EVISA Software Mark Likely to Dilute Famous VISA Brand

Use by a seller of language-instruction and other multilingual software of the mark EVISA and the domain name evisa.com was likely to cause dilution by blurring of credit card processor Visa International’s famous VISA mark, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has held. Visa International was not required to produce expert testimony or […]

Right to Use Internet Anonymously Not a License to Infringe

A subpoena served on an Internet service provider (a university) to learn the identity of an Internet user (a student), who allegedly downloaded and distributed music to the public via an online file-sharing network, was properly enforced by a magistrate judge, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City held. The user’s “modest” First […]

Injunction Barring Nominative Use of LEXUS Was Overbroad

An injunction barring automobile brokers from using any domain name that included the mark LEXUS was overbroad because it prohibited domain names that, on their face, dispelled any confusion as to sponsorship or endorsement, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has decided. The exclusive distributor of Lexus vehicles in the United States (Toyota […]

Sex Toy Store Likely to Tarnish VICTORIA'S SECRET Mark

The name of a retail store featuring adult novelties and gifts—”Victor’s Little Secret”—was likely to cause dilution in the form of “tarnishment” of the famous “Victoria’s Secret” mark owned by catalog sellers and the operators of a retail chain of lingerie stores, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. A decision of the […]

Gray Market Sales of Harvesters Could Infringe Deere's Marks

Importation from Europe of agricultural vehicles (self-propelled forage harvesters) for sale in the United States could have infringed the trademarks of manufacturer Deere & Co. if “all or substantially all” of Deere’s authorized domestic forage harvesters were materially different from the European-version harvesters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held. Deere […]

Rights Groups Support Effort to Quash Subpoenas to ID Internet Users

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the Pubic Citizen Litigation Group filed “friend-of-the-court” briefs on June 3 in support of a motion by Time Warner Cable to quash subpoenas seeking the names and contact information of thousands of Internet users alleged to have illegally downloaded copyrighted movies on file-sharing […]

Ninth Circuit to Hear Arguments Over First-Sale Right to Sell CDs

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on June 7, 2010, over whether an individual infringed a record company’s copyright by reselling the company’s promotional CDs on eBay (UMG v. Augusto, 2010 Copyright Law Decisions ¶29,920). The CDs, which had been handed out to music reviewers, had a label that read “for PROMOTIONAL […]

Use of VW Badges Not Protected by "First Sale" Defense

A manufacturer of automobile accessories that sold marquee license plates bearing Volkswagen badges purchased from Volkswagen was not protected from Volkswagen’s trademark infringement claims by the “first sale” doctrine, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has held. In a previous decision, it was determined that the manufacturer’s production and sale of products bearing […]

Terminated Franchisee Liable for Treble Damages for Mark Use

A district court acted within its discretion by awarding treble damages under the Lanham Act in the amount of $117,864 to a hotel franchisor for a franchisee’s willful and unauthorized use of the franchisor’s intellectual property following the termination of its franchise, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has determined. The treble damages award […]

Google Faces Another Class Action Suit for Book Digitization Project

A class of photography and graphic arts organizations, and individual illustrators and photographers, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Google, Inc. on April 7, 2010, alleging that Google’s Book Search project involves massive infringement of copyrighted images. (The American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. v. Google, Inc. No. 1:2010cv02977) The class of visual artists is […]