“If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Top Legal Issues Affecting Entertainers and Athletes

From choosing the right business structure and filing for intellectual property protection to handling contract issues and resolving disputes, the legal issues affecting entertainers and athletes can be similar to those of any new or growing company. However, there are also some legal concerns that are specific and custom to sports and entertainment law. Below […]

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TTAB Finds Applicant’s Effort to Register gTLD as a Trademark .SUCKS

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s “Booking.com” decision, the US Trademark Office continues to grapple with the protectability of domain names as registered trademarks.  Earlier this year, the Supreme Court held that under certain circumstances a domain name containing a generic word may be a protectible trademark, rejecting the per se rule that had […]

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Generic.com marks must be shown distinctive to be deemed registrable

Our blog entry earlier this year discussed the “Booking.com” decision, in which the US Supreme Court struck down the per se rule that a generic mark followed by .com was not registrable under any circumstances.  That blog entry cautioned that the news may not be as good as may first appear. Recent interpretation of the Booking.com […]

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Control Over Creation Is the Hallmark of Copyright Ownership in a Sound Recording

A common issue among musical artists and others involved in the recording process is identifying who owns the copyright in a sound recording that is the result of contributions from many individuals, including headline artists, instrumentalists, background singers, producers, recording engineers, and others.  Typically, such issues will be governed by contracts signed by the participants […]

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SEC Adopts Amendments to “Accredited Investor” Definition

On August 26, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved amendments to the “accredited investor” definition1, thereby increasing the number of persons that can participate in private offerings of securities2.  Previously, individuals that wanted to participate in private offerings generally had to be high earning or high net-worth individuals to qualify as “accredited […]

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The Supreme Court Rejects Rule Barring Federal Registration of “Generic.com” Trademarks

For many years, the Trademark Office has refused registration to marks consisting of a generic word combined with a top-level domain, such as “.com,” on the grounds that the combination of two generic elements cannot create a protectable mark.  The rationale for this nearly per se rule was that such marks could not be protected […]

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The Road to Protection in China Just Became A Bit Clearer

Earlier this month, the Supreme People’s Court, China’s highest appellate court, affirmed a 2017 ruling that ordered “Uncle Martian” to destroy all infringing product, pay $300,000 in damages, and stop using a “UM” design that mimicked, and therefore infringed upon, Under Armour’s “UA” logo. Separately, in April, the Supreme People’s Court decided that the Chinese […]

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When dealing with creative talent, it is imperative that a company pays close attention to their employment and intellectual property agreements to be sure that the company’s operations are not disrupted if and when the talent departs. Recent litigation between Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) (and its parent entity) and YSL’s former creative director, Hedi Slimane, […]

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Party Sanctioned for Pursuing Frivolous Appeal

Background Following up on my post of May 15th, 2020, the Seventh Circuit has sanctioned Ellishbrooks for its pursuit of a frivolously doomed appeal. The sanctions order emphasizes the importance of respecting the rules and answering on time for litigants and their counsel. 

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