Lawrence G. Townsend Intellectual Property Lawyer
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May 2018 Archives

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

Graffiti copyright claim fails because use in TV show de minimis

Broadly, creative works of art in many instances can be properly protected by copyright. We recently talked about copyright issues surrounding tattoos. Today we discuss an interesting case about copyright in graffiti in the context of its appearance in the background of a scene of a TV show. 

Can reproducing an affixed tattoo violate a copyright? Probably.

Copyrights grant exclusive legal rights to the owners of creative works. One protected category is "pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works" -- think paintings, graphic art, sketches, illustrations, photos, sculptors and the like. But let's go out on a limb here. Can a tattoo be the subject of a copyright

Actress appeals right-of-publicity case to California high court

At our San Francisco law firm, we represent people whose identities have been exploited for commercial benefit without our clients' permission. The "right of publicity" means that a person's "name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness" may not be used without consent to advertise or sell products, according to the California right-of-publicity statute. We also defend right-of-publicity claims.

Part 2: Harley-Davidson wins $19.2 million in counterfeiting case

In Part 1 of this post, we talk about the recent federal case of H-D U.S.A., LLC v. SunFrog, LLC, out of Wisconsin. The judge found, among other things, that SunFrog had engaged in counterfeiting when it placed images and phrases trademarked by Harley-Davidson on shirts and other items sold through SunFrog's website. 

Part 1: Judge finds counterfeiting of Harley-Davidson trademarks

The San Francisco law firm of Lawrence G. Townsend, Intellectual Property Lawyer, represents a range of clients in trademark matters — ranging from protecting distinctive marks or symbols, to preventing wrongful use of trademarks, to asserting trademark infringement claims or defending against them in court. 

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