PODCAST: 2016 Update on the Right of Publicity

This afternoon I presented to the Michigan IP Law Association on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Recent Developments in Right of Publicity Law.” Just over 30 minutes long, this speech gives a concise summary of what the Right of Publicity is, and how case law interpreting it has developed over the past few[…]

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Rosa Parks’ Legal Force Awakens, But Her Likeness Will Stay at Target

Apologies for the horrible Star Wars puns, but such are the times. A more salient headline probably would have been, “Freedom of Speech Outweighs Rosa Parks’ Publicity Rights.” This case has been broadly covered by the legal blogosphere, but it’s too central to my practice area not to discuss here. I have long been developing[…]

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Trademark Owners – Don’t Get Scammed By These Deceptive Invoices

Without fail, every time I apply to register a trademark, either I or my client will receive in the mail an “invoice” from some company I’ve never heard of. It will be styled in neutral, official-sounding language such as “filing fee” or “application fee,” and on first glance there will be no indication that I have[…]

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God, Green Day, and Copyright – How Punk Rockers Affirmed Fair Use Rights in Worship Services

I love God, and I love copyright law. As a result, one of my longtime academic interests has been the role of copyright law in the creative communications that take place every week in worship services across the country. Specifically, I’ve written (here and here) on whether, and to what extent, the fair use doctrine permits pastors[…]

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Tweet This to Win … a #Nastygram From the NAD

As I’ve blogged about previously, the Federal Trade Commission takes a dim view of contests that encourage consumers to post a message in social media as a means of entering a contest. Its reasoning is that consumers aren’t necessarily endorsing a product or service because the genuinely like it, but rather just as a means to[…]

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Preventing Cyberbullying: A Practical Guide (Guest Post)

This week’s post is by parent and freelance writer Hilary Smith. If you don’t have kids, you might not have thought about cyberbullying lately – but more than twenty million teenagers (yes, that’s the right number) have been bullied online, and many of those incidents have more than one perpetrator. At the core, though, cyberbullying is[…]

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International Summit on Augmented Reality in the Automotive Industry, Part 2: AR in Industrial Processes

This is the second of two posts on the Euroforum’s International Summit on Augmented Reality in the Automotive Industry that I attended in Cologne, Germany. Last week I wrote about the use of AR by drivers in cars. The great majority of speakers at this conference, however, were focused on much more immediate and practical–even if, perhaps,[…]

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International Summit on Augmented Reality in the Automotive Industry, Part 1: AR in Cars and the Augmented Driving Initiative

This week I had the privilege of speaking on the world stage for the trade group AugmentedReality.Org and its “Augmented Driving Initiative” (more on that below) on a key issue for the AR industry.  This was at Euroforum’s International Summit on Augmented Reality in the Automotive Industry, held in Cologne, Germany. This is the very first–but certainly not the last–event of its[…]

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Are Essential Oil Pins Deceptive Advertising?

Of all the social media legal issues I’ve covered, this one hits the closest to home. I first learned about it from my wife, who sells doTERRA brand essential oils and who enjoys pinning information about them to her Pinterest boards. So imagine her unpleasant surprise when she logged in one recent day to discover that[…]

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Recently Published Applications for Virtual Reality Trademarks

Every week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office publishes a Gazette full of trademark applications that it has “allowed.” This means that the marks will be registered as requested unless someone steps in to oppose the registration within the 30-day period following the publication. Keeping an eye on this Gazette (or having your attorney do so)[…]

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