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In Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017), the Supreme Court held that a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), prohibiting the federal registration of potentially disparaging trademarks and service marks, violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The eight justices participating in the case agreed that the prohibition constituted a viewpoint-based government restriction, but they divided evenly on the constitutional significance of that consideration. Whatever the resolution of that division ultimately may be, though, the outcome of the litigation is unlikely to affect the validity of most — but not necessarily all — of the Lanham Act’s other prohibitions on registration.
By Michael W. Mitchell and Edward Roche
The decision in Brammer v. Violent Hues sheds some light on when re-posting will be a “fair use” and when it will give rise to liability.
By Rob Maier
The trade war between the United States and China has had far-reaching effects on international trade and the global economy. The dispute is slowly developing into a battle of attrition, without any immediate resolution on the horizon despite ongoing trade talks. As businesses change the way they operate in response to this unpredictable trade environment, counsel should consider the risks and potential impacts on corporate IP strategy.
By Alan L. Friel
Part One of a Two-Part Article
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a comprehensive new consumer protection law set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. In the wake of the CCPA’s passage, approximately 15 other states introduced their own CCPA-like privacy legislation, and similar proposals are being considered at the federal level. Part One of this article covers how the CCPA applies to businesses — both in and outside California, the revenue threshold, proposed amendments and other open issues.
By George Soussou and Jeff Ginsberg
More Than a Recitation of Hooke’s Law Needed for Patent Protection
A Claim for a Chair Limits the Claim to a Chair