Eighth Circuit Embraces the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine. What??? UGH. No. Why???--Select Comfort v. Baxter

Eighth Circuit Embraces the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine. What??? UGH. No. Why???–Select Comfort v. Baxter

The initial interest confusion doctrine has always been a misguided doctrine that is too easy for plaintiffs to weaponize. Fortunately, the doctrine has been dying for over a decade. Few opinions mention it nowadays, and even fewer cite it in…

Depiction of Michigan as Hands Doesn't Preclude Similar Depictions--High Five v. MFB

Depiction of Michigan as Hands Doesn’t Preclude Similar Depictions–High Five v. MFB

High Five Threads sells t-shirts and tchotchkes. It claims copyright and trademark protection for a depiction of upper and lower Michigan as two hands (left-most image below). People routinely depict lower Michigan as a hand, and apparently others envision the…

Broadcaster Fails to Enjoin YouTube–Kifle v. YouTube

Kifle operates a broadcast channel called Mejera, which apparently caters to the Ethiopian community. He has a YouTube channel that simultaneously rebroadcasts the programs. The YouTube channel had 2,500 videos and 200k+ subscribers, but YouTube abruptly terminated it. It appears…

Social Media Ownership Disputes Part II: Bridal Wear Company Takes Back Control of Instagram Account from Ex-Employee

Social Media Ownership Disputes Part II: Bridal Wear Company Takes Back Control of Instagram Account from Ex-Employee

This is Part II of a review of recent social media ownership disputes. In Part I, I looked at how the Satanic Temple of Washington could not use the CFAA or ACPA to get its Facebook accounts back. Part II…

Social Media Ownership Disputes, Part I: the Satanic Temple of Washington Can’t Get Its Facebook Pages Back

Social Media Ownership Disputes, Part I: the Satanic Temple of Washington Can’t Get Its Facebook Pages Back

This is part 1 of a 2-part series covering social media ownership disputes. This dispute involves the online accounts of the Satanic Temple of Washington: two Facebook pages, one of which had 17,000 followers, a Twitter account, and a “google…

IP Lawsuits Against Print-on-Demand Vendors Continue to Vex the Courts--OSU v. Redbubble & More

IP Lawsuits Against Print-on-Demand Vendors Continue to Vex the Courts–OSU v. Redbubble & More

[This post covers three recent print-on-demand cases. After the Ohio State writeup, keep reading for more fun and confusion.] Redbubble operates in the print-on-demand industry, but it’s adopted a different organizational structure than some of its competitors. Redbubble outsources manufacturing…

Selling Keyword Ads Isn’t Theft or Conversion–Edible IP v. Google

It’s been years since I’ve blogged a lawsuit against Google for selling trademarked keyword ads. About a decade ago, Google was dealing with about a dozen cases. Google won some of them and settled the rest, and everyone moved on….

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 3 (Trademarks)

* John Bean Technologies Corp. v. BGSE Group, LCC (D. Utah Aug. 13, 2020). Plaintiffs are still litigating keyword metatag cases in 2020… JBT asserts likelihood of confusion under a distinct theory known as initial-interest confusion. “Initial-interest confusion ‘results when…

Domain Name Lawsuits Are Stupid (and the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine Is Too)--Wooster Floral v. Green Thumb

Domain Name Lawsuits Are Stupid (and the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine Is Too)–Wooster Floral v. Green Thumb

This case concerns the domain name WoosterFloral.com. It was initially owned by Wooster Floral, a florist in Wooster, Ohio. However, in 2014, the owner wound down the business and didn’t renew the domain name. The store manager then bought out…

A Rare Case of a Judge Relying on the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine (Boo)--Nike v. Warren Lotas

A Rare Case of a Judge Relying on the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine (Boo)–Nike v. Warren Lotas

This case involves Warren Lotas sneakers that claimed to reinterpret one of Nike’s allegedly iconic sneaker stylings. The Fashion Law summarized the case, including this depiction: The sneaker similarities are obvious, which isn’t surprising because Warren Lotas styled its product…