Lawrence G. Townsend Intellectual Property Lawyer
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March 2019 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.

Artificial intelligence generates real copyright issues

When lawmakers passed the first federal copyright law in 1790 to protect rights in maps, charts and books, they could hardly have conceived of an issue under consideration today: Whether the creations generated by computers using artificial intelligence should enjoy copyright protection.

Fourth Estate: SCOTUS says registration approach is correct one

The verdict is finally in. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC. The court held that to bring a copyright infringement lawsuit under the federal Copyright Act, the Register of Copyrights must have acted on the copyright application in question by either granting or denying the registration.

Court greenlights mashup of Seuss and Star Trek as fair use

On March 12, a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California released an opinion that discusses at length the concept of fair use of a copyrighted work. We have previously written about fair use -- a legal doctrine that allows limited uses of copyrighted works without permission in narrow categories.

Can't trademark your slogan? That's a pile of covfefe!

When you read this title, with whom or what did you associate "covfefe"? Of course, this is the nonsensical word President Trump used in a tweet, possibly when he was tired and in loose control of his typing fingers. Now people associate it with his persona and communication style.

Court lays out building blocks of trademark law

In October 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit released an opinion in a trademark dispute between Converse and certain shoe competitors over Converse's Chuck Taylor All Star sneaker, sold since 1932 and registered as a design trademark in 2013. The legal and factual details of this case are complex, but the opinion describes clearly basic concepts of trademark law.

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