The newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Intellectual Property Law
Browse articles by year: 2015 (8)
Newsletter articles from 2014
Careers in IP Law—Book review
The second of two reviews of the ABA's Careers in IP Law: Avenues and Opportunities, April 2013, from the perspectives of a new attorney and an experienced supervising attorney.
Creatives, entrepreneurs, and startups
While Creatives, Entrepreneurs, and Startups follow unique paths, there typically are a few major pitfalls to minimize. Here are 19 brief guidelines; some are helpful reminders for established endeavors.
Hot news item
The USPTO is seeking feedback from U.S. trademark owners, practitioners, and other interested parties about a proposal to allow amendments to identification of goods and services due to technology evolution.
Lessons in timing from the Washington Redskins trademark cancellation
The controversy surrounding the trademarks and logos associated with D.C.’s beloved football team is not new. So why did it take so long for the trademark to be canceled, and can the Redskins organization overcome the decision on appeal? The answer is complex and uncertain.
Me and my Shadow—World-famous magician, Teller, wins summary judgment against copycat magician
Magician Teller prevailed on a summary judgment motion for copyright infringement against Dogge, a Dutch performer who re-enacted Teller’s famous “Shadows” illusion. Although the technique of a magic trick is often unprotectable by copyright, Teller registered his act as a “dramatic pantomime,” protecting his exclusive right to perform the illusion. Defendant’s pro se defenses were unpersuasive.
Seventh Circuit questions usefulness of trademark surveys
Defendant, restaurant operator planned to expand its restaurant sales to food products in grocery stores under its CRACKER BARREL & Design logo. Kraft, maker of CRACKER BARREL cheese, won an injunction, affirmed by the Seventh Circuit, which questioned consumer survey utility in trademark disputes.
Should there be a presumption favoring awards of attorney fees in copyright litigation?
Section 505 of the Copyright Act allows courts to award attorney fees to the prevailing party in a copyright case. Twenty years ago, the Supreme Court in Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc. held that courts should assess fees using an “evenhanded” approach rather than one favoring a prevailing plaintiff. The Court emphasized the importance of the “equitable discretion” of the district courts in awarding fees. But in recent years, the Seventh Circuit has called for “presumptive entitlement” of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. This paper points out the number of problem with such a presumption, including the difference between a presumption and an inference and the chilling effect on plaintiffs with legitimate claims.
Spot the error
People make mistakes, even judges. Not differences of opinion or judgments, but simple facts. Two recent federal cases offer, to IP professionals, the opportunity to spot a glaring error in each.
Surveys, science & skepticism
Expert witnesses are used in diverse areas of the law, including intellectual property, and are typically paid for their work, as attorneys commonly are. A skilled expert may find consistent employment helping fact finders understand the evidence and implied facts.
What law governs the mediation privilege in federal cases?
Many states have mediation statutes that create statutory privileges for all communications that are part of the mediation process. There is, however, no similar federal statute. This raises the question of whether there is a mediation privilege for federal cases. Two recent Illinois federal district court decisions examined this issue