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In the United States, trademark rights are created through use of a mark and perfected by obtaining a federal registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The entertainment industry is a global business, but many U.S. brand owners do not realize that their valuable trademark rights stop at the U.S. border. In order to be protected outside of the United States, trademark rights must be obtained separately across territories. Further, eligibility for trademark registration as well as the standard for trademark infringement differs in every country. Accordingly, entertainment companies that have potential for growth outside of the U.S. need to proactively plan for and obtain trademark protection in foreign territories. Below we discuss important differences that brand owners and their counsel should consider when seeking trademark protection domestically and abroad, filing timelines to be aware of, and provide key takeaways and pitfalls to avoid.
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By Alan Friedman
Until recently, the Second and Ninth Circuits have both been receptive to dismissals under Rule 12(b)(6) if the court determines the plaintiff cannot plausibly state a claim of copyright infringement because the two works are not substantial similar. However, a pair of recent “unpublished” Ninth Circuit reversals involving prominent motion pictures stand in contrast to a recent Second Circuit decision affirming such a dismissal.
By Robert Storace
More than 50 wrestlers sued World Wrestling Entertainment, claiming it knew — but never disclosed — the risk associated with the sport. But it was Massachusetts plaintiff counsel Konstantine Kyros and his firm who judges singled out for plagiarism, false claims and other misbehavior in the case.
By Stacey C. Kalamaras and Henry Kaskov
Valuations of trademarks, such as those in the entertainment industry, are most commonly performed in relation to a sale or licensing transaction or for lending and collateral purposes.
By Alaina Lancaster
Universal City Studios will have to settle a contract dispute with a producer from the Fast & Furious movie franchise in court after a California appeals court ruled the entertainment company could not enforce an arbitration agreement.