Blog

Former Bank CEO Cannot Sell His How-To Book

Just what we need. Another how-to book from a bank CEO. Well, it’s not going to happen. A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that Commerce Bank founder Vernon Hill cannot continue to sell his book, “Fans Not Customers: How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World,” because it is based on material from a manuscript that is owned by TD Bank (the bank that bought Commerce Bank), so TD Bank now owns the copyright.

Mr. Hill’s next book will be on copyright infringement in a No Growth World.

New York Times Settles Lawsuit over Front-Page Images

The New York Times has reached a settlement with powerHouse Books over use of 64 of The Times front pages without the newspaper’s permission. It appears that powerHouse Books published a book, “War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictoral Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict,” without permission from the newspaper or obtaining a license for use of 64 images that belong to The Times.

Dish Network Picks Up $8.6 Million from Non-Subscribers

Dish Network has been busy. Not providing content, but suing infringers and defrauders in court. Just this month alone, the company raked in $8.6 million.

Bong Maker Is Awarded $2M for Trademark Infringement

Kaloud, a California-based manufacturer of hookahs, was just awarded $2 million in statutory damages by a U.S. District Court jury that found that a competitor of Kaloud had willfully infringed the company’s trademark, Lotus, by selling knockoff Lotus hookahs. A hookah (also known as a “sishas”) is a device that vaporizes tobacco or cannabis so it can be inhaled.

Three Retailers Settle “Honey Badger” Infringement Lawsuits

Christopher Gordon got his 15 minutes. When his YouTube video, "Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger," went viral, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's jumped on the Honey Badger bandwagon and started selling products based on the catch phrase “Honey Badger Don’t Care” on some of its merchandise. Mr. Gordon filed lawsuits against all three companies claiming both trademark and copyright infringement.

Arby's Will Drop Intoxicating Sales Pitch

Fast food icon Arby’s has announced that it will cease use of “Eat Your Bourbon” to market its new line of sandwiches that feature a bourbon-flavored sauce. This decision is the result of a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Bourbon Barrel Foods, claiming that Arby’s was infringing its trademark.

As far as we are concerned, “Eat Your Bourbon” is not very clever nor particularly appealing. If there were laws against bad marketing, we’d have filed charges.

Trademark Infringement Claim Does Not Make It to First Base

A U.S. District Court judge threw out a claim by Parks, the manufacturer of “Ball Park” hot dogs, that Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands infringed the “Ball Park” trademark by using the slogan “Park’s Finest” on a line of hot dogs. While the judge did dismiss the claim by granting Tyson Food’s and Hillshire Brand’s motion for summary judgement, it was a 1-0 game since the judge denied Tyson’s and Hillshire’s request for sanctions against Parks for filing a frivolous claim.

No Room at the Table for “Churasscos”

When the Cordua Restaurant chain filed for a trademark for “Churrascos,” the Trademark Office turned them down on the basis that “Churrascos” is the generic term for Spanish and Portuguese-style grilled meat. The Cordua folks had a beef (sorry, we cannot help ourselves) with the Trademark Office’s decision, so they appealed it the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Insurance Does Not Cover $35 Million Lawsuit Judgment

Back in 2013, Ashley Reed Trading lost a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Fendi Adele claiming that Ashley Reed was selling counterfeit handbags that were labeled as genuine Fendi Adele. The judge ordered Ashely Reed to pay Fendi Adele $35 million, three times the company’s sales from 2001 through 2006, the period during which it sold the counterfeit handbags. Ouch! But they had it coming.

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.