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Supreme Court: NFL collective licensing of trademarks not immune from Section 1 antitrust scrutiny

Monday the Supreme Court unanimously held the NFL's practice of collectively licensing the trademarks of all 32 individual teams is not immune from antitrust scrutiny under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The NFL argued that because the marks are all licensed through a single entity, NFL Properties, there was no "contract, combination, . . […]

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Today’s eCommerce lesson: There’s no upside to using others’ trademarks in your website meta tags

Those who have a passing familiarity with website design are probably familiar with the concept of meta tags. Meta tags are pieces of data included in the HTML code of a webpage that provide information regarding the content of the page. You can view the code of a webpage you are visiting by clicking the […]

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Second Circuit limits 1-800 Contacts; keyword advertising can be use in commerce

In a recent decision, the Second Circuit reversed a district court's grant of a motion to dismiss in a trademark infringement case. The district court, relying on the Second Circuit's 2005 decision in 1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. WhenU.com, Inc., held Google's use of its Adwords and Keyword Suggestion Tool to cause advertising to appear when […]

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Ninth Circuit: Trademark claim against tribal corporation does not confer tribal court jurisdiction

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's grant of a motion to stay federal trademark claims against Indian tribal defendants pending a determination of jurisdiction by a tribal court. The trademark claims were for alleged passing off of cigarettes on the Internet, on the reservation of another tribe, and elsewhere. The […]

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Ninth Circuit: Copyright owner’s ambiguous reservation of rights clarified with extrinsic evidence

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's grant of summary judgment that a copyright holder did not have standing to sue for copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and related declaratory judgment claims. The case involved the film Gone in 60 Seconds, produced and directed in 1974 by H.B. "Toby" Halicki, and remade […]

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Ninth Circuit: Trademark claim over use in video game stripped away by First Amendment

In a decision Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment that the producer of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had a First Amendment defense against a claim of trademark infringement. The plaintiff owns a strip club known as the "Play Pen" on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles. Grand […]

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Eleventh Circuit: Website in Tennessee using Floridian’s trademark sufficient for jurisdiction

In a decision last week, the Eleventh Circuit reversed a district court's dismissal of a trademark infringement case for lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court held that the allegedly infringing conduct, operating a website, was insufficient to warrant jurisdiction in the plaintiff's home state of Florida. Here, the plaintiff was an individual, and the […]

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USPTO announces trademark consistency pilot program

In a notice today, the USPTO announced a new trademark consistency initiative. Under the new initiative, applicants who believe a substantive or procedural issue has been addressed in a "significantly different manner" in two applications may raise the issue for consistency review. This is subject to four requirements: the request is based on co-pending applications […]

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Second Circuit: MLB collective trademark licensing does not violate Sherman Act

In a recent decision, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's summary judgment to the defendant in an antitrust case regarding trademark licensing. The case involved the collective licensing setup of Major League Baseball Properties ("MLBP"). The plaintiff was a licensee of MLBP. The court held the centralized licensing agent for all Major League Baseball […]

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Second Circuit: If you want a court to order the USPTO, ask in your pleadings, not after you win

In a recent decision, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's decision in a trademark case not to enter an order pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1119. § 1119 permits a court to enter an order regarding registrability and cancellation of marks at the USPTO. The prevailing defendant asked the district court to order the […]

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