Posts Tagged ‘Trademark-Infringement’

Dirt Cheap Files Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit Against St. Louis Competitor Cheap Cheap

Monday, July 12th, 2010

trademark infringementThe Dirt Cheap vs. Cheap Cheap in trademark suit article post last Friday in the St. Louis Business Journal highlighted a lawsuit filed last week alleging trademark-infringement between two St. Louis businesses, Dirt Cheap and Cheap Cheap.

Suit was filed last week by Dirt Cheap, the 12-store chain of discount liquor and cigarette stores located in the St. Louis area against Cheap Cheap who operates stores in the same area and is alleged to display a logo with nearly an identical name, font, and color schemes as Dirt Cheap.

Continue reading Dirt Cheap Files Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit Against St. Louis Competitor Cheap Cheap »

Fourth Circuit Court Awards Attorney’s Fees and $20,000 in Statutory Damages in Cyber-squatting and Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Employers Council on Flexible Compensation v. Kenneth Feltman; Anthony W. Hawks; Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, LTD.

In Emplrs Council on Flexible Comp. v. Feltman, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12688 (4th Cir. Va. June 21, 2010), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently reaffirmed a district court ruling granting attorney’s fees and an award of statutory damages to plaintiff trademark owners of Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC).

Brief history of the parties involved;

Plaintiff ECFC is a nonprofit lobbying organization working on behalf of the maintenance and expansion of private employee benefit programs that was incorporated in 1981 in the District of Columbia and in 1999 registered the website “ecfc.org”.

Defendants in the case are Kenneth Feltman, Anthony Hawks, and Employers Council on Flexible Compensation LTD. Feltman worked as ECFC’s executive director until 1997. Although not formally an employee of ECFC after 1997, Feltman continued working on behalf of the ECFC through 2007 when the working relationship soured.

Feltman and Hawks discovered that the ECFC’s corporate charter had been revoked in September of 1998 because ECFC had failed to file certain reports the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Rather than notifying ECFC, in February 2008, Feltman and Hawks formed a for-profit corporation in the District of Columbia under the name Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, Ltd.

Feltman and Hawks also reserved with the DCRA the acronym “ecfc,” the trade name “Employers Council on Flexible Compensation,” and twenty-one variations of that name. Furthermore, in March 2008, Hawks applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the mark “Employers Council on Flexible Compensation,” as well as a  design mark identical to ECFC’s “ecfc” logo. Finally, Feltman and Hawks obtained the domain name ecfc.com, (remember that the ECFC had been using ecfc.org since 1999) and used that domain name to maintain a website that was nearly identical to that of ECFC.

Continue reading Fourth Circuit Court Awards Attorney’s Fees and $20,000 in Statutory Damages in Cyber-squatting and Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit »

YouTube and eBay Protected by the DMCAs Safe Harbor Provision Even Though they are Used Widely to Facilitate the Distribution Copyright-Infringing Property

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Major copyright owners in the entertainment industry and in popular fashion have been frustrated by recent court rulings reinforcing the protection offered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) Safe Harbor Provision. The Safe Harbor Provision draws its authority from the DMCA Title II, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act.

The Safe Harbor Provision protects online service providers (OSPs) from copyright and trademark infringement liability if the service providers follow certain steps;

1) An OSP must take measures to preventtrademark infringement counterfeiting, and

2) After being notified of infringing content by the copyright owner or his agent, the OSP must promptly take down the content in question, and

3) The OSP must take steps to prevent repeat infringers.

Recently we drew your attention to the lawsuit between the entertainment industry giant Viacom and Google where Viacom was alleging more than $1billion in damages. Judge Stanton set a very high bar for any plaintiff wishing to prove that a defendant had actual knowledge of any specific instance of infringing content. More on that suit can be found here;

Gucci America Defeats Motion to Dismiss in Alleged Contributory Infringement Claim for Trademark-Infringement Against Credit Card Service Provider Defendants

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

trademark infringementGucci America is the trademark owner behind the popular “Gucci” brand. In its quest to rid the streets of “Gucci” knockoff products the company has been very persistent even if seemingly ineffective. However, Gucci America may be gaining some traction with these most recent decisions concerning infringement of the “Gucci” trademark.

The stimulus for the most recent case is the 2008 case of Gucci America, Inc. v. Laurette Co., Inc., 08 Civ. 5065 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y. June 3, 2008)). In that case Gucci was able to get a permanent injunction against defendant Laurette for their use of the now parked Website at www.TheBagAddiction.com. That site was used by Laurette prior to the suit for sale of a variety of ‘replica’ goods for sale, including those using both Gucci designs and trademarks without authorization.

After winning the Laurette suit, Gucci went on in 2009 to bring suit against (primarily) the companies providing credit card services for Laurette’s then infringing use of www.TheBagAddiction.com. The instant case is the S.D.N.Y. case of Gucci America Inc., v. Frontline Processing Corp., Woodforest National Bank, Durango Merchant Services LLC, “ABC Companies”, and “John Does”, it can be found in its full 24 pages at http://tinyurl.com/ILG-Gucci.

Continue reading Gucci America Defeats Motion to Dismiss in Alleged Contributory Infringement Claim for Trademark-Infringement Against Credit Card Service Provider Defendants »

411Pain Trademark Owner Wins $5 million Judgment and Permanent Injunction Against Competitor in Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Broward Rehab Centers, Inc. (BRC) the owner of the federally registered 411PAIN trademark (U.S. Reg. No. 2,621,497), recently won a lawsuit against competitor 888-444-PAIN, Inc. The judgment awarded BRC $5,000,000 in damages and a permanent injunction against 888-444-PAIN, Inc. from using ‘411’, ‘PAIN’ or any confusingly similar variation thereof. trademark infringement lawsuit

The court found that BRC’s 411PAIN trademark is distinctive and has acquired consumer recognition and symbolizes the goodwill that 411PAIN has created amongst consumers looking for information about auto accidents, slip and fall accidents and other types of accidental injuries throughout the United States.

On their BusinessWire article Broward Rehab Center, Inc. (411PAIN) Obtains $5 Million Dollar Judgment and a Permanent Injunction against Competitor Using 444PAIN, BRC/411PAIN provides readers with a short history of the company;

Continue reading 411Pain Trademark Owner Wins $5 million Judgment and Permanent Injunction Against Competitor in Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit »

Viacom v. Google / YouTube Continued- the Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit Between Viacom and Google / YouTube Receives Summary Judgment

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

In an article posted Monday about Judge Stanton’s ruling in the form of summary judgment in favor of Defendants Google and YouTube, the contours of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) Safe Harbor provision were explored. The authors noted that to be able to appeal to the protection offered by the DMCA’s Safe Harbor provision;

“Any website that allows users to post comments or materials, including on blogs and bulletin boards, must do the following:
(1) identify an agent to receive complaints of infringement and register that agent with the Copyright Office;
(2) publish on the website the procedures that copyright owners must follow to arrange for the take down of infringing content;
(3) follow a takedown procedure that complies with the DMCA; and
(4) establish a policy and procedures for preventing repeat infringers from posting content on the website.”

The DMCA takedown procedure (3) is spelled out with reference to the appropriate authorities here.

Continue reading Viacom v. Google / YouTube Continued- the Trademark-Infringement Lawsuit Between Viacom and Google / YouTube Receives Summary Judgment »

U.S. District Court Rules that Google Inc.’s YouTube Video Sharing Website did not Run Afoul of Trademark-Infringement on Rights Owned by Movie and Television Producer Viacom Inc.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Google acquired YouTube back in 2006 for a whopping $1.65 billion. This investment has been tested in a lawsuit brought against Google and YouTube by the TV and movie copyright owner Viacom. However, Google was granted some breathing room last Wednesday when the U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton for the Southern District of New York said YouTube wasn’t liable for infringement under the alleged violations stemming from the Copyright Act of 1976.

trademark infringementBack in March both Google and Viacom had asked the court for summary judgment rulings in their favor. Viacom argued that YouTube was financially benefitted by allowing users to post and share programs including “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “South Park” on its website without authorization from Viacom (owner of these copyrighted materials).

In Viacom’s complaint, they clearly demonstrated to the court YouTube’s role in aiding and facilitating the direct infringement of Viacom’s copyrighted online content;

Continue reading U.S. District Court Rules that Google Inc.’s YouTube Video Sharing Website did not Run Afoul of Trademark-Infringement on Rights Owned by Movie and Television Producer Viacom Inc. »

Gaming Giant EA Entangled in Lawsuit Over the EDGE Trademark and its Mirror’s Edge Video Game

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

In November 2008 the video game giant EA released Mirror’s Edge, a colorful and visually stunning first-person action adventure where you take control of Faith, an information runner attempting to survive while uncovering the mystery behind a crime your sister has been framed for.
 trademark infringement law
The problem with EA’s release of Mirror’s Edge is that it was released shortly after EA was denied the trademark application to register “Mirror’s Edge”. After learning of EA’s plans to release Mirror’s Edge, EDGE Games sent a cease-and-desist letter to EA in July of 2007.

Instead of complying with the cease-and-desist order, EA went ahead and attempted to register the “Mirror’s Edge” trademark. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied EA’s trademark application in early of 2008 citing Edge Games’ “Edge” trademark.

EA, after receiving the USPTO’s denial of its application for the “Mirror’s Edge” trademark, went ahead and proceeded to release the game less than a year later.

Continue reading Gaming Giant EA Entangled in Lawsuit Over the EDGE Trademark and its Mirror’s Edge Video Game »

Whitehouse Battles Copyright and Trademark-Infringement in Software Piracy on a Global Scale

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Last year the Business Software Alliance (BSA) released its annual report on software piracy for 2009 which calculated that the commercial value of unlicensed software that founds its way into global markets last year totaled $51.4 billion. This figure represents a global rise in software piracy from 41% in 2008 to 43% in 2009.

copyright infringement and trademark infringementThe BSA traces the stimulus for this increase in software piracy to be largely due to the exponential growth in the PC and software markets in fast growing / high piracy markets such as Brazil, China and India.

The BSA’s study can be found here on their Website. To combat this growing threat to copyright and trademark owners in the software industry, the Whitehouse has committed itself to fighting these criminal violations of trademark and copyright-infringement. Right now the Obama administration is taking steps in an effort to protect intellectual property owners from copyright and trademark infringement. The Obama administration is working across agencies and nations to stem the flow of civil and criminal violations which in 2009 cost the worldwide technology industry $51 billion in software piracy alone.

Continue reading Whitehouse Battles Copyright and Trademark-Infringement in Software Piracy on a Global Scale »