More Evidence That IP Law Protects Individual Emoji Depictions--Nirvana v. Marc Jacobs

More Evidence That IP Law Protects Individual Emoji Depictions–Nirvana v. Marc Jacobs

This case involves the well-known “Nirvana Happy Face” drawn by Kurt Cobain in 1991 and registered in 1993. Marc Jacobs launched a “Bootleg Redux Grunge” clothing line (really??? who buys this shit?) that included an homage to the Nirvana Happy…

IP/Internet/Antitrust Professor Amicus Brief in 1-800 Contacts v. FTC

IP/Internet/Antitrust Professor Amicus Brief in 1-800 Contacts v. FTC

Prof. Mark Lemley (Stanford Law) and I filed an amicus brief in 1-800 Contacts v. FTC with the Second Circuit on behalf of 29 professors of intellectual property, Internet law, and antitrust. The abstract: The case involves 1-800 Contacts’ settlement…

Domain Name Registrar Isn’t Liable for Counterfeit Goods–InvenTel v. GoDaddy

InvenTel makes security cams for cars. It is trying to crack down on Chinese counterfeiters. It brought a prior lawsuit against a wide range of defendants, including GoDaddy. InvenTel voluntarily dismissed GoDaddy from that suit. It brought a second round…

New Jersey Attorney Ethics Opinion Blesses Competitive Keyword Advertising (…or Does It?)

In 2016, the Texas Bar issued an opinion decisively blessing competitive keyword advertising by lawyers. (Note: I define competitive keyword advertising as buying a rival’s name/brand as the trigger for ads without displaying the name/brand in the ad copy). At…

Another Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Fails--Dr. Greenberg v. Perfect Body Image

Another Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Fails–Dr. Greenberg v. Perfect Body Image

Dr. Stephen Greenberg is a plastic surgeon on Long Island. Perfect Body Image provides “non-surgical and non-invasive aesthetic services, including, among other things, laser treatments.” Perfect Body doesn’t have any doctors on staff. In addition to Stephen, at least two…

1H 2019 Quick Links, Part 3 (Trademarks)

* Williams-Sonoma v. Amazon, Case No.18-cv-07548-EDL (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2019): The first theory of infringement – that Amazon set up an unauthorized Williams-Sonoma website – is not plausible. The screenshots included in the complaint and/or attached as exhibits show…

1H 2019 Quick Links, Part 2 (Keyword Advertising)

* Grasshopper House LLC v. Clean & Sober Media LLC, 2019 WL 2762936 (C.D. Cal. July 1, 2019). Prof. Tushnet recaps the case. The passages that stood out to me: Lastly, Passages argues for a third mechanism to estimate Cliffside’s…

The Florida Bar Regulates, But Doesn’t Ban, Competitive Keyword Ads

The Florida Bar has a drama-filled history regarding the regulation of competitive keyword advertising by lawyers. This post explains the background. In 2013, the bar was poised to ban competitive keyword ads, but at the last minute it did a…

Court Rejects Service of Process Via Amazon Messaging--Noco v. Chang

Court Rejects Service of Process Via Amazon Messaging–Noco v. Chang

This is a trademark infringement lawsuit. Plaintiff alleges that defendant improperly uses plaintiff’s brand name to sell infringing or counterfeit products “entirely online through [an] Amazon merchant account.” Defendant used the merchant account named “Co2Crea,” and defendant also applied to…

Using Third Party Trademarks as Hashtags Creates an Implied Association--Align v. Strauss (Guest Blog Post)

Using Third Party Trademarks as Hashtags Creates an Implied Association–Align v. Strauss (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Alexandra Jane Roberts When does using a competitor’s trademark as a hashtag create a false impression of association? While plenty of cases have assessed whether a company’s use of competitors’ marks in its advertisements constitutes trademark infringement,…