Weekly IP Buzz for week ending April 27, 2018
Jack Daniel's Battles Two Whiskey Distributors; Protecting Internet Privacy; Jay Z's Copyright Lawsuit
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending April 27, 2018.
Jack Daniel’s Sues Two Texas-Based Whiskey Distributors
The Brown-Forman Corporation, which owns the Jack Daniel Distillery (“Jack Daniel’s”), has filed suit against two Texas-based whiskey distributors for various intellectual property infringement claims that include, but are not limited to, Jack Daniel’s trade dress infringement, false advertising, and trademark infringement. Specifically, Jack Daniel’s has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California allegeing that two Texas-based companies that produce bourbon whiskies are deliberately infringing upon Jack Daniel’s trade dress. In the complaint, Jack Daniel’s complains that Dynasty Spirits and Buffalo Bayou Distillers d/b/a Gulf Coast Distilleries, are producing whiskey lines that attempt to palm off of the established goodwill and reputation of the more well-known whiskey distributor, Jack Daniel’s. Read more about the Jack Daniel's dispute.
States Lead the Charge in Protecting Internet Privacy
In light of recent changes to the federal Internet privacy law, state lawmakers have begun to draft and propose legislation aimed at creating broad protection and guidelines when it comes to protecting the personal data of consumers online. Earlier this month, Congress approved the rollback of certain protections in the “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” bill that would have protected consumers’ personal data (e.g., browsing history, app usage, etc.) online by making it more difficult for companies to collect, share, or sell such consumer data. Read more about the internet privacy controversy.
Jay Z Wins Copyright Lawsuit Over Song Royalties Payments
Sound engineer Chauncey Mahan has now all but exhausted his remedies in a copyright claim against rapper Jay Z after the Second Circuit affirmed a district court ruling against him and remanded the case for further damages calculations. In July, a Manhattan judge awarded Jay Z $253,000 in attorney’s fees after saying that Mahan’s claim was “objectively unreasonable.” Mahan sued Jay Z, Roc-A-Fella Records, and Roc Nation in 2014, alleging that he had a copyright interest in more than 40 songs that he worked on with the rap superstar. Most prominently, the sound engineer had worked on Vol 3… The Life and Times of S. Carter and afterward owned several masters, outtakes and unpublished materials. Read more about the copyright law.
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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.
Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.