Cartier sues for copyright and design-patent infringement (and this shouldn't surprise anyone who's been reading this blog...)

Posted by Charles Colman

See, I keep telling you about the existence of copyright protection (or copyright pitfalls, depending on your perspective) in the fashion-design context, even under U.S. law.  In fact, the history and principles of American copyright-for-fashion are so messy idiosyncratic that my discussion of the subject will require a series of five articles, to be published in consecutive issues of the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, starting this summer.

Katy Perry's Left Shark trademark applications hit a snag; my commentary on the "Blurred Lines" verdict, in the World IP Review

Posted by Charles Colman

As World IP Review reports, some of Katy Perry's 'Left Shark' trademark applications have hit a snag at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  The TESS entry for one of the applications in question is posted below.  (Oh, and speaking of the World IP Review, you can read my musings on the (fairly) recent jury verdict in the "Blurred Lines" copyright infringement case here.)

After literally years of waiting, we've finally gotten a ruling from the Ninth Circuit in the (second) Omega v. Costco appeal...

Posted by Charles Colman

But even after all this time, the majority opinion doesn't contain a holding on copyright misuse!!!


The still-amorphous equitable defense is, however, addressed in the much more in-depth opinion concurring in the judgment (which, appropriately, calls out the other two judges on the panel for basing their ruling on a legal issue not even in dispute at this point in the litigation -- the so-called "first sale" doctrine -- rather than the "copyright misuse" question that was actually briefed and argued before the appellate court.)


Analysis and commentary forthcoming...  (Sorry, it's a busy week; classes just started up again at NYU Law, and courses in other divisions of the university begin this coming Monday.)  [UPDATE (2/6/15): You know, I think I'm just going to have to share my thoughts on the Omega decision at this February 19th panel/CLE co-hosted by NYU Law and The Copyright Society of the USA.  Register ASAP!]

Chanel, fashion house, forces Chanel Jones, hairstylist, to settle by signing away rights to basically all public uses of name

Posted by Charles Colman

"Consent judgments" (a/k/a "consent decrees") are very, very dangerous -- especially when wielded by a powerful corporation against a pro se defendant.  The defendant in this case probably could have used some help, not only in drafting her (sort of heartbreaking) "Answer" to plaintiff's Complaint, but in negotiating more reasonable terms for the settlement agreement embodied in the Consent Judgment embedded below -- which, in its current form, essentially prevents her from using her name in commerce in any way, ever, under penalty of contempt of court, among other possible penalties.

By the way, consent decrees are probably unconstitutional.  Just sayin'.