Surowiecki on the Decline of Brands

Catching up on back reading, I came across James Surowiecki’s Wired article The Decline of Brands from Nov. 2004. If you haven’t read it, I recommend the article highly–it’s provocative and interesting. Surowiecki argues that consumers’ brand loyalty has declined…

Ripoffreport.com Wins 47 USC 230 Case

Whitney Information Network, Inc. v. Xcentric Ventures, LLC, 2005 WL 1677256 (M.D. Fla. Jul 14, 2005). The plaintiff runs real estate training programs. The defendants run ripoffreport.com and ripoffrevenge.com where consumers can submit complaints about businesses. The consumers write the…

Settlement in Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Case

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. v. Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inc., No. 1:05-cv-0527 (N.D. Ohio complaint filed February 7, 2005 and order of dismissal filed July 5, 2005). Reuters reports that the case…

Trademarking a Blog Name

Marty Schwimmer weighs in on whether blog names are trademarkable and whether registration is a good idea. (His answers: mostly yes and maybe). From my perspective, trademark law is a cumbersome, expensive and unpredictable solution to managing a pool of…

Top Internet IP Cases of 2005 (So Far)

For the past two years, John Ottaviani and I have compiled a list of the top Internet IP cases of the year. (Despite the attribution, John O. did all the heavy drafting work). See our lists for 2003 and 2004….

What Color is Your Protest?

An Arab anti-settlement political party used an orange color to protest Israeli settlements. Then, some Jewish nationalist political groups have adopted the same orange shade to show support for the Israeli settlements. Fortunately, rather than taking more extreme measures, the…

What Happens in Nastygrams…

Steve Middlebrook passed along this story about the slogan “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Dorothy Tovar liked the phrase so much, she put it on T-shirts and registered a trademark in it. Then, she got the nasty letter…

Important 2d Circuit Adware Case–1-800 Contacts v. WhenU

1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. WhenU.com, Inc., Docket Nos. 04-0026-cv and 04-0446-cv (2d Cir. June 27, 2005). Overshadowed by yesterday’s Grokster mania, the Second Circuit finally issued an important ruling about WhenU’s liability for trademark infringement. The court found that WhenU…

Cybersquatter’s Press Release: “Please Sue Me”

If you’re a cybersquatter, one of the dumbest things you can do is issue a press release describing how you plan to make a lot of money on 23,000 different domain names that are variations of famous trademarks. Apparently subscribing…

Initial Interest Confusion Talk

I spoke yesterday about the initial interest confusion doctrine at the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago. My slides. I also updated my summarized list of initial interest confusion cases.