BREAKING – Second Circuit Court of Appeals Sets Date For Viacom vs. YouTube Appeal

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BREAKING NEWS – The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has just published its calendar for the week beginning October 17, 2011 and it contains what many of us have been waiting a long time to see – Viacom’s appeal against Judge Louis Stanton’s finding that YouTube is a beneficiary of the DMCA’s safe harbors and is not liable to Viacom for third party’s (historic) infringements.

The appeal is set for the morning of Tuesday, October 18, 2011.  The Panel has not yet been announced, so watch this space.  I wonder if Judge Chin, who last year moved up to the Court of Appeals and counts Bernie Madoff and the Google Books Settlement among his previous victims cases, will sit for this one.

Viacom has been allotted 12 minutes, with YouTube given the same time to respond (case 10-3270-cv).  The joined case brought against YouTube by the Football Association (case 10-3342-cv), follows immediately afterwards, with both sides again having been allotted 12 mins each.

Help Us, Copyright; You’re Our Only Hope!

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Parody screenshot of a phone with poor security

In case you're wondering, the missing line says "areyoukiddingmewhatseriously?" It's not my password.

As any celebrity – and certain governments and law firms – will tell you, there are risks as well as benefits in being connected to publicly accessible networks.  Individuals and collectives such as Wikileaks, Anonymous and LulzSec have embarrassed the US government, the law firm ACS:Law, and now Scarlett Johannson and Jessica Alba by exposing their private, err, “data”  online for public consumption.

This is not a new phenomenon, but still far few of us take data theft and cyber (or “digital”, if the word “cyber” scares you) threats seriously.  Perhaps it’s because we don’t really understand them.  Hacks happen for different reasons – which is perhaps the best insight into how to prevent them in the first place – different targets experience different damages, and different victims have different tools at their disposal to try to fix what has gone wrong.    For example, secretions of government data are often carried out in the name (or at least under the pretense) of civil rights and accountability;  disclosures of usernames and passwords, credit card details, and private photos, on the other hand, are often carried out opportunistically to humble a giant or for no more than purient voyeurism.

Continue reading »

Google Increases Ad Prominence For Sellers Using Third Party Trademarks

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Brand owners are likely to be unimpressed by Google’s latest update to its AdWords program, which gives purchasers of third party trademarks increased prominence for their ads. The change, which is already in operation, means “organic” search results will be pushed further out of view by sponsored ads, whose format now looks like some categories of organic results. Continue reading »

LA Court – Madonna’s Not The Only Material Girl

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Madonna Material Girl Ad for Macys

Image from fanpop.com

Women’s Wear Daily today reports on a matter that was covered on this blawg last August (Madonna’s Macy’s Material Met By Mark Lawsuit), namely an attempt by an LA company to put a stop to Madonna and Macy’s ‘Material Girl’ clothing line.  The Plaintiff, L.A. Triumph, Inc, argues that it has the prior rights to the “MATERIAL GIRL” mark, though it appears that these rights are unregistered and therefore limited to the extent of its reputation. Continue reading »

FTC Calls Drug Patent Settlements “Illegal Sweetheart Deals”

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With thanks to my good friend Dr. Michael Cohen, I came across an article in the New York Times about yesterday’s FTC report into the interplay of drug patents, litigation, business and competition.  The report is some 270 pages long, so I’m not going to be reading it any time soon, but the central allegation is that some drug manufacturers are illegally distorting the post-patent market for generic medications.  They do so, it is contended, by agreeing that both the patent holder and the generics maker will enter into a moratorium upon the expiry of a relevant patent, during which time neither party will bring their (competing) generic drugs to market. Continue reading »

New York Becomes Latest Court To Rule Against Use of Trademarks in AdWords

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Plush toy pillow

A pillow, yes; a pet, no.

A District Court in New York has become the latest to find that using a competitor’s trademark in Google’s AdWords program can be trademark infringement. District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf found that the Defendants’ selection of “PILLOW PETS” and similar marks as a trigger for Google Ads is likely an infringement of the Plaintiff’s registered trademarks “MY PILLOW PETS” and “IT’S A PILLOW, IT’S A PET”, and granted Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The case is CJ Products LLC v. Snuggly Plushez LLC, 11-CV-0715 (RRM)(SMG), NYLJ 1202512398696, at *1 (EDNY, Decided August 22, 2011). Continue reading »

Make IT easier for yourself

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In addition to being able to follow this blog on Twitter, LinkedIn and via RSS, I’ve added a new subscription box to the right hand side of each page so that you can receive new posts via email as soon as they’re posted.  You can choose to receive extracts or full text emails, in either plain text or HTML format.  Continue reading »

Judge-Led Charge Against American Fashion Designers Continues

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Louboutin's (US) red-sole trademark number 3361597

Take it as red - this dispute is not over yet

Fashion designers, as a class, should gain only limited IP protection, according to Judge Victor Marrero of the Southern District of New York.  Giving judgment in Christian Louboutin SA et al v. Yves Saint Laurent America, Inc et al., 1:11-cv-2381 (NYSD August 10, 2011), Judge Marrero acknowledged that the world famous Louboutin house has acquired extensive reputation and goodwill in their red soles – to the point that said soles have acquired a secondary meaning of designating Louboutin footwear only – yet ruled that this meant nothing because their goods are items of fashion.

The decision is curious since Judge Marrero relies, at least in part, on a comparison between apples and oranges. Continue reading »

Hugh Dennis’ velociraptor impression

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I’m listening to the BBC Now Show podcast from 15 July 2011 and they’ve just told listeners to Google ‘Hugh Dennis velociraptor impression’. Apparently no such impression exists, so I wondered how many hits a post with that title would get.

I’m a bit late in listening to this since I was away for much of July, so the effect will no doubt be different to what it otherwise would have been, but I’ll let you know…