Tag Archives: blawg review

48 Hours to Trademark Lawsuit

48 hours to produce the first issue of a magazine. An ambitious goal meet by a few friends and 1000′s of content contributors over a weekend in May.

48 Hour:Hustle, a print on-demand magazine, was started on May 7 and issue zero was  wrapped on May 9.  The cease and desist letter from CBS Broadcasting, Inc. was received May 11.  (I calculate 48 hours between release and demand letter…irony).

CBS owns the trademarks for “48 Hours,”  “48 Hours Mystery,” and several other similar marks with “48 Hours.”  The CBS marks are in Class 041 for a television series.

Would a consumer be confused that a magazine named “48 Hour:Hustle” was from the same source as the television show?  I also wonder if an argument could be made by another trademark owner for likelihood of confusion with their mark:  Hustler.


“Jersey Boys” Is Suing and Being Sued

The  hit musical “Jersey Boys” has been the subject of a copyright infringement/co-owner lawsuit, as previously discussed here and here

Changing hats from being the defendant in a copyright infringement suit to “singing the tune” of the plaintiff,  Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, and the playwrights of the musical  “Jersey Boys” filed suit against “The Boys in Concert” tour, alleging similarity of songs, stage elements, and logos.

According to news reports, the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against further performances of The Boys, $150,000 US for each of 10 songs from Jersey Boys used in the show, and additional unspecified damages.


LucasFilm Sues for Infringment of Star Wars Toys

Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Lucasfilm Entertainment Company, Ltd.  filed a  lawsuit against EZ2Fly, Inc., et. al for the manufacture and distribution of unauthorized merchandise that are remarkable similar to authorized STAR WARS branded toys.

Lucas alleges EZ2FLY  advertised and sold a replica of the STAR WARS X-WING STARFIGHTER online and at trade shows, titled as “X-WING.”  The plaintiffs also allege the  STAR WARS theme music was played in connection with advertising for the products.

The complaint, filed April 8, 2010, in the Central District of California, alleges copyright infringement, false designation of origin and false description, trademark infringement, state common law trademark infringement, and unfair competition, among other claims.


Trademark Basics Part 4: After Trademark Registration

In Part 4 of Trademark Basis we explore what happens after you secure a trademark registration.  Feel free to review Part 1 “Selecting a Trademark,” Part 2 From Selection to Application,” and Part 3,  “Intent to Use.”

Q:   When should I use the ™ symbol or the ® symbol?

A:         After federal registration the mark should be identified with the ® symbol.  Do not use the ® prior to issuance of the Federal Registration.

While the federal application is pending ( from one to two years), the trademark should be identified with the TM symbol. Use the mark with the TM on the actual product to which the mark applies, if possible, and on product labeling and packaging, and also in brochures, catalogs, advertisements, letterhead, business cards, and signage, as appropriate.

When using a word mark, or the word portion of a combination mark (word plus design), in a sentence, distinguish it from surrounding text by using all capitals and quotes.

Q:        Does my trademark registration expire once a registration issues from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office?

A:         A trademark registration is valid for 10 years after the date of registration, provided that a section 8 (and possibly section 15) affidavit is filed with the USPTO in between the 5th and 6th years after registration, further validating that the mark is in use at this time.  Failure to file the section 8 affidavit between the 5th and 6th years of registration will result in cancellation of the trademark application before the 10 year expiration period.  Between the 9th and 10th year after registration, a renewal application is required to maintain the mark.  Thereafter, the renewal must be filed every 10 years.

Q:        I forgot to file my section 8 & 15 affidavit or section 8 & 9 renewal within the 1 year window before expiration.  Can I still reinstate my trademark?

A:         There is a six month grace period after the 6th year of registration or after the 10th year of registration to file these documents with the USPTO, for an additional fee.  Once outside the grace period, a new trademark application is required.

Q:        My trademark is still in use, but I have sold it to another company or changed my company name.  Do I need to do anything with the trademark office?

A:         Yes, you may need to file an assignment or change of ownership name document with the USPTO. Visit the assignments section of the USPTO website for additional information.

If you are ready to learn more about trademark attorney Tamera Bennett’s 5 Steps to Filing a Trademark Application, click here.


Blawg Review Year in Review

by Tamera H. Bennett
Posted December 30, 2009

Once again, the Blawg Review has generated a fantastic selection of dynamic, informative and often funny law related blog posts for 2009.

You can read the summary here and be sure to scroll to the bottom for directions on voting for the Blawg Review post of the year.  If anybody is interested, my contribution for this year it is #212 and can be found on my blog here (a tribute to the greatest country western song ever).

A special shout out to Ed and the Sherpas at Blawg Review.  It is a lot of work to pull this together every week.  Thanks gang for making it happen.

Happy New Year folks.


BLAWG REVIEW #212

By Tamera H. Bennett

BLAWG REVIEW #212

“You Don’t Have To Call Me Darlin,’ Darlin’”

When I teach music publishing classes or seminars I always give an example to explain the difference between an idea and the expression of an idea. The expression of the idea fixed into a tangible medium is what is protected by copyright law.

My favorite example is to tell the class they each need to write a song that includes these ideas: trains, rain, momma, jail and pickup trucks.  (Yes, lyrics still count).  In the end they may all come up with something completely different and each original work would be protected by copyright law. Even if those same ideas are found in another song … the perfect Country & Western song.

Songwriter Steve Goodman penned the lyrics that singer David Allan Coe made famous in 1974  and turned the classic country song “You Never Even Call Me By My Name” a/k/a “You Don’t Have To Call Me Darlin,’ Darlin’” click to watch the video into a country cult classic. (Country cult is not an oxymoron, is it?)

Verse One
Well it was all
That I could do to keep from cryin’
Sometimes it seemed so useless to remain
But you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me by my name

Sometimes it seemed so useless to remain…  We don’t know for sure if he and “darlin” are married, but in Texas it could have been a common law marriage.  Watch out during those divorce proceedings for taped phone calls and emails showing up in discovery says the New Jersey Law Blog.  The Alabama Family Law Blog makes it clear it takes two to tango but only one spouse to get a divorce.

You never even call me by my name… As a trademark/branding lawyer one of my clients’ biggest concerns is being called by the right name and making sure no competitor is using the same or similar name.   Check with the Los Angeles Trademark Attorney Blog to see if it is the  “The Girl From Ipanema” wearing that IPANEMA tagged swimsuit.  Over at the TTABLOG we can voice our thoughts on Lamb’s vs Lam for rum.  Las Vegas Trademark Attorney Ryan Giles asks will the real Andre Agassi and Stephi Graf stand up now that their cybersquatters are down? Mr. President, please do not be confused by those pending OBAMA trademark applications in the EU as reported by the IPKAT.  And Google, what are you doing now with those crazy adwords?  Read the update from IP lawyer Ron Coleman on the Texas class action against Google.  This week is the Annual International Trademark Association Convention in Seattle so I am giving a special shout out to Seattle Trademark Attorney Michael Atkins comparing the Space Needle to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

Verse Two
You don’t have to call me Waylon Jennings
And you don’t have to call me Charley Pride
And you don’t have to call me Merle Haggard, anymore
Even though you’re on my fightin’ side

CHORUS:
And I’ll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standin’ in the rain
But you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me by my name

Just make sure she really wants you hanging around because GPS can now be attached to stalkers.

Verse Three
Well I’ve heard my name
A few times in your phone book (Hello, Hello)
And I’ve seen it on signs where I’ve played
But the only time I know
I’ll hear David Allan Coe
Is when Jesus has his final Judgment Day

REPEAT CHORUS

Watch out for those signs, too.  Like Woody Allen, sometimes your picture might be associated with something you oppose.

RECITATION:
Well, a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song
And he told me it was the perfect Country & Western song
I wrote him back a letter and I told him it was not the perfect Country & Western song because he hadn’t said anything at all about Mama,
Or trains,
Or trucks,
Or prison,
Or gettin’ drunk.
Well he sat down and wrote another verse to the song
And he sent it to me,
And after reading it,
I realized that my friend had written the perfect
Country & Western song
And I felt obliged to include it on this album
The last verse goes like this here:

Well I was drunk the day my Mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned old train

This additional verse that makes the song the perfect country and western song, also makes it o-so perfect for Blawg Review….

Did he say drunk and prison in the same line? You better see what my Twitter colleagues have to say at the Criminal Defense Blog, the Simple Justice Blog and the Defending People Blog.

Trains, people and trucks rarely make a good combination.  See what the Chicago Injury Lawyer Blog has to say about a recent train accident. Read here about the man charged with DUI in a car/train accident.  Also, no texting while driving the train.

CHORUS:
And I’ll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standin’ in the rain
No, you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me
Well I wonder why you don’t call me
Why don’t you ever call me by my name

Until I re-read this post I thought it was the perfect Blawg Review post.  Then I realized it said nothing about…

Fashion and the law
Cuban Trade Laws and the impact on music
Estate Planning
Copyright Infringement
Negotiations
The Theatre
Social Media in the music business
Branding in the music business
Patents in the music business
or Tattoos — Famous Trademarks as Tattoos, that is

Now I realize I have written the perfect Blawg Review post.

You don’t have to call me Darlin,’ Darlin’ ….
just call me lawyer Tamera H. Bennett.

Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

UPDATED 5/18/09:  American Apparel and Woody Allen settled for $5 Million after this Blawg Review went to press.  Read more here.


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