Monthly Archives: December 2014

Soul survivor: publicity and TM claims against recorded performance fail

Cummings v. Soul Train Holdings LLC, 2014 WL 7008952, No. 14 Civ. 36 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 12, 2014) This right of publicity/trademark case based on use of recorded performances to which the plaintiff didn’t own the copyright could’ve gone a lot … Continue reading

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the intersection of FTC US origin guidelines and the Lanham Act

A.P. Deauville, LLC v. Arion Perfume and Beauty, Inc., No. C14-03343, 2014 WL 7140041 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 12, 2014) Deauville sued Arion for false advertising and unfair competition, and Arion counterclaimed.  This opinion granted in part Deauville’s motion to dismiss. … Continue reading

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Is a bigger sucker a protected consumer?

Securian Financial Group, Inc. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2014 WL 6911100, No. 11–2957 (D. Minn. Dec. 8, 2014) How sophisticated can you be and still be a consumer for the purpose of consumer protection law?  Pretty sophisticated, in some … Continue reading

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restrictions on lawyer ads touting past results unconstitutional

Rubenstein v. Florida Bar, No. 14–CIV–20786, 2014 WL 6979574 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 9, 2014) Florida bars attorney advertising from referring to past results, which a Bar task force held in 1997 were inherently misleading to laypeople, because cases that appear … Continue reading

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Consumer suit against juice name preempted

Bell v. Campbell Soup Co.,  No. 4:14cv291, 2014 WL 6997611 (N.D. Fla. Dec. 11, 2014) The facts are essentially the same as in Pom Wonderful v. Coca-Cola, but the result is that only competitors, not consumers, can sue for false … Continue reading

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Transformative use of the day, judicial edition

Judge uses cartoon in opinion to explain rebuke of lawyer.  Reporting on opinion includes separate reproduction of cartoon.  Two levels of transformation?  (Side note: the judge feels the need to explain the joke, which may say something about judicial humor … Continue reading

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PTO roundtable on the accuracy and integrity of the TM register

USPTO Roundtable: Ensuring the Accuracy and Integrity of the Trademark Register (Note: I wasn’t able to attend in person so I just didn’t get names) Debbie Kahn, commissioner for TMs Registration renewals: pilot requiring additional proof of use for 500 … Continue reading

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Dastar bars false advertising claim based on patent filing

Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry LLC v. Stern, 2014 WL 6910212, No. 2:13–CV–00826 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 8, 2014) Akzo makes specialty chemicals, including adjuvants, which are additives that modify the properties of the main ingredient in formulations.  Stern was formerly employed … Continue reading

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Actual confusion irrelevant when Rogers v. Grimaldi applies

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. 14-cv-02361 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 24, 2014)  MSM alleged that the video game Call of Duty: Ghosts made infringing use of MSM’s “angry monkey” mark, “among the most popular morale patch designs” MSM … Continue reading

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plaintiff must identify elements of trade dress, specific false claims

Homeland Housewares, LLC v. Euro-Pro Operating LLC, 2014 WL 6892141, No. CV 14–03954 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2014) Previously, the court granted a preliminary injunction on certain false advertising claims and refused to stop the plaintiff from publicizing that.  Now … Continue reading

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