Weekly IP Buzz for week ending March 9, 2018
Texas Supreme Court and Patent Agent Communications; 'Superhero' Trademarks; It's A Dog Fight!
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending March 9, 2018.
Texas Supreme Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Patent Agent Communications
Earlier this year, Texas made the news by becoming the first state court to find that communication between a patent agent and a client may qualify for attorney-client privilege protection. The Texas Supreme Court made this decision earlier this year on February 23rd after appeals had passed through the lower Texas courts rejecting that premise. The case before the Texas high court began after an inventor, Andrew Silver, successfully filed for a patent that covered a tablet device (“Ziosk”) that could be used for ordering food and service in restaurants. Silver later sold the patent rights to a company called Tabletop Media LLC (“Tabletop”). The legal dispute and case arose from a later contract dispute regarding the amount of licensing fees that were to be paid for the agreement. More
Super Fight over ‘Superhero’ Trademark
In this day and age, geek is chic. Superheroes and comic book characters dominate movies, video games, and even television shows now. Brands like DC Comics and Marvel have experienced a resurgence in popularity, and with it, new intellectual property disputes have taken front stage. While the more common narrative in intellectual property law concerns licensing rights of superhero names and personas to movie studios, newer issues regarding branding and trademark rights have recently come to light. For instance, DC Comics made the news several times this year due to cease-and-desist letters they have sent out.
It’s a Dog Fight!
Athletic apparel giant, Under Armour (UA), which was ranked No. 4 on Forbes Most Valuable Sports Brands in 2015, has been a trademark pit bull in recent years by attacking a series of companies for using “Armor” in their names for athletic clothing for trademark infringement. Well, the big dog is at it again. But this time, the David-versus-Goliath battle involves a different type of athletic wear…athletic wear for canines? More
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