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

James GriffithBest Practices, Case Studies, Operations

supreme court decision

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s “” 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 been applied by the Trademark … Read More marks must be shown distinctive to be deemed registrable

Van EconomouBest Practices, Case Studies, Operations

generic trademarks for .com

Our blog entry earlier this year discussed the “” 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 decision by the US Patent … Read More

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

James GriffithCase Studies


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 in a recording session.  However, … Read More

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

James GriffithCase Studies


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 any more than the combination … Read More

Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Cases Remains Subject to Case-By-Case Analysis

James GriffithCase Studies

copyright word

The availability of attorneys’ fees for prevailing parties in copyright cases has been a hot issue for several years, and I have commented on recent developments on several occasions. This week, the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion making clear that the applicable analysis remains grounded in a fact-intensive, case-by-case approach.  Timothy B. O’Brien LLC v. Knott, No. 19-2138 (7th Cir. June … Read More

Federal Judge Dismisses Artists’ Suit Over 2008 Universal Studios Fire

James GriffithCase Studies


A federal judge in California has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group arising from a 2008 fire that destroyed an undetermined number of master recordings from artists including Tom Petty, 2Pac, Nirvana, and others.  Most of the other artists who were originally part of the suit, including Soundgarden, Steve Earle, Tupac Shakur, and Hole had withdrawn from … Read More