Trademarks

Danzig here. Over the last few days, I have tried to stay out of the Trayvon Martin story. Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old black teenager, was shot and killed by one George Zimmerman. Whether or not Martin’s death was a murder or a justifiable homicide has been a matter of some debate.

The shooting has picked up national attention, and it’s shedding yet another ugly spotlight on race relations in America. I’m on the same page as Elie regarding most of his frustration. But earlier this week we learned that the slain teen’s mother had filed a trademark application for “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon.”

Elie thinks, in a nutshell, that this is a good and proper strategy to preserve Trayvon’s memory and prevent random people from profiting off of his death. But I have to disagree. I think his family members are wasting their time and energy.

Keep reading for details on the trademark applications. Grab a Coke and a bag of chips, and watch the two of us digitally duke it out in today’s ATL debate….

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It’s been almost three years since Gucci first sued Guess for trademark infringement, but the drama keeps on coming. The case first became a tabloid darling when in 2010, Jonathan Moss, Gucci’s former in-house counsel, was turned out like last season’s shoes.

Apparently Moss had forgotten to renew his bar membership, and in the world of fashion law, one day you’re in, and the next day, you’re out (just like on Project Runway). Because there’s only one thing worse than faux leather, and that’s faux lawyering.

Armed with new lead counsel, Gucci faced off against Guess in federal court for the first time yesterday. While Gucci claimed that Guess had attempted to produce copycat designs, Guess countered that its products could never be confused with that of Gucci — after all, no one’s rapping about Guess.

Did anything else interesting happen in court?

Read more at Fashionista….

* If Obamacare gets struck down, do you think insurance companies will allow children to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26? My Magic 8-Ball says: “Outlook not so good.” [Wall Street Journal]

* There’s no crying in baseball bankruptcy sales! Which Biglaw firms hit a home run for playing a part in the sale of the LA Dodgers? Dewey & LeBoeuf, Foley & Lardner, and Sullivan & Cromwell. [Am Law Daily]

* “Just because you wear a hoodie does not make you a hoodlum.” But a hoodie will definitely prevent you from being recognized on the House floor. Just ask Congressman Bobby Rush. [New York Post]

* Things you can’t do on an airplane? Have a mid-flight nutty. Pilot Clayton Osbon has been criminally charged for his erratic form of in-flight entertainment, and he faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. [Reuters]

* Guess who’s allegedly been infringing upon a high-end fashion house’s trademarks to the tune of $124M? Gucci was in court yesterday to accuse Guess of engaging in a massive “knock off” scheme. [Bloomberg]

If you enjoy fashion, check out our sister site, Fashionista.com.

Fashion law is a quickly-growing specialty practice area — a place where lawyers can aspire to dress stylishly while honing their legal skills in the glamorous world of haute couture law. You may never see all of the models and bottles a career in law once guaranteed, but you might get to work on their contracts.

A lawyer working in the business of beauty can expect to do a great deal of intellectual property work (after all, trademark law is sexier when you’re doing it in designer duds). An IP student group at a leading law school took that to heart, and decided to hold a symposium on the topic of fashion law.

The students pulled out all the stops for the event: they got Biglaw sponsorship, they created an eye-catching flyer, and they lined up some of the greats of the fashion law world to speak. Needless to say, they expected a great turnout.

What they didn’t expect was to be on the receiving end of a cease and desist letter from a high-end fashion house….

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While most of America has been going gaga for God’s new chosen athlete, Jeremy Lin, I’ve been quietly lamenting the fact that my own hometown TTT excuse for an NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, were the ones who gave him up.

it seems like everyone wants a piece of the Linsanity, even on a legal level. Last week we wrote about a man with no actual connection to Jeremy Lin who tried to trademark “Linsanity.” That guy simply, “wanted to be part of the excitement.” Sure, by making money off of someone else’s name, whatever. Since then several more people have attempted the same absurd bandwagoning.

But finally, Jeremy himself has filed an application to trademark his own catchphrase. Shocking, right?

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If you think I'm not ordering Jeremy Lin's #4 Crimson jersey you haven't been paying attention.

Thank God Jeremy Lin didn’t have a Tiger Mother. Professor Amy Chua would have prevented Jeremy Lin from playing sports and he’d probably be in law school now instead of saving the New York Knicks.

If you haven’t been following Jeremy Lin and the #LINSANITY phenomenon, GTFO here’s a quick recap: Taiwanese-American kid from California plays basketball for Harvard, goes undrafted by the NBA, gets cut by two teams, ends up getting some run for the Knicks because of teammates’ injuries, and then scores more points in his first five starts than anybody else in the history of the NBA — helping the Knicks to win six (and counting) games in a row.

It’s a great story. Lin has overcome a lot to get here. I mean, the story of the kid who goes to Harvard and remains humble instead of becoming a self-important douchebag is a Lifetime movie in and of itself.

Basketball pundits have been dissecting his game like the kid is the second coming of Tim Tebow. Cowardly boxers with a history of anti-Asian bigotry are tweeting about Lin because they’d rather pick on the Harvard kid than take their ass-kicking from Manny Pacquiao.

And I can’t wait, I mean I literally cannot wait, for Lin to really get into it on the issue of Taiwanese LINdependence from China. Kid went to Harvard, you know he has a considered opinion. When the history of World War Three is written, will it say it started with a point guard on the New York Knicks?

There are so many angles to this thing, but we’re going to focus on the legal one. Who owns the term “LINSANITY,” which became the hashtag associated with the Lin phenomenon?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “LINtellectual Property Concerns To Entertain Ivy League Grads Who Aren’t LINSANE”

* A tentative deal to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits has been reached. Is anyone else having a serious case of déjà vu right now? Didn’t we do this already? [Washington Post]

* Investigators in Whitney Houston’s drug probe want her prescription records. We should take Tony Bennett’s advice: if all drugs were legal, we wouldn’t worry about stars ODing on pills. [New York Daily News]

* Paul Ceglia didn’t want to pay Facebook’s Biglaw bill for 177 hours of legal work, so the judge slashed the price to $75,776. At just $428 an hour, how will these lawyers feed their families? [Los Angeles Times]

* More and more law school deans and law professors keep jumping ship to run colleges and universities. Hey, it’s easier to milk the campus cash cow when you’re in charge. [National Law Journal]

* Chris Christie took a break from complaining about New Jersey’s gay marriage bill to complain about how his nominees for the state Supreme Court haven’t been confirmed in record time. [Star-Ledger]

* Jeremy Lin fever has reached the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as people try to file applications for the mark “Linsanity.” Weird, doesn’t Lindsay Lohan already have dibs on that? [Businessweek]

Beyoncé

* “All My Justices” may soon be coming to daytime television station near you. In a close vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that calls for television access to Supreme Court proceedings. [Legal Times]

* A former Cravath associate’s law license has been suspended as a result of a DV assault charge. For every day spring bonuses go unannounced, another CSM attorney will do something to embarrass the firm. [Am Law Daily]

* Duncan Law wants wants a judge to reconsider an injunction, claiming “eight students have withdrawn” since its accreditation was denied. In other news, only eight students at Duncan Law have half a brain. [National Law Journal]

* If you liked it, then you should’ve put a trademark on it. Jay-Z and Beyoncé have filed a trademark application for their daughter’s name. Nothing says love like exploitation. [New York Post]

* Remember the siblings involved in a nationwide manhunt last summer? Stripper and bank robber extraordinaire Lee Grace Dougherty pleaded guilty, and now faces up to 28 years in jail. [New York Daily News]

* Representative Gabrielle Giffords will be resigning from Congress this week to focus on her recovery. Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting her, is still way too loony to stand trial. [CNN]

* Because of this huge law firm, Dotcom’s bubble has officially burst. Hogan Lovells partner Robert S. Bennett has withdrawn from the Megaupload.com case, citing a conflict of interest with another client. [Reuters]

* In Egypt, even if your client is considered a modern-day pharoah, when you finish your closing arguments, you get a round of applause. And tons of jeers from other lawyers. [Boston Globe]

* Ben Roethlisberger settled his civil rape lawsuit. Neither side will comment as to whether money was a part of the settlement. (Hint: that means a lot of money was involved.) [Reno Gazette-Journal]

* Penn State’s former football coach, Joe Paterno, passed away this weekend. His grand jury testimony can’t be used in court, but the Sandusky litigation will continue. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* Seeing red: lawyers for Louboutin and YSL will face off in an appellate, trademark “shoedown” this week. What does Harvard Law’s fashionista, Jeannie Suk, have to say? [New York Times]

* Remember Doug Arntsen? He’s the ex-Crowell & Moring attorney who fled the country after allegedly embezzling millions. But he’s no flight risk — that’s “absurd.” [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

Tom Wallerstein

For some, the phrase “small law firm” implies certain stereotyped practice areas, clients, and attorneys. At its worst, the stereotype invokes unsophisticated clients and matters that are routine and uninteresting. I doubt the stereotype is wholly true anywhere. I know for sure it isn’t true in San Francisco or Silicon Valley.

I know many attorneys in small firms who have specialized, high-end practices. These specialized practices are often called boutiques, and they are perfectly suited to serve the entrepreneurial, high-tech client base that abounds in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Even in the down economy, a number of new ventures were launched in Silicon Valley. Geographically, the high-tech corridor also seems to be expanding, thanks to Twitter, Zynga, SalesForce.com, and the like setting up shop in San Francisco. You don’t even need a Visa or traditional office space to launch a startup anymore; now you can enjoy Peter Thiel’s “Visa-free entrepreneurship and technology incubator on an ocean vessel in international waters.”

It remains to be seen whether we’re experiencing a boom or just another bubble, but I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m not an economist and I’m not making predictions. I am only remarking on some great practice opportunities for smaller law firms which exist here, maybe because we are fortunate to have so many imaginative, passionate, and savvy entrepreneurs working on exciting projects in so many different industries….

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