Latest Blog Posts  

RSS Feed RSS Feed

 

Reelin’ in the Legal Problems: Is a Local Yacht Rock Band’s Steely Dan Tribute Wine a Trademark Problem?

Let’s take a survey. There’s a new wine-in-a-can product called “Steely Can.” Three kinds of wine are offered: “Rosé Darling,” “Kid Chardonnay,” and “Deacon Red.” If you are over, say, 40, you will get the reference to the rock-jazz band Steely Dan and three of its most famous songs: “Rose Darling,” “Kid Charlemagne,” and “Deacon Read the full article…

Can You Agree with Competitors to Not Target Each Other in Google Ads?

If you own a business, are Google Ads your best friend, worst enemy, or vexing frenemy? These are the ads that show up in Google search results, usually at the top. Businesses hate it when a competitor runs a Google Ad triggered by a search of its name. For example, Spacely Sprockets hates it when Read the full article…

Yes, Ohio State Registered Just THE as a Trademark. Should We be Worried?

Ohio State once filed an administrative lawsuit in the federal Trademark Office to stop the University of Oklahoma from getting a trademark registration on a depiction of an Oklahoma drum major because of the block letter “O” shown on the front of the drum major. Ohio State claimed the block letter “O” is its trademark Read the full article…

Legal Issues to Watch With the Metaverse for Businesses That Don’t Want to Go There

Do you plan to take your business into the metaverse? Even if you don’t, it presents legal issues you should think about. Let’s first look at where it stands. There is no singular metaverse, and it’s under construction. There isn’t even agreement as to what a metaverse is. I consider it to be a persistent, Read the full article…

Twitter, Free Speech, Elon Musk, and Donald Trump – Oh, My!

I’m sure you’ve heard Elon Musk is working on buying Twitter. He has tweeted it is the “de facto public town square” and fails to “adhere to free-speech principles.” Because the First Amendment applies only to government activity, Twitter is not bound by its free-speech protections. But, as a thought exercise, if Musk purchases Twitter Read the full article…

Dealing with Blockchain Domain Names – It’s the 1990s Again

Mark Twain supposedly once quipped, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” With the new blockchain domain names, businesses get to revisit the birth of the cybersquatting hassle of the 1990s, but it’s different this time. These are domain names such as .crypto, .eth (which stands for Ethereum, a blockchain), .nft, and .bitcoin. They Read the full article…

Intellectual Property is a Casualty in the New War

Sadly, we now have a ground war in Europe and a new Cold War with Russia. Less publicized is the war Russia has effectively declared on Western intellectual property in response to Western sanctions and supplying of arms to Ukraine. Attacking the intellectual property rights of your enemy isn’t new to warfare. The United States Read the full article…

Are Social Media Influencers Liable for Trademark Infringement for the Products They Endorse?

Being a social media influencer sounds like the path to easy riches. Build a large following, often on Instagram, and then advertisers flock to you with free products and money. A recent federal court case in California sounded a warning: Influencers may be liable for trademark infringement arising from the names of the products and Read the full article…

Learn Lessons from Notre Dame’s PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY Trademark Mess

If you’ve ever watched a Notre Dame football game on television, you’ve probably seen where the Notre Dame football players tap the iconic sign that says “Play Like a Champion Today” before taking the field. It turns out Notre Dame’s relationship with this signature slogan is complicated. It also presents a messy trademark situation that Read the full article…

Behold Your Everyday NFT Future

Are you interested in NFTs? You will have to use them eventually. What does your future hold? NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” It’s a record on a blockchain of the ownership and transfer history of an asset. Blockchain technology is attractive because it creates an unalterable computer record of information. Cryptocurrencies are used to buy Read the full article…