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May 2021

Talk to the Hand: Michigan Copyright and Trademark Lawsuit Over Similar Hand Gesture Images Clapped Back

Brian D. Wassom

This lawsuit vindicates the maxim that “no good deed goes unpunished,” but the outcome provides some encouragement for those using advertising images that are minor variations on common themes.

Mar 2021

Sixth Circuit Clarifies When Online Marketplaces Can and Can’t Be Liable for Direct Trademark Infringement

Sam Zeitlin

The court held that direct trademark liability is limited by the Lanham Act’s requirement that the defendant “use” the mark in a way the Act prohibits, and as a result “some trademark-infringing activity does not create liability.”

Feb 2021

The Colors on a Rubik’s Cube are Nonfunctional? Really?

Jeff Hermes

In this article, I will focus on one aspect of the report: the magistrate’s ruling that the coloration of the Rubik’s Cube is not functional, and therefore eligible for trade dress protection. Because, what?

Jan 2021

Courier Journal Beats Back Trademark Infringement Lawsuit from Makers of DERBY-PIE®

Michael Abate

The court held that the news articles challenged in the lawsuit do not constitute “trademark use” and therefore the Lanham Act does not even apply.

Dec 2016

Using Trademarks in Expressive Works

An in-depth discussion of the main legal defenses that may enable content creators to avoid the time and expense of establishing that consumer confusion is unlikely under the applicable multi-factor test.