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Be Careful What You Display in Your Trade Show Booth

Conair – a leading manufacturer of hair driers, hair curlers and other hair-care products – has filed two patent infringement lawsuits after attending a trade show in Las Vegas. It appears that two competitors, INF Professional and Le Angelique, had hair curling products displayed in their booths that Conair claims infringe one or more of its patents.

Washington Redskins Lose First Round in Court

A U.S. District Court judge has upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's decision to cancel the Washington Redskins' trademark registrations, rejecting the argument that the federal government's ban on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.

However, the Redskins will be able to continue to use its trademark while it works its way through the appellate process, which will likely take several years. We wonder if the team is working on a more politically correct name.

Money Charged for ***.sucks Really Suck

NetNames, a European brand protection company, has filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators that Vox Populi, the company behind the controversial new ***.sucks domain names, is charging predatory pricing in an effort to extort money from trademark owners.

Where do we begin? What business would want “.sucks” as the suffix to its website? Unless, of course, it sold lolipops? Or vacuum cleaners?

Clif Bar Files Trademark Infringment Claim against Kill Cliff

Snack company Clif Bar has filed a trademark infringement suit against competitor Kill Cliff, claiming that Kill Cliff launched a line of protein bars that are likely to cause confusion among consumers. When we think about “Cliff,” Cliff Notes comes to mind, but that is another story for another day.

Clif Bar claims that Kill Cliff's protein bars are trading on Clif's reputation. You be the judge.


Turtles Try to Block $210 Million Copyright Infringement Settlement

The Turtles (the 1960’s band) have asked the U.S. District court to block Sirius (the satellite radio broadcaster) from making a $210 million payment to ABKCO Music & Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings and Warner Music Group to settle the ground-breaking copyright infringement lawsuit brought against them (and covered in our August 2014 Feature Article).

Cash Advance Company Seeks $45M Over Theft of Clients

SBC Telecom Consulting filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court that a former employee, Carlos L. Liriano, willfully attempted to "ruin and destroy" SBC’s cash advance business, and SBC is seeking at least $45 million in damages. The lawsuit claims that Liriano, a former call center manager at SBC Telecom, stole proprietary corporate information and used that data to steer accounts to a competitor of SBC.

Our question is: Did SBC Telecom pay Mr. Liriano so well that he actually has $45 million?

Attorney Drops Defamation Lawsuit Over “Stupid Patent”

Each month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) bestows its “Stupid Patent of the Month” award on a newly issued patent the group deems unworthy. In April of this year, EFF gave the “Stupid Patent of the Month” award to U.S. Patent No. 9,013,334 “Notification systems and methods that permit change of quantity for delivery and/or pickup of goods and/or services.”

Another Lyric Infringement Lawsuit Pops Up

Mark Halper claims that he wrote a song in 1984 called "Don't Throw Our Love Away," and the song begins with the phrase "stay with me." Halpers claims in a lawsuit he just filed that his copyrighted lyrics are infringed by Sam Smith’s "Stay With Me."

Google's Cash for Gold Offer

Google has announced that if you send the company your patent, they may offer to buy it. It is pretty obvious what Google is doing. They are looking for patents that could be asserted against them, and hoping to buy them up for pennies on the dollar.

If you send your patent to Google, and it makes you an offer, decline the offer and immediately contact a technology licensing firm - like General Patent - to find out what the patent is really worth.

U.S. Federal Court Judge: Oops! My Bad.

U.S. Federal District Court Judge Marsha Pechman has some egg on her face. She recently admitted that she dismissed an antivirus patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft in error. She dismissed the case, file by CAP Co., with prejudice after only some of the claims were resolved.

She meant to dismiss most of CAP’s claim of indirect and willful infringement, but instead dismissed the entire lawsuit. It is one thing for a judge’s ruling to be overturned by an appellate court, but another for a judge to overturn her own ruling.