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Recent Trademark Infringement Cases You May Have Missed In 2018/19

There have been some significant trademark disputes hitting the headlines in the last twelve months. In April 2019, lawyers for Erik Brunetti, owner of the popular brand FUCT, challenged the provisions of federal law that allows for “immoral or scandalous matter” to be refused trademark protection. Mr Brunetti believes his First Amendment rights are being infringed. And given the decision in Matel v Tam 582 U.S. ___ (2017) he may have a strong chance of success.

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Why INTA’s Unreal Campaign Matters

Everyone loves a bargain. There is something very satisfying about saying “I got it for only (fill in the cheap price)” when someone compliments you on your sassy new shoes or bag. And with the trade in counterfeit goods valued at US$917 billion a year, it is understandable that ordinary law-abiding consumers feel that resisting purchasing a ‘Chanel’ bag from a chap on a foreign beach won’t make any difference to the extent of the problem. Like global warming, the issue is too big and the damage too hidden to coerce people into changing their behaviour.

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All Are Equal In The Eyes Of USPTO: Celebrities, Sports Stars, and Trademarking Names


Michael Jordan retired from basketball in 2003. That’s 16 years ago. However, thanks to the ‘Jordan’ brand operated by Nike, he still earns around $100 million a year. Football legend David Beckham left the sport in 2013, but somehow, I don’t think he is relying on a British government pension. He is raking in around $75 million per annum, thanks mainly to deals with H&M and Adidas.

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How Well Do You Understand Trademarks?

Outside of the branding processes undertaken by trademark professionals, there exists a fundamental fallacy - everyone seems to think that they understand trademarks. From startups choosing to go it alone with their applications to others decrying the need for trademarks at all, confidence in innate knowledge and simplicity is at an all-time high. 

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Social Media Influence in the Trademark World

Social media, whether you view it as friend or foe, invades every part of our lives and brands were quick to become part of that narrative. This creates a number of challenges for the companies involved. Standing out amongst all the noise being a case in point.

However, this is far from being the only challenge associated with the use of social media by brands of all sizes. Joe Quigley of Rivet LLC shares some insights:

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Is Your Legal Department a ‘Partner’ to Your Business?

It is the general perception that lawyers, whether in-house or private practice, often aren’t viewed in the role of a valuable strategic partner. Instead the legal department can be viewed as being an impediment to the business needs which must be worked around in order to succeed. Whilst undoubtedly the ability of the lawyer to prevent the business from taking a hit is appreciated, the rest of the time, the restrictions imposed by legal issues can chafe a bit.

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