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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 # 187

Bri Van Til | May 05, 2020
2 min read

That’s My Jam!

– Freeplay Music, which offers its songs for free for non-commercial use, is suing Ford for using the jams in their ads.

– A Canadian tech firm is accusing music-streaming company Spotify of stealing trade secrets and using them to develop its Ad Studio.

– JaM Cellars suing the maker of Franzia (yeah, the boxed wine) for trademark infringement.

– Jay Z has filed a copyright claim and requested the removal of AI-generated audio of his voice reciting the “To Be or Not To Be” monologue from Hamlet and singing Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

The State’s Rights

– The United States Court of Federal Claims affirms that the 5th Amendment does not protect patent owners from infringement by the government.

– The Supreme Court upheld the 11th Circuit’s decision finding that a state cannot copyright the annotations to its state code.

– Senators have asked the Copyright Office and the USPTO to conduct a study into states’ infringement of intellectual property rights.

Scam Likely

– Many COVID-19 treatment and medical facilities are reporting ransomware attacks.

– Criminals are getting better at remote work: the FBI reports that cybercrimes have quadrupled since the pandemic began.

– After 3M’s suit, will other brands now start to use the Lanham Act to defend against practices like price gouging and other practices that may harm their brands’ reputations?

– Fross Zelnick attorney Richard Lehv offers a comprehensive analysis of using trademark protection to protect against scams, fraudulent listings, and price gouging.

Professional Concerns

– A mysterious unnamed insurance company is looking for an IP attorney.

– Merck needs a patent attorney to keep them from treading into Mercky legal territory.

– Apple is looking for legal counsel for its supply chain, Facebook wants lead counsel for its brands and marketing team, and Instacart is looking for product counsel that delivers.

– In case you missed the webinar last week, here’s a recording of Mark Leonard’s presentation about IP protection for the food industry.

– 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

– The chaos of The Tiger King’s trademark drama has inspired a lot of curiosity. And, apparently, a lot of copycats.

– Read our latest Beyond the Docket interview with Aiden Durham, creator of the popular YouTube series All Up In Yo’ Business, about how she came up with the idea for the series and how she’s created a successful business and IP practice.

– The USPTO is extending deadlines again, but, as always, read the parameters carefully.

– Letters of Protest can be an invaluable and cost-effective tool for trademark enforcement. Read all about them!

– Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in v. USPTO, which hinges on whether a generic term plus a top-level domain creates a trademarkable term. And perfectly, you can actually hear arguments live for the first time in US history.

– On Thursday at 4, come to our webinar with Maddy Martin and Sonia Lakhany to learn how to leverage technology to help you with this new work-from-home age. Immediately afterwards, come to our virtual happy hour at 5 EST!

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