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April 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.

Commercial use of Steve McQueen’s name in dispute again

This time, the dispute is over cardigan sweaters. Last time, it was over luxury cars. In both cases, Chadwick McQueen, the son of deceased actor Steve McQueen, objected to companies using his father’s name to sell their products.

Mr. and Mrs. Bieber file for trademarks based on their names

In September, pop star Justin Bieber and model Hailey Baldwin tied the knot. Now, Hailey Bieber is taking serious steps to preserve rights to use her new name for business purposes. TMZ reported that she has filed a trademark application to register "Bieber Beauty" for use in marketing a line of cosmetics and beauty products. In October, she reportedly also filed an application to register "Hailey Bieber" to use as a clothing-line brand.

Happy-little-tree painter's right of publicity at issue

We recently told readers about a lawsuit filed by Car-Freshner Corporation -- the owner of the trademark for the iconic tree-shaped car air fresheners -- against Bob Ross Inc., called BRI, and its merchandiser for selling air fresheners for vehicles also in the shape of trees. Bob Ross was the famous landscape painter who taught viewers how to paint on television. He was known for telling viewers to mask mistakes using "happy little trees."

To be a trade secret, its owner must take steps to protect it

At Lawrence G. Townsend, Intellectual Property Lawyer, in San Francisco, we represent a variety of clients in trade secret matters. We regularly talk about trade secret issues in this space and today we take note of a recent Illinois case that provides an interesting analysis of the requirement that to be a trade secret, the company or entrepreneur who owns it must take concrete steps to protect it.

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