Tag Archives: trademark

Miles Davis Properties vs. Miles’ Cafe and the anatomy of a trademark lawsuit

When is a trumpeter named Miles not allowed to go by Miles? Or open a cafe using his name? Or pose for a black-silhouetted profile of himself playing said trumpet? The heirs of Miles Davis filed a lawsuit against Miles’ Cafe, a jazz cafe started by a jazz fan who plays trumpet and goes by […]

Photography Copyright, Rihanna, and why we need a bright-line rule

David LaChappelle, a photographer, sued Rihanna over a music video Mr. LaChappelle claims violates his copyrights in a series of photos featuring bondage and sado masochism. Techdirt has discussed the case, both when it was first filed and after a motion to dismiss was denied, and has pointed out that LaChappelle’s claims should run afoul […]

Copyright & Trademark: A primer on their differences

There is a lively discussion on the differences between copyright and trademark law in the comments to a Techdirt article. Copyright and trademark law are often confused, and this is by both lawyers and non-lawyers. (We lawyers call them ‘lay-people.’) I’ve even see a lawyer confuse the DMCA takedown process and issue a takedown letter […]

Bitcoins, trademarks, and a roadmap for the Bitcoin community

A lawyer from New York filed a trademark application for the mark ‘bitcoin’ on behalf of a client. This has caused an uproar in the Bitcoin community. The uproar has led to statements by the lawyer that he will be withdrawing the application in the U.S. and seek registration of the mark abroad. According to […]

Can you steal the idea for a product or service?

The Telegraph has an article about claims that the founders of the Huffington Post ‘stole’ the blueprint for the popular website.  Can you ‘steal’ an idea, be it for a product or a service? On some level this questions appears to ridiculous.  The Huffington Post, for example, is modeled after many community sites before it, […]

The Consumer’s IP Law: A review of trademarks

Two trademark stories on Techdirt highlight the power of trademark law.  The first deals with Walmart being sued by the makers of Sillybandz — this generation’s slap bracelets — for selling and distributing a competitor’s products that, Sillybandz claims, are too similar.  The second concerns trademark law causing problems for Etsy, an online marketplace for […]