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Lessons Learned in an Idea Submission Case

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: May 10th, 2016

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In an idea submission case, where Plaintiff alleged that Defendants fraudulently expressed interest in developing Plaintiff’s science fiction story only to use parts of that story in the hit 2009 film “Avatar,” the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of Defendants, dismissing all claims.  In particular, the court found that there […]

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Does the Term “Work-for-Hire” Really Mean Anything in Software Development Contracts?

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: March 21st, 2016

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The term “work-for-hire” is found in many software development contracts, but it is one of most misused phrases.  Typically, companies needing certain software developed will enter into a written contract with an independent contractor and insert the magical phrase “work-for-hire,” thinking it will automatically assign ownership of the intellectual property to the company.  However, works […]

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Wood Laminate Flooring Designs are Original Enough for Copyright Protection

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: February 19th, 2016

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Generally, the Copyright Office will not register works by nature, animals or plants.  However, are the designs of wood floors original enough to warrant copyright protection?  One Circuit Court said yes, and found that found that a design for laminate flooring was sufficiently creative to merit copyright protection. Mannington Mills, Inc. and Home Legend LLC […]

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Things Every Architect Should Know About Copyrights

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: January 22nd, 2016

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Some people say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.  However, with an architectural work, imitation could result in copyright infringement.  This article briefly outlines some things architects should be aware of in order to protect and enforce their copyright, and avoid copyright disputes. It is well established that both architectural drawings and completed […]

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