Reinforcing the strong First Amendment protections for the use of real-life products and brands in expressive works, a Los Angeles federal court rejected a trademark and trade libel suit over an episode of “Evil.”
Talk to the Hand: Michigan Copyright and Trademark Lawsuit Over Similar Hand Gesture Images Clapped BackBrian 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.
Sixth Circuit Clarifies When Online Marketplaces Can and Can’t Be Liable for Direct Trademark InfringementSam 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.”
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?
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.