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Is Your Copyright Enforceable in Federal Court? The United States Supreme Court Reinforces the Impact of Registration By Jonathan N. King

A recent case, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.Com, is bringing to light a fundamental interpretation in copyright law – the actual registration versus seeking registration. On March 4, 2019, the United States Supreme Court held the Copyright Office must actually grant copyright registration before a claimant can file a copyright infringement suit in federal court. At the same time, however, a copyright owner can still recover for infringements that occur both before and after registration of a copyright. Business owners should be very clear of their registration status or run the risk of losing their ability to file a complaint for copyright infringement. If the United States Copyright Office hasn’t confirmed copyright registration, you may not have the ability to enforce your ownership rights after all.

March 24, 2019


Embracing the Middleman - Maximizing and Protecting Brands By Michael Krueger, Jonathan N. King

Chipotle recently announced its plans to expand from ten test stores to dozens more stores featuring its Chipotlanes service. Why is this important? Because in order for Chipotle to fully embrace the middleman it understands that protecting its brand is vital to growth through the Middleman Economy.

February 28, 2019


Does Your Trademark Have Relevant Artistic Expression? By Jonathan N. King

Traditionally speaking, we think of a ‘trademark’ protected under the Lanham Act as a mark used to identify and distinguish a good or service from other goods and services on the market. But what if the purported ‘trademark’ is being used to express a certain idea, statement, artistic expression, or cultural significance? The same protections do not apply. Instead, when a mark is being used for artistically relevant reasons, a higher degree of protection under the First Amendment is afforded, which means that the threshold for proving trademark infringement is somewhat higher than the ‘likelihood of confusion’ test.

March 6, 2018


Don’t Miss a Beat – Misunderstanding Your Intellectual Property Rights Could Cost You Your Protections By Jonathan N. King

You have obtained federal trademark protection, so you should feel that all of your intellectual property rights are protected, right? What if you have not obtained the appropriate intellectual property protections? In fact, many people misunderstand the scope of the intellectual property rights they possess and it has ended up costing them significantly. A recent Ninth Circuit case illustrates this precise dilemma, and what’s at stake by not clearly understanding and differentiating between different aspects of intellectual property protection.

March 6, 2017


Likelihood of Confusion Determination in Federal Court Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Is Subject to Issue Preclusion Based on a Prior TTAB Adjudication By Jonathan N. King

In B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. 135 S.Ct. 1293 (2015), the United States Supreme Court held that so long as the other ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met, when the usages adjudicated by the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (“TTAB”) are materially the same as those before a District Court, issue preclusion should apply.

September 29, 2015


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