Posts Tagged: "unfair competition"

Waymo v. Uber: a Gordian Knot Gets Tighter

In the annals of U.S. innovators, there are many infamous disputes between technology companies from Shockley and Fairchild in semiconductors to Microsoft and Apple in operating systems to today’s high-profile lawsuit of Waymo vs. Uber in driverless car technology. What initially started as a trade secrets litigation has mushroomed into a high stakes game involving patent infringement, unfair competition, private arbitration, unlawful termination and the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. It’s a virtual Gordian Knot of legal entanglements.

A Weak Patent System Increases Inequality, Protects Incumbent Monopolies

The consequences of a weakened patent system are increased inequality, a higher competitive bar for market entrants, protection of incumbent monopoly profits, decreased competition, disincentive to invest in innovation by both small entities that have higher costs and large companies that can free ride, declining productivity growth, slower employment and wage growth and economic malaise… With less incentive to invent or invest in innovation, it should be no surprise that in a weak patent regime, productivity growth has declined precipitously and economic growth is substantially reduced.

Estate of Marilyn Monroe sues intimate apparel company for trademark infringement

On August 8, 2016, plaintiff became aware of defendant’s unauthorized use of the Marilyn Monroe marks and likeness and sent a cease and desist letter. Defendant continued with their allegedly unauthorized activities, leading to the filing of the complaint that starts this legal dispute. It is worth noting, however, that the defendant did not use the name Marilyn Monroe in any of its marketing, packaging, or other branding. Any association to Marilyn Monroe is based solely on defendant’s use of her visual likeness.

Trader Joe’s and Extraterritorial Application of the Lanham Act

Trader Joe’s sued Hallatt (d/b/a Pirate Joe’s) for trademark infringement in the Western District of Washington, invoking the court’s federal question and supplemental jurisdiction. Trader Joe’s alleged that: (1) Hallatt misled consumers into falsely believing Pirate Joe’s was authorized or approved by Trader Joe’s; (2) utilized a confusingly similar “South Pacific” trade dress for his Pirate Joe’s store; (3) displayed Trader Joe’s trademarks in connection with the sale of products at Pirate Joe’s; and (4) resold Trader Joe’s products without authorization and without adherence to Trader Joe’s’ strict quality control practices. Trader Joe’s claimed Hallatt’s behavior diluted its trademarks, confused consumers, and damaged Trader Joe’s reputation by associating it with high price, lower quality products. Trader Joe’s sought damages and to permanently enjoin Hallatt from reselling its goods or using its trademarks in Canada.

A Trademark Lawsuit ‘Lager’ Than Life 

The Lumbee Tribe’s lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices for Anheuser-Busch’s use of the tribe’s HERITAGE, PRIDE & STRENGTH slogan and related logo design. According to the Complaint, Budweiser allegedly began using the tribe’s logo as early as 2004 and the HERITAGE, PRIDE & STRENGTH mark in 2015.

Trade Secrets and Employee Mobility in the U.S. and Asia

Employers often spend considerable resources recruiting, hiring and training key talent, only to face potential disaster when those trusted employees quit to join a competitor, often taking sensitive files on their way out the door. Even if they don’t act in bad faith, departing employees carry critical, confidential information inside their heads, which can’t be deleted. Fortunately, various remedies may be available for the former employer, from confidentiality and non-competition agreements, to lawsuits for actual or threatened misappropriation of trade secrets and the doctrine of inevitable disclosure. But there’s a conflict. Employers have a legitimate interest in preventing misappropriation of trade secrets, while employees have a legitimate interest in utilizing knowledge and skills gained through work experience and working for employers of their choosing.

Leason Ellis Sues Another Trademark Scammer in Federal Court

The firm is back at it again in 2013 taking on another alleged trademark scam operation after successfully prevailing in a similar claim just over 1 year ago against USA Trademark Enterprises. See Trademark Scammers Out of Business Thanks to Leason Ellis. In that case, 7:12-cv-0620 (SDNY), alleged that the defendants had engaged in false advertising and unfair competition by marketing a so-called “catalog” of trademark registrations. The case settled for $10,000, which the firm donated to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Thus, the defendants would do well to stand up and take notice. It seems that Leason Ellis is living by the the words that mark the youth of my generation — “We’re not gonna take it, no, we ain’t gonna take it, we’re not going to take it any more!”

Fake News Sites Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising

The Clickbooth affiliate network has agreed to pay $2 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its affiliate marketers deceived consumers through bogus weight-loss claims on fake news sites about acai berry supplements and so-called “colon cleansers.” The FTC will seek to use the $2 million judgment announced today to provide refunds to consumers who were allegedly deceived by the defendants’…

Trademark Scammers Out of Business Thanks to Leason Ellis

Yesterday Leason Ellis announced that the case has been resolved with the signing of a consent decree and Settlement Agreement. Without a doubt this can be characterized as nothing short of a complete and total victory. The judgment was entered by the Hon. Edgardo Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

FTC and DOJ Issue Revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice on Friday, August 19, 2010, issued revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines that outline how the federal antitrust agencies evaluate the likely competitive impact of mergers and whether those mergers comply with U.S. antitrust law. These changes to the Guidelines mark the first major revision of the merger guidelines in 18 years, and is…

Settlement Announcement: Lawsuit Against IPWatchdog Over

On May 17, 2010, Invention Submission Corporation (ISC) d.b.a. InventHelp® and IPWatchdog, Inc. settled the litigation initiated by ISC against IPWatchdog, Gene Quinn and Renee Quinn (collectively IPWatchdog). Effectuation of the settlement has taken longer than initially contemplated, and this article (published after review, contribution and acquiescence by InventHelp® and their attorneys), has gone through multiple revisions and is the final piece of the settlement. The case is now over and all terms of the Settlement Agreement have been satisfactorily met by both parties. The parties are pleased that the lawsuit was resolved to their mutual satisfaction. Aside from the details contained in this article the terms of the settlement will remain confidential, although the lawsuit itself may be discussed.

Dow Jones Sues Briefing.com Alleging Copyright Infringement

The complaint alleges that in some cases the republication and distribution occurs within a minute or two after the article is published by Dow Jones. In just one two-week period, Briefing.com copied a substantial portion of at least 100 articles and republished more than 70 headlines within three minutes of the initial publication on Dow Jones Newswires. Dow Jones alleges that this conduct violates Dow Jones’ copyrights, amounts to “hot news” misappropriation, violates the DMCA and is otherwise unfair competition.

The Right of Publicity: A Doctrine Gone Wild?

The recent dispute involving Lindsay Lohan and ETrade provides an opportunity for critically examining the right of publicity. One defense that ETrade could raise would be parody since it is common practice – and a strongly protected free speech right – to make fun of people. Nevertheless, courts have distinguished between simply making fun of someone and making fun of someone in order to sell a product.

FTC Bars Deceptive and Misleading Biodegradable Claims

This week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had preliminarily reached a settlement with Dyna-E International and its owner George Wheeler, which would bar the retailer of rayon towels from making false and misleading claims that dupe consumers into believing its paper towels are biodegradable. under a proposed settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. This preliminary settlement is now…