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We Hope He Did Not Learn How to Do This in Law School

Jason T. Throne, the former Intellectual Property General Counsel for Hunter Douglas, the U.S. affiliate of the $2.6 billion-in-sales Dutch-based manufacturer of window shades and blinds, has pled guilty to felony mail fraud and false tax submission charges. It appears that Mr. Throne misappropriated $5 million dollars from his employer by diverting funds to a company he owned, and charging off the expenditures as patent application searches that were never performed.

David's Bridal Sued for Selling Copy-Cat Convertible Dresses

National bridal chain David’s Bridal has been accused of infringing designs for “convertible” bridesmaid’s dresses that belong to one Jenny Yoo. Miss Yoo claims that David's Bridal is producing knock-offs of her convertible dresses and selling them at its stores, so Jenny Yoo Collection is suing David’s Bridal in U.S. District Court in New York for patent, trademark and trade dress (no pun, intended or otherwise) infringement.

How to Trump the Competition: Pay Your Trademark Renewal Fee

Back in 2006, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the “Trump Your Competition” trademark to a Nevada-based marketing consulting firm, Trump Your Competition. The trademark was cancelled in 2012 when Trump Your Competition (the company, not the trademark) failed to pay the renewal fee for Trump Your Competition (the trademark, not the company).

That’s $461 Billion with a “B” – But Just 2.6%

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a unit of the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office, just released a report that the value of imported counterfeit and pirated goods has topped $460 billion. These fake rip-offs include handbags, watches, perfume, machine parts, chemicals and medicine. According to the agency, counterfeit and pirated goods accounted for $461 billion of the $17.9 trillion worth of goods imported globally in 2013.

Here’s an Easy Way to Get Out of Jury Duty

British rock group Led Zeppelin is being sued for copyright infringement over claims that the music for its 1971 song, "Stairway to Heaven," was lifted from an instrumental, “Taraus,” by the late Randy Craig Wolfe, who wrote his song back in 1967 and passed away just four years later. As part of the upcoming trial’s vior dire, jurors are required to complete a questionnaire that will query them on their knowledge of 1960s and 1970s rock-and-roll bands, their own music-download habits, and their opinions of “celebrities’ honesty.” Really? How honest do you think celebrities are?

And That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles

Last year, Pepperidge Farm filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Trader Joe’s, claiming that Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies infringed the Milano trademark owned by Pepperidge Farm for its incredibly scrumptious chocolate filled sandwich cookies that are the snack equivalent of crack cocaine. Pepperidge Farm claimed that while Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies were square, they had rounded corners that made them ever so similar to the Milano.

The Indiscretions of Eternal Youth!

Adobe has settled a lawsuit it filed against clothing retailer Forever 21. Adobe and two other software publishers filed suit against Forever 21 claiming that it was using pirated copies of Adobe Photoshop and other software at its 700 retail locations.

We can only assume from the name of the stores that they promote perpetual youth. And, apparently, a fundamental lack of an understanding of – and a respect for – intellectual property rights. The judge should have ordered Forever 21 grounded until they were 35.

Yes, Rizzy: Rolls-Royce Is a Trademark

Rolls Royce (that is, Rolls Royce Motor Cars Limited, the car company and the real Rolls Royce) rolled up a second victory against rapper Royce Rizzy (formerly known as “Rolls Royce Rizzy” and no relation to the luxury automobile). A U.S. District Court judge ruled that Rizzy’s use of “Rolls Royce” diluted the brand and ordered Rizzy to cease use of the term “Rolls Royce.” As it turns out, Rizzy Royce’s real name is Robert D. Davis.

No, we are not kidding.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Husband Scorned

Maryland law firm Joseph Greenwald & Laake dodged the bullet and a $350 million judgment against a claim that one of its attorneys, Stephen Friedman, had improperly copied 800 pages of a travel software program and leaked it to competitors. A U.S. District Court judge dismissed the lawsuit after he discovered that the case was launched by the husband of the woman who wrote the software package to gain leverage over his estranged wife in upcoming divorce proceedings.

No, we are not kidding.

Sorry, PETA: A Monkey Cannot Hold a Copyright

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a monkey named Naruto who stole the camera of British photographer Jason Slater and took a picture of himself. Slater subsequently published the picture, received compensation for the photo, and claimed copyright ownership of the image.