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In a nearly 50-page precedential opinion, a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) panel of judges recently underscored the need to prove actual use in commerce in order to register a trademark, regardless of how low the standard for use under the Lanham Act has recently become. In ruling also of great significance to the entertainment industry, the TTAB panel ordered cancellation of a registration for TAO VODKA for alcoholic beverages, excluding beer, because the registrant had not used the trademark in commerce as of the filing of its declaration of use, and the trademark was likely to cause confusion with the registered mark TAO for restaurants and nightclubs, which the TTAB held is famous. Tao Licensing LLC v. Bender Consulting d/b/a Asia Pacific Beverages, 92057132 (TTAB 2017).
By Stan Soocher
On March 7, 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court decided for the first time that a parody may be a copyright fair use. In the 25 years that followed, the High Court’s unanimous 9-0 ruling in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Inc., has been cited in more than 500 court decisions. But the Supreme Court’s pronouncement left questions and controversies in its wake.
By Ross Todd
The Ninth Circuit decided that a group of African-American-owned television networks can pursue racial discrimination claims against Charter Communications Inc., the nation’s third-largest cable provider.
By Robert J. Bernstein and Robert W. Clarida
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued a long-awaited ruling in Capitol Records LLC v. ReDigi Inc., affirming summary judgment in favor of Capitol Records and its record label co-plaintiffs in a case that raised issues of first impression concerning first sale and fair use in the age of digital music distribution.
By Lizzy McLellan
A Philadelphia lawyer is suing the founder of a fast-growing litigation boutique over a purported fee-sharing settlement, is arguing that the boutique backed out of the settlement so it could fund other cases against video game makers.