Q2 2020 Quick Links (Everything)

Copyright * Sony Music Entertainment v. Cox Communications, Inc., 2020 WL 3121306 (E.D. Va. June 2, 2020). Each downloaded song file generally can support its own statutory damage, but “compilations” only get one statutory damages award, and no double-counting of…

Supreme Court Promotes Weaponization of Generic Domain Names–USPTO v. Booking.com

The USPTO believed that “generic.com” domain names were almost always generic and therefore unregistrable. On that basis, it denied registration for Booking.com. The Supreme Court holds that generic.com domain names aren’t necessarily generic, which means they have the potential to…

Fortnite Defeats Another Lawsuit Over Emote Dance Moves--Brantley v. Epic Games

Fortnite Defeats Another Lawsuit Over Emote Dance Moves–Brantley v. Epic Games

This case involves the “Running Man” dance, a 2016 fad. (Note: the dance is not the same as the old-skool Running Man dance move, a 1980s classic that I’ve attempted on occasion). A viral video of people doing a “Running…

2H 2019 and Q1 2020 Quick Links, Part 2 (Trademarks/Keywords)

* Workshopx Inc v. Build A Sign LLC , 2019 WL 5258056 (W.D. Texas June 26, 2019): “BAS contends that WorkshopX cannot state a claim for trademark infringement or unfair competition because using a competitor’s trademark as a Google AdWords…

Humvee Can't Stop Depictions of Its Vehicles in the 'Call of Duty' Videogame--AM General v. Activision Blizzard

Humvee Can’t Stop Depictions of Its Vehicles in the ‘Call of Duty’ Videogame–AM General v. Activision Blizzard

It has unexpectedly turned into Videogame Law week here at the Technology & Marketing Law blog. This is my third videogame IP blog post this week. See my prior posts on tattoo copyrights and signature moves. All three rulings are…

Ninth Circuit Rallies in Defense of a Parody Dog Toy--Bad Spaniels v. Jack Daniel's

Ninth Circuit Rallies in Defense of a Parody Dog Toy–Bad Spaniels v. Jack Daniel’s

So we are back to litigation over dog chew toys. The case involves the “Bad Spaniels” dog toy, part of a “Silly Squeakers” line from the smartly-branded enterprise “VIP Products.” The dog toy intentionally riffs on the Jack Daniel’s brand…

Videogame Can Replicate Musician's "Signature Move" (Unless It's a False Endorsement, Which It Isn't)--Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Videogame Can Replicate Musician’s “Signature Move” (Unless It’s a False Endorsement, Which It Isn’t)–Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Pellegrino is a saxophone player with “externally rotatable feet,” which has helped him develop a nifty “signature” dance move while playing. The videogame Fortnite sells “emotes,” optional customizations for players’ digital avatars. Pellegrino alleges that the “Phone It In” emote…

Newspaper Can Talk About "Derby Pies" Without Infringing Trademarks--Rupp v. Courier Journal

Newspaper Can Talk About “Derby Pies” Without Infringing Trademarks–Rupp v. Courier Journal

A “derby” is a dictionary noun for a race of three-year-old horses. The most famous derby in the United States is the Kentucky Derby, but the word traces its roots to a 1780 race in England. In 2017, the (Louisville)…

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…