The IP Breakdown

A Legal Blog by Aaron | Sanders, PLLC

Latest from The IP Breakdown

On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law. This massive 5660 page bill consolidated Covid-19 economic assistance to America with an omnibus 2021 bill that covers everything from pipelines to Asian carp. It also resolves a decades-long discussion in U.S. copyright circles by enacting a small claims adjudication body, makes it a felony to run an internet business the purpose of which is to stream infringing content, and makes the…
Panning for Bad Code Software cases are few and far between here in the Sixth U.S. Circuit, which includes Tennessee along with Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan. Other U.S. Circuits have hubs for software development—e.g, California and Washington in the Ninth, Texas in the Fifth, Utah and the Tenth, Massachusetts in the First. But the Sixth Circuit is the Motown-to-Music-City circuit. Music cases we have in abundance. Software cases, not so much. But I’m a software…
The U.S. Supreme Court will hold oral argument in Oracle v. Google on October 7. It’s supposed to be one of the most important copyright cases in decades. Not only will the Supreme Court visit computer programs for the first time since 1996’s Lotus v. Borland, which decided nothing because it was a 4-4 tie. I’ve blogged repeatedly about this case. The most important posts are this one, where I ate humble
What a Fight Between Two Lines of Stuffed Animals Teaches Us About Trade Dress and Functionality I’ve warned you about trying to protect “designs” in the U.S. before. Outside of design patents (which are rare and not always an option), U.S. law doesn’t really recognize “designs.” It recognizes sculptures (under copyright law) and trade dress (under trademark law). Both have their limitations. Let’s say you want to protect this “design”: A single Squishmallow, downloaded…
Photograph by Reuben G. Brewer, under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Hail to the Washington Football Team! By now you’ve probably heard that the American football team that plays in the Washington D.C. area has decided to change its team name from a racist slur to, well, something else. Nobody’s not sure yet. The Washington football team hasn’t decided. There are fairly well-substantiated rumors that this delay is the result of a “trademark dispute.”…
ID 10364985 © Kirsty Pargeter | Dreamstime.com   Last time, we gave witness to the demise of the EU-US Privacy Shield program. I promised you I would explain who might be able to take advantage of one of the last grounds remaining to import personal data to the US from the EU.  That remaining ground is that “the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract between the data subject and the controller or…
Tara Aaron-Stelluto publishes “Four Privacy Law Considerations for Trademark Counsel” with the American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Litigation Committee. The article explores the reputational suffered by companies after data breaches, the challenges posed by emerging data protection laws to trademark investigations, and how trademark counsel can and should be involved in data security discussions at the executive level. Privacy and data protection laws are sweeping the nation and the world and compliance with the varied…
If your company is one of the 5378 who have certified under U.S. #Privacy Shield, your world got rocked last night. /1 — Your CCPA “Do Not Sell” Link is Not Conspicuous (@tara_aaron) July 16, 2020 If you are a company in the U.S. that collects personal information on people in the European Union, your world got rocked last Thursday morning. (Do you see how early I had to get out of bed that day?)…
What Happens if Reasonable Minds Could Disagree Whether Information in a Copyright Registration Is “Inaccurate”? Last time, I wrote about an outrageous legal result, Unicolors v. H & M. Because the copyright holder made a ministerial (i.e., minor) mistake on its copyright registration application form, it had a very large judgment for copyright infringement thrown out. It had won at trial, been awarded money damages by a jury, then been awarded its attorneys’…