Trademark & Copyright Law

Legal and Business Concerns of the Newly Minted Social Media Star

#136888792 / gettyimages.com Over the past few years, a new type of celebrity has emerged: the social media star.  These are individuals that have achieved a level of fame through various digital media outlets (i.e. YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, etc.).  Social media stardom is a relatively new phenomenon that is quickly starting …

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Duke University and John Wayne Duke It Out over Trademark Rights

Earlier this month, Duke University and the estate of actor John Wayne (incorporated as John Wayne Enterprises, LLC (“JWE”)) became embroiled in a lawsuit concerning the use of the word “Duke,” John Wayne’s nickname, in connection with the marketing and sale of whiskey. According to the documents filed in the Middle District Federal Court of …

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Introduction to Trademark Law

While most people have a general idea of what trademark protection entails, there are several important aspects of trademark law that are often unknown or misunderstood.  In this post, we will highlight the benefits of trademark protection and some common missteps taken during the trademark application process. Common Trademark Application Missteps Applying for trademarks with …

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Promotional Marketing Concerns Associated with Online and Mobile Media

The use of promotions and contests in connection with online and mobile marketing can be a dynamic and cost-effective way to increase conversions, build a database of engaged consumers and increase brand awareness. However, businesses must be aware of the fact that governmental entities, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and …

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Steve Madden Settles TCPA Violations for $10 Million

As we have detailed in many posts and legal articles, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) provides for, among other things, statutory damages to individuals who receive unsolicited text messages to personal cell phones – unless the messages are sent for emergency purposes or the recipient has given his or her express consent to receive …

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FCC Issues New TCPA Ruling on Telemarketing Liability

TCPA Declaratory Ruling In a Declaratory Ruling issued on May 9, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) sought to clarify the extent to which the advertisers of commercial products and services (referred to as “sellers”) can be held liable for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by the third-party telemarketers that place telemarketing …

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How Can Online Dating Websites Protect Themselves From Their Members?

Online dating websites can have staggeringly large numbers of users posting content daily.  Without the proper safeguards in place, online dating websites could be held responsible for the actions of its users.  To protect themselves from facing regulatory actions and unwanted lawsuits, online dating websites should adopt and enforce detailed terms of use and associated policies …

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Sweepstakes and Promotions: Winning the Marketing Grand Prize

The use of promotional contests, games and sweepstakes can be a dynamic and cost-effective way to increase conversions, build a database of engaged and responsive consumers and otherwise increase brand awareness and buzz – all valuable commodities in the social media and performance marketing space. The logic is simple, if undeniable: consumers are more easily …

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