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October 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.

Little Tree car freshener trademark owner goes out on a limb

Virtually everyone who grew up in the U.S. and is alive today knows what a Little Tree car freshener is. An image of the successful product dangling from a car mirror immediately comes to mind at mere mention of the tree-shaped air freshener made to improve indoor air quality in vehicles. 

Music Modernization Act: Landmark music copyright law signed

In an unusual move in this time of deep division, sweeping federal copyright legislation updating copyright law for the digital age was unanimously passed in both the House and Senate. The president signed it on October 11, 2018. 

Court gives second try at climbing the "Stairway to Heaven"

At Lawrence G. Townsend, Intellectual Property Lawyer, in San Francisco, we represent people in copyright infringement disputes involving a variety of creative works, including those involving music and sound recordings. In current copyright news, the owner of the copyright to an obscure 1960s rock song who alleges that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" was copied from it has a second chance to prove his case. 

Don't let your mark commit genericide

At our law firm, we represent a wide variety of people and companies seeking to protect their branding in the marketplace from wrongful use. Protectable trademarks and service marks are typically words, logos, symbols, phrases and other similar devices for branding products and services. 

Right of publicity: Images of people in art without permission

At Lawrence G. Townsend, Intellectual Property Lawyer, in San Francisco, we represent people asserting their rights of publicity as well as defending such lawsuits. The right of publicity protects people from unauthorized commercial use of their "name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness ... on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for the purposes of advertising" goods or services, without the permission of those depicted may be sued for damages and legal fees, to quote the California Civil Code. 

Introduction to the work-made-for-hire doctrine in copyright

At our law firm, we represent employers, employees and independent contractors in disputes over ownership of copyrights to creative works conceived during working relationships between the parties. In these disputes, the issue is often whether the creative work is a "work made for hire." 

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