Steve Brachmann is a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, having earned his Juris Doctor in May 2022 and served as the President of the Intellectual Property Law Society during the 2021-22 school year. He currently works as a freelancer on research projects, blogging and media consulting and is accepting offers to work. Steve has written on intellectual property topics since January 2013. Other than IPWatchdog, Steve’s work has also been published by the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, and he has worked as a ghostwriter on IP topics for several entities. Currently living in Buffalo, NY, Steve also works as a stage actor and pet sitter.
This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Eleventh Circuit overturns a summary judgment ruling against Wreal while clarifying the application of the likelihood of confusion factors in reverse infringement cases; the Supreme Court denies the petition for writ of certiorari in American Axle v. Neapco; the European Union creates its first regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and digital assets; Senators Thom Tillis and Steve Daines ask Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the potential that spam filters are censoring political emails; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will begin mandating identity verification for parties filing certain kinds of electronic trademark forms with the agency with the goal of stopping Trademark Terminal and other well-known trademark scams; INTA asks the Second Circuit to clarify the definition of “expressive works” for applications of the Rogers test; the Third Circuit overturns a preliminary injunction after finding no valid copyright ownership over a fireworks communications protocol; and the FCC approves SpaceX’s application to offer commercial Internet services to boats, airplanes and automobiles through its Starlink satellite Internet system.
On June 24, the International Trademark Association (INTA) filed an amicus brief in Vans, Inc. v. MSCHF Product Studio, Inc., a case currently on appeal from the Eastern District of New York to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In the brief, INTA urges the Second Circuit to clarify the kinds of “expressive works” to which the Rogers test may be applied, and in such a way that the use of Vans trade dress on sneakers sold by MSCHF Product Studio would be actionable for infringement and not protected by the First Amendment simply because MSCHF claims the sneakers are works of art.
On June 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision in Static Media LLC v. Leader Accessories LLC reversing a contempt finding entered in the Western District of Wisconsin over alleged violations of a protective order from a design patent infringement case between Static and Leader. Circuit Judge Jimmie Reyna authored a brief dissent from the majority opinion, arguing that Leader’s disclosure of certain confidential information with another company sued by Static for the development of a joint defense strategy was a violation of the district court’s protective order.
Earlier this month, e-commerce giant Amazon.com issued its latest Brand Protection Report detailing steps taken by the tech titan to reduce the tide of counterfeit products being sold to consumers around the globe. While the report identifies several concrete steps taken by Amazon to prevent knock-offs from being listed for sale, there are plenty of questions that yet remain as to whether Amazon is genuinely committed to eliminating sales of fake branded products that the company has been known to ignore.