Back in 1856, Thomas Burberry established the Burberry brand when he began selling women’s luxury clothing and accessories. Today, Burberry Group Inc. is a multi-million dollar, multi-national corporation with over 10,000 employees and a strong, luxury brand that includes eyeglasses and cosmetics. Burberry promotes a checked pattern that is popular in carpeting and is referred to as "Burberry". The company has an equestrian logo that is prominently marked with a “®” to show it is a registered trademark.
The property located at 333 North Dearborn began its life as the House of Blue Hotels. No, we are not kidding. It later was renamed the Hotel Sax. No, we are not kidding. In 2014 it became the Hotel Chicago. That is until Joe Perillo, a Chicago car dealer and entrepreneur, opened a hotel at 1622 West Jackson that he also calls the Hotel Chicago. Not surprisingly, he is now facing a trademark infringement lawsuit by the owners of the original Hotel Chicago.
Earlier this year, the song “Happy Birthday to You” lost its copyright protection. Attorney Mark Rifkin represented a class action lawsuit against Warner/Chappell Music (formed in 1929 with a merger of Chappell Brothers and Warner Brothers, the movie studio) claiming that the song was not entitled to the Copyright that Warner/Chappell had on the song.
Warner/Chappell lost, and lost big – to the tune of $14 million. It appears that Mark Rifkin, Esq., however, did pretty well. The court just awarded him $4.6 million for his services.
In 2014, Christ Tavantzis and ChrisTrikes Custom Motorcycles, filed a complaint against a number of individuals and entities alleging infringed of his patent for a wheelchair-accessible motorcycle. After the complaint was filed, the U.S. District Court hearing the case received notice of Mr. Tavantzis' death. When no party moved to substitute the proper party to continue Mr. Tavantzis' claims, the court dismissed Mr. Tavantzis from the lawsuit, leaving his business, ChrisTrikes Custom Motorcycles, as the only remaining plaintiff.
We guess everyone – or at least everyone who reads this blog – knows what “search engine optimization” is. If not, OK. It is a service that adds codes and links and other elements to a website to make it attractive to search engines. When you go to Google, and search for “patent enforcement,” it is not a coincidence that General Patent Corporation pops up at the top of the page.
Francis Malofiy, the attorney suing Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement for its rendition of “Stairway to Heaven,” is not likely to add to this to his résumé. A three-judge panel ruled that his three-month suspension by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was warranted. And this comes after Mr. Malofiy had penalties imposed by the judge overseeing the copyright infringement case for “outrageous” and “unprofessional” behavior.
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.
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 has been busy. Not providing content, but suing infringers and defrauders in court. Just this month alone, the company raked in $8.6 million.
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.