In a recent legal development that has captured the attention of the intellectual property world, a three-judge appellate panel has explored the intricacies of the willful blindness doctrine within the context of contributory trademark infringement. This thought-provoking case involves the legal dispute between online marketplace giant Redbubble and YYGM, trading as Brandy Melville. The legal discussion at hand offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of online trademark infringement liability.Play Episode
“Show me the money.” “Who you gonna call?” “Go Ahead. Make my day.” While catchphrases like these often hold immense value and creators of these phrases may seek to prevent others from using them under any circumstances, the protectability of short phrases is not always straightforward.Play Episode
The Dimopoulos Law Firm, a personal injury firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada, has filed a lawsuit against the NFL alleging that the league threatened to sue the firm for trademark infringement. The dispute arose after the firm hired three professional athletes, including Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders, to appear in an advertisement that used the firm’s black and silver color scheme. According to the law firm, the advertisement did not feature any logos or trademarks of the NFL, the Raiders, or any other sports teams. Despite this, the NFL sent a cease-and-desist letter to Dimopoulos accusing the firm of unauthorized use of the Raiders’ marks.Play Episode
Journalist Bob Woodward interviewed President Trump on numerous occasions during his 2019 and 2020 presidency. Trump granted consent to be recorded for Woodward’s upcoming book. Woodward later released segments of these recordings, along with one recording made with Trump during his presidential campaign in 2016, as part of an audiobook, The Trump Tapes. Trump claims that Woodward did not have his permission to release these audiotapes as a separate audiobook and sued Woodard and his publisher for, among other claims, copyright infringement.Play Episode
On the latest episode of The Briefing by the IP Law Blog, Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss the lawsuit filed earlier this year by global visual content creator Getty Images against startup technology company Stability AI for allegedly scraping over 12 million photographs from Getty’s portfolio without consent or compensation. Getty Images claims that Stability AI copied its photographs and associated text and metadata to train its Stable Diffusion model, which uses AI to generate computer-synthesized images in response to text prompts.Play Episode
The 1950 case Desny v. Wilder set the ground rules for an idea theft/implied contract case in California. In Desny, the plaintiff Victor Desny wrote a script depicting the real-life story of Floyd Collins, a boy who made headlines after he was trapped in a cave 80 feet underground. In an effort to market his script, Desny called Billy Wilder, a writer, producer and director at Paramount Pictures. Desny could not get through to Wilder and subsequently stripped his script to the bare facts so that Wilder’s secretary could copy it in shorthand over the phone. After reading his synopsis, Desny told Wilder’s secretary that Wilder and Paramount could use the script only if they paid him a reasonable amount for doing so. Shortly thereafter, Wilder created his own movie script mirroring Desny’s. Because Desny’s script was based on historical facts, and because Desny only conveyed the bare minimum of those facts to Wilder’s secretary, both parties conceded for the purpose of the appeal that the synopsis was not sufficiently original to form the basis of a federal copyright claim. The court, however, held that Desny stated sufficient facts to establish the existence of an implied-in-fact contract between the parties.Play Episode
The Briefing by the IP Law Blog and The IP Law Blog are publications of Weintraub Tobin. The Briefing by the IP Law Blog provides insight in connection with copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, false advertising, licensing, promotions, and sweepstakes. The series’ objective is to serve as a forum to discuss IP strategies that provide protection to a business’s or person’s intangible assets. The videos and podcasts are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Video versions of The Briefing can be found on the Weintraub Tobin YouTube Page.