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May 2023

“Metabirkins” NFT Trial Tests Multiple Legal Theories

Toby Butterfield and Stephanie Smith

Hermes International sought legal remedies against Los Angeles artist Mason Rothschild for his creation and sale of NFTs, without obtaining Hermes’ authorization, depicting digital images of revised versions of Hermes’ iconic “Birkin” handbag.

Nov 2022

Wyoming Federal Court Applies Rogers Test and “Genuine Artistic Motive” Test

Alan Friedman and Joshua Bornstein

The case highlights the fact that a national standard as to when First Amendment interests take precedence over trademark infringement and unfair competition claims does not yet exist.

Aug 2022

Court Dismisses Trademark & Related Claims Over Product Reference in Fictional TV Show

Kelli L. Sager, Dan Laidman, and Sarah Burns

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.”

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.