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Alt Legal Blog

Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

Alt Legal IP News – Issue # 177

Bri Van Til | February 25, 2020
2 min read

Google It

– Did Google “save” YouTube by purchasing it at a time when copyright suits were threatening to sink the company?

– After years of saying it wouldn’t pay to display news content on its search results page, Google parent company Alphabet, Inc. is in discussions with publishers to pay licensing fees.

– Ahead of next month’s highly anticipated Google v Oracle America Supreme Court case, Oracle filed a brief in which it argued that Google “committed an egregious act of plagiarism and now needs to rewrite copyright law to justify it.”

– Will the Google v. Oracle America case hinge on who’s on which side, including the DoJ, who has come out in support of OracleShould APIs be copyrightable?

– When used as a verb, “Google” is just one example of use of a trademarked term that can lead to genericide. For more ways to combat genericide, come to Josh Jarvis and Tish Berard’s Alt Legal Connect talk about the hilarious “Don’t Say Velcro” video and how to prevent genericide.

A Splash of Color

– Despite colors not being eligible for trademark protection in China, the China’s Supreme People’s Court ruled in favor of Christian Louboutin’s red sole trademark for shoes.

– Fashion company Off-White argues that its use of quotation marks should make its otherwise seemingly generic terms trademarkable.

– Cosmetic company Glossier is trying to trademark its unlabeled pink bubble-wrapped packaging.

– Kendrick Lamar is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for his song on the Black Panther soundtrack.

Around the World

– India and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding about IP rights.

– The location of a company’s servers can establish jurisdiction for patent infringement cases.

– The Canadian Broadcasting Company has filed a trademark application for the word “Oh.”

Professional Concerns

– Note that the USPTO has changed it requirements for specimens. Also, In response to backlash from trademark owners and attorneys, the USPTO has tweaked its email requirement policy to allow attorneys to create and monitor email addresses for their clients.

– Alchemy Legal is looking for an IP docketing specialist.

– Davis Wright Tremaine is seeking a patent attorney.

– The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute wants a transactional IP attorney.

– Have an open role on your team? Send a link to your job listing to, and we’ll publish it in our next newsletter.

Odds and Ends

– Joshua Lifrak, director of the Chicago Cubs’ Mental Skills Program, is being sued for copyright infringement not for tweeting but for retweeting an allegedly infringing post.

– In another precedential decision, TTAB has ruled that a Canadian party must still have U.S. representation.

– Former royals Harry and Meghan have withdrawn their trademark applications for SUSSEX ROYAL.

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