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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 #221

Bri Van Til | January 06, 2021
2 min read

Out with the Old, In with the New

– If year-end retrospectives are your thing, here are The Fashion Law‘s favorite reads from 2020, the EFF’s list of “bad takedowns” from 2020, and IP Watchdog‘s list of top USPTO developments from 2020.

The new year brings new works entering the public domain. This year’s inclusions have some calling for a Muppet Great Gatsby.

What trademark trends can we look forward to this year?

– Make 2021 your most successful business development year ever. Read this checklist and then join us for our first webinar of the year, where Phil Cox will guide you through creating a business development plan to help you stop marketing up the wrong tree.

From Alt Legal to You

– We’ve outlined a step-by-step strategy for how to use Alt Legal’s §2(d) Watch to stop infringement. If you have questions about adding this service to your account, reach out to

– The USPTO has recently seen a surge in Failure to Function office actions. Check out this great guest article from Abelman Frayne attorney and former USPTO trademark examiner John Miranda explaining the trend.

– The mere mention of coordinated classes at Alt Legal Connect made the chat explode. Read all about coordinated classes here and read about Courtney Alvarez’s talk that sparked the discussion here.

– Distinctiveness needn’t be inherent; read all about establishing acquired distinctiveness to help get your clients’ marks onto the Principal Register.

– Office actions alleging an applied-for mark is “merely descriptive” can be daunting. Join us later this month for our webinar with David Postolski, who will give you strategies for overcoming descriptive and generic refusals.

Some Fruit Company

A recent Apple patent may hold the key to new, more flexible communications.

– Apple sued tech company Corellium for copyright infringement for its “virtual iPhone” software, which is used to detect system vulnerabilities, but the judge in the case ruled it fair use. The DMCA claims remain to be addressed.

What do Apple’s patents suggest about what an Apple car could look like?

Professional Concerns

– Whether you’re a fifth generation attorney or a first generation one, consider applying to be the IP director at

– If your career is lacking direction, check out this counsel position at Compass.

Git yourself a job as director of legal at this tech company.

– I heard Abbott this opening for IP counsel and thought I’d share it with you.

– I wonder if commercial attorneys at this tech company wear many hats or just Red Hats.

– In case you didn’t Spot(ify) this listing for senior legal counsel, I thought I’d bring it to your attention.

– 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

– As a concession prize for his lengthy Chinese trademark dispute against The Qiaodan Sports Company, Michael Jordan has been awarded $46,000 (a little over 10% of the money he made in a single game playing for the Bulls).

Rihanna has joined the slew of music stars being sued for copyright infringement.

– LeBron James is being sued for copyright infringement for posting on social media a photo of himself; he’s countersuing the photographer.

– Here’s an overview of the trademark changes that were part of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020.

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