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Intellectual Property

Feb 4, 2011

Civil Practice – Venue – Transfer – ‘First-Filed’ – Special Circumstances – Settlement Negotiations – Breakdown – Intellectual Property – Trademark & Copyright Infringement

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. v. Overseas Direct Import Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-04-0103, 9 pp.) (Richard L. Voorhees, J.) W.D.N.C. Holding: The parties were engaged in settlement discussions, and when those settlement discussions broke down, it was reasonable for plaintiff to expect defendant to file a trademark and copyright infringement action; in fact, defendant had […]

Jan 14, 2011

Intellectual Property – Trademark-Infringement Claim – Laches – Radio Networks

Ray Communications, Inc. v. Clear Channel Communications. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-02-0051, 19 pp.) (Terrence W. Boyle, J.) E.D.N.C. Holding: Where plaintiff has known of defendants’ use of allegedly infringing service marks for over 30 years and decided to sue only when the economy made advertising dollars harder to come by, and where, in the intervening […]

Dec 17, 2010

Thinking OSS is in the public domain could be costly

By NICHELLE NICHOLES LEVY, Special to Lawyers Weekly [email protected]   Open-source software is software for which the developer has broadly licensed the underlying human readable source code version of the software to end users, generally on a royalty-free basis, for the purpose of encouraging broad use and improvement of the software. A claimed advantage of […]

Dec 17, 2010

Attorneys could copyright their documents, but should they?

Of course, lawyers don't need anyone's blessing to copyright their own work. The question is, when they do, are their claimed rights enforceable? The short answer is yes, maybe. Intellectual property attorney John C. Nipp of Charlotte-based Summa, Additon & Ashe told Lawyers Weekly that the requirements for obtaining a copyright are not strict.

Dec 17, 2010

Copyright application or registration: Which is needed to bring suit?

By ROB VAN ARNAM, Special to Lawyers Weekly [email protected] Although a copyright exists at the time a work is created, it cannot be enforced without taking steps to record that right in the U.S. Copyright Office. Whether a mere application for registration is sufficient to permit enforcement, however, remains unclear. The federal courts remain divided […]

Dec 2, 2010

Insurance – Commercial Liability – Intellectual Property – California Law – Photograph – Unauthorized Use

ISS Research, LLC v. Federal Insurance Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-04-1140, 9 pp.) (Graham C. Mullen, J.) W.D.N.C. Holding: The plaintiff-insured was sued under California law for the unauthorized use of a photograph, which California law recognizes as an intellectual-property claim. Since the parties’ insurance policy excludes coverage for intellectual property claims, the defendant-insurer [...]

Nov 30, 2010

Intellectual Property – Trademark-Infringement Claim – Priority – Prior Use – Corporate Dissolution – Federal Registration – Abandonment

Daniel Group v. Service Performance Group, Inc. Even though defendant's predecessor-in-interest, an Illinois corporation, was dissolved for nearly five years before defendant was incorporated in North Carolina, the shareholders of both corporations continued to use the . . .

Oct 18, 2010

Intellectual Property – Unfair Trade Practices – Passing Off – Cheaper Chinese Insulation – Less Effective – Carcinogenic

Pittsburgh Corning Corp. v. McCormick Insulation Supply, Inc. When plaintiff stopped supplying its Foamglas directly to defendant McCormick Insulation Supply, McCormick not only started buying Foamglas from other sources but also started buying cheaper Chinese cellular glass insulation, which defendant Batts Fabricators mixed it with Foamglas and sold to its customers. The Chinese product[...]

Sep 28, 2010

Intellectual Property – Copyright – Unfair Trade Practices – Preemption – Extra Element – Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Viable Solutions, L.L.C. v. Solace Consulting, LLC. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-04-0941, 7 pp.) (David C. Keesler, USMJ) W.D.N.C. Holding: Plaintiff showed that defendant Roundtree had access to plaintiff’s copyrighted manual and notice of its confidentiality when Roundtree worked for two of plaintiff’s clients. Plaintiff alleges that defendants violated its copyright by copying its manual [...]

Sep 23, 2010

Civil Practice – Removal – Federal Question – Remand – Attorney’s Fees & Expenses – Intellectual Property – Trademark License Agreement

International Legwear Group, Inc. v. Americal Corp. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-02-0924, 7 pp.) (James C. Dever III, J.) E.D.N.C. Holding: Even though the parties’ contract is a trademark-license agreement, the breach of contract action brought by plaintiff in state court does not raise a federal question. Plaintiff’s motion to remand to state court is granted. […]

Sep 8, 2010

Intellectual Property – Football Team Logo – Fair Use

Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens LP. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-01-0884, 34 pp.) (Michael, J.) No. 08-2381, Sept. 2, 2010; USDC at Baltimore (Garbis, J.) 4th Cir. Holding: Taking its fourth look at an IP dispute over use of a Baltimore Ravens football team logo, the 4th Circuit says the Ravens’ use of the logo in question […]

Aug 26, 2010

Intellectual Property – Copyright – Furniture Collections – Chair Design

Universal Furniture Int’l Inc. v. Collezione Europa USA Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-01-0835, 33 pp.) (Per Curiam) No. 07-2180, Aug. 20, 2010; USDC at Durham (Osteen) 4th Cir. Holding: A knock-off furniture company that copied plaintiff’s furniture designs, and even removed labels from plaintiff’s furniture and displayed it as its own at the High Point […]

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