Alt Legal IP News – Issue #4
Hannah Samendinger | September 13, 2016
In New York on September 22nd? We are hosting an attorney meetup and would love if you’d join us. Find more info here.
Live Long and Prosper
– Last week marked the 50th anniversary of Star Trek’s television debut. IP Watchdog asked IP professionals about how Star Trek impacted them.
– CBS Studios has a portfolio of over 50 Star Trek trademarks. Check out some highlights here.
– During the last 50 years, Star Trek has been the subject matter of at least 50 lawsuits.
– Why Star Trek’s Prime Directive wouldn’t be enforceable.
It’s Smokable but Is It Protectable?
– The USPTO is implementing new policies to reduce “deadwood,” and these policies may have implications for marijuana trademarks.
– TTAB solidified the USPTO’s stance towards marks being used in connection with the sale of cannabis. The Board refused the mark HERBAL ACCESS, solely on the basis that the mark was to be used in conjunction with an illegal activity, despite the fact that sales are lawful where the company operates.
– TTAB also recently refused several marks for being deceptively misdescriptive because the mark referred to a strain of marijuana even though the product didn’t contain any.
– One strategy utilized by filers is applying for registration for ancillary goods and services. It’s a strategy that can work.
– Despite these obstacles, trademark application numbers indicate that the cannabis industry is booming.
Thank You Trolls
– The License on Transfer Network boasts members such as Google and Uber. They are now waiving fees to encourage startups to join and be protected from patent trolls.
– An Austin-based IP firm helped fund an indie film about a startup battling patent trolls that is now on the festival circuit.
– Citigroup trademarked THANKYOU and then sued AT&T for thanking its customers.
Odds and Ends
– Hans Zimmer won a copyright lawsuit and also an apology.
– An EU court held that hyperlinks can infringe copyrights.
– A new Walmart patent lets you hail a self-driving shopping cart.
– We are hosting a webinar with John Lee, a Canadian IP attorney, on October 5th at 1pm EST. John will be discussing Canadian trademark law, strategies for US trademark filers, and how he uses technology in his practice. You can find more information, including the how to attend, here.