Law Offices of Lois Fishman

Law Offices of Lois Fishman Blogs

Blog Authors

Latest from Law Offices of Lois Fishman

In a season where expressing gratitude is taking flight, I’m going on record with my appreciation of Judge Margaret McKeown. With clarity and panache, and a bit of her own rhymes, she laid to rest a strained decision regarding fair use and set out clearly the prevailing analysis for the Ninth Circuit of the four-factor fair use test. Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. ComicMix LLC.  [1] Along the way, she debunked the tendency to view…
Just in time for holiday meal prep, we have a legal quandary worthy of debate.  Your side dish recipe calls for brown basmati rice bejeweled with cranberries and pomegranates. Sounds alluring. But what exactly is Basmati rice? The answer, like so many things in law and life, is “it depends.”  Cooking websites tell us that basmati rice is a form of long grained, aromatic, sometimes nutty-tasting rice with pointy ends that is grown in the…
Hardly a week goes by now without news of another company announcing it will dissociate from a long-held brand that depicts or references racial caricatures or stereotypes. Even sophomoric attempts at humor like TRADER GIOTTO have tumbled in the face of public scrutiny.  Arrivederci! It’s as if in board rooms across America, executives have raised their gaze from balance sheets to look closely at the names and images on their ads and  wares. They have…
  The Wall Street Journal heralded the Supreme Court’s decision in the Booking.com case with the headline “Supreme Court Eases Trademark Rules for Websites.” (United States Patent and Trademark Office et. al. v. Booking.com B.V., decision by J. Ginsburg.) The Court “gave online companies broad latitude to trademark their website names,” it proclaimed as an opener  to its article on July 1, 2020.  Not so fast. The decision only establishes that there is no per…
It’s that time of year again, when people are traveling hither and yon.  If you haven’t made your reservations by now, or the French strikes have you worried, it’s likely you will find yourself at midnight scrolling through online travel sites to snag a last-minute, 20% off deal. Booking.com may be just the ticket. A Date in Washington, D.C. will soon be Booked Even the Supreme Court has turned its attention in that direction.  In…
I’m from Billy Joel country, so you will forgive me if, despite living in Los Angeles, I am often in a “New York State of Mind.” But when I travel, I can’t help but notice that I get into an “IP State of Mind.” An example: I was in Buenos Aires a few years ago and in a small street wedged between rows of legal bookstores, I noticed the sign for a hardware store with…
On the road I had the pleasure of attending the California Lawyers Association-International Law Section joint meeting in Prague with the Czech Bar Association from October 17-18, 2019. The concept of the Rule of Law takes on a new and visceral meaning when you are seated in the courtroom of the High Court in Prague, one of two such courts in today’s Czech Republic. The chamber has been in use since 1918 and has witnessed…
The Brunetti Case The United States Supreme Court decision in Iancu v. Brunetti issued June 24, 2019 held that the Lanham Act provision barring federal registration of immoral and scandalous marks violated the First Amendment. The majority opinion, by an odd fellows grouping of justices (Kagan, Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) explained that this part of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act was as repugnant to First Amendment values as was the disparagement clause…
A novel attempt to seize a registered mark is captivating headlines in Los Angeles. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has prosecuted a motorcycle club known as Mongols Nation on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. The club is alleged to be operating as a gang and the Government has argued that the gang bears responsibility for several violent crimes and drug dealing committed by some of its members. The recent case is a culmination…
A press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in early October heralded the key achievements of the recently concluded U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, intended to replace the vilified NAFTA agreement that dated from the early 1990s. Let’s take a look at what the release said about Geographical Indications: “The Parties agreed to provide important procedural safeguards for recognition of new geographical indications (GIs), including strong standards for protection against issuances of GIs that…