1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks, Keyword Ads)

Trademark * Viacom Int’l Inc v. IJR Capital Investments LLC, 2017 WL 107141 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 11, 2017): “Because “The Krusty Krab” is a recurring element of the “SpongeBob SquarePants” show, the court finds that the mark is eligible for…

Trademark Registrations for Emojis

Trademark Registrations for Emojis

[This is another excerpt from my Emojis and the Law paper.] The Trademark Office has registered emoji trademarks. On January 20, 2017, I conducted a search in the TESS database for “emoji” and identified 385 records. At that time, most…

Google Gets Big Ninth Circuit Win That Its Eponymous Trademark Isn’t Generic–Elliott v. Google

The Ninth Circuit ruled that “Google” isn’t a generic trademark. This isn’t a surprise because a district court already reached this conclusion in 2014. See my prior blog post, “Google Successfully Defends Its Most Valuable Asset In Court.” Still, the…

1-800 Contacts Charges Higher Prices Than Its Online Competitors, But They Are OK With That--FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

1-800 Contacts Charges Higher Prices Than Its Online Competitors, But They Are OK With That–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

As you recall, the FTC has taken the position that 1-800 Contacts’ agreement with competitors, via settlement agreements, not to bid on each other trademarks as keywords violates antitrust laws. Prior blog posts: * FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts For Restricting…

New Draft Paper on Emojis and the Law

New Draft Paper on Emojis and the Law

I have posted a draft article, entitled Surveying the Law of Emojis, to SSRN. I will be posting excerpts from the article here over the next few weeks. I would gratefully appreciate your comments on the draft. I am also…

Catching Up On Some Recent Click Fraud Rulings

After all of the excitement over click fraud a decade ago, we don’t often see click fraud cases any more. However, just in the past couple months I’ve seen 3 rulings that I wanted to share with you. Wickfire, LLC…

FTC Explains Why It Thinks 1-800 Contacts' Keyword Ad Settlements Were Anti-Competitive--FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

FTC Explains Why It Thinks 1-800 Contacts’ Keyword Ad Settlements Were Anti-Competitive–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

As you may recall, the FTC is pursuing 1-800 Contacts for antitrust violations based on 1-800 Contacts having sued and then settled with competitors who bought keyword ads on 1-800 Contacts’ trademarks. Recently, the FTC filed its “Complaint Counsel’s Corrected…

Trademark Lawsuit Claiming Organic Search Results Create Initial Interest Confusion Falls Apart–Larsen v. Larson

Disclosure note: I provided an expert report in this now-dismissed case, so you might consider my comments to be advocacy. I’ll explain my expert role in a bit. The Court Opinion Susan Larsen practices business law in the Denver, Colorado…

Does “Raiders Fancast” Infringe the “Fancaster” Trademark?

I don’t normally blog demand letters, but this particular matter would benefit from additional visibility. Over 5 years ago, I blogged a lawsuit involving the Fancaster trademark, which I characterized as “the saddest trademark case of 2011.” Among other rulings,…

Your Periodic Reminder That Initial Interest Confusion Lawsuits Are Stupid--Epic v. YourCareUniverse

Your Periodic Reminder That Initial Interest Confusion Lawsuits Are Stupid–Epic v. YourCareUniverse

The plaintiff has a registered trademark for “CARE EVERYWHERE” for B2B healthcare software. The defendant, YourCareUniverse, also makes healthcare software. It extended its brand to include “YOURCAREEVERYWHERE” and launched a public-facing patient healthcare portal under the extended brand. The plaintiff…