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Above the Fold

The increasingly scrutinized area of advertising and marketing has a wealth of legal hurdles. When creating content, advertising professionals and companies often find themselves in hot water with various regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission. In this blog, our team of seasoned media and trademark attorneys address emerging trends and issues in this complex area.
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Art Law

Attorneys Daniel Schnapp, Lisa Karczewski and John Wait cover issues relating to art litigation and finance, specifically art recovery, art preservation, art as collateral and valuation of art. They also discuss recent trends in the art market.
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IP Spotlight Blog

Intellectual property is often the lifeblood of a company. As an experienced IP and registered patent attorney, Jim Singer keeps you up-to-date with the legal and business aspects of intellectual property and other intangible assets on his IP Spotlight blog. Covering topics such as licensing, due diligence, acquisition, compliance and risk management associated with patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, IP Spotlight provides insight, commentary and tips regarding recent legislation and developments in the industry.
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Recent Blog Posts

  • USA Warriors Ice Hockey Registration Refused – No Consent, No Coexistence The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board refused to allow registration of a USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program mark for “arranging and conducting ice hockey programs for injured and disabled members and veterans”, finding the mark was too similar to a mark owned by USA Hockey, Inc. (see a comparison of the marks below). The Board rejected USA Warriors’ arguments that USA Warriors owned an existing registration for a similar mark that had co-existed with the USA Hockey mark, and that... More
  • Dutch Restitution Policy For Return Of Nazi Looted Art Under Scrutiny In recent art world news, recent restitution efforts of the Netherlands for returning looted art have come under scrutiny.  Some international critics assert that Dutch policies for restitution of looted art have become stricter once again. Following World War II marked a “period in Dutch history when a cold cynicism toward Holocaust survivors meant that thousands of masterly works were rescued from the Nazis only to end up as Dutch national property” in which many of the works were displayed in... More
  • Organization Of Largest Exhibition Of Michelangelo Works In Its History Underway At The Met In recent art news, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“The Met”) announced earlier this week that it is planning the largest exhibition of Michelangelo works in its history set to open later this year. The exhibition will be entitled “Michelangelo:  Divine Draftsman and Designer,” and will include 150 drawings, three marble sculptures, the artist’s earliest known painting (“The Torment of Saint Anthony”), and other works, curated from 54 public and private art collections throughout the United States and Europe.  A substantial... More
  • FTC’s Action Against “Risk-Free” Advertising The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently filed a Complaint in the Southern District of California against six entities and four individuals, accusing them of deceiving customers with their use of “free” and “risk-free” trial period advertising related to cooking products, golf-related products, and online subscription services on their websites, in TV infomercials, and via email. Copyright: kchung / 123RF Stock Photo The FTC’s Complaint alleges that the defendants violated section 5(a) of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts, by misrepresenting the trial offers applicable... More
  • New York City Church Sued For Relocation Of Sculpture Commemorating 9/11 Loss Of Tree In recent art news, Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan is being sued by a sculptor for relocating his bronze sculpture of the stump and root system of a very large sycamore tree entitled “The Trinity Root” that was formally installed on the church grounds. In September 2005, the 18-foot-tall work was installed by sculptor Steve Tobin in the church courtyard in the same location where the original 70-year old sycamore tree stood until it was damaged and ripped out of the ground... More
  • “Anti-Police” Painting Controversy: Court says, No First Amendment Rights at Stake The US. District Court for the District of Columbia recently denied a preliminary injunction seeking the reinstallation of a controversial “anti-police” painting at the U.S Capitol complex. David Pulphus, a student artist from Missouri’s First Congressional District, and William Lacy Clay, the congressional representative for that district, filed a lawsuit claiming that their First Amendment rights to free speech were infringed upon when the Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, removed Pulphus’s painting from a display of student art. Pulphus’s painting... More
  • What Does the FDA Regulate Anyway? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) requests that consumers report any issues they experience with FDA-regulated products so that the FDA can further protect the public health. But it isn’t always clear which products the FDA regulates and which products it doesn’t. Generally, the FDA regulates the following product categories: certain foods, drugs, biologics, medical devices, electronic products that give off radiation, cosmetics, veterinary products, and tobacco products. Within each category is a number of products subject to the... More
  • On the “Fearless Girl” Statue Controversy The “Fearless Girl” was created by sculptor Kristen Visbal and erected in Bowling Green in honor of International Women’s Day in March.  The statue has become wildly popular.  Although set to be removed next week, it will remain in place until early 2018.  However, not everyone is supportive of the artwork. Photo by Anthony Quintano, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license (unaltered) “Fearless Girl” defiantly faces Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull” statue, which was created by sculptor... More
  • Leonardo da Vinci Masterpiece To Be Protected With Advanced Air Filtration System As recently reported by ArtNews, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper (1495-1498), one of the world’s most famous paintings, will be protected by an “advanced air filtration system” backed by Eataly that is expected to extend the life of the work for 500 years beginning in 2019. To save this important piece of Italian heritage, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism designed an air-filtration system in collaboration with top Italian research institutes (ISCR, CNR, Polytechnic Institute of... More
  • FTC Closing Letters Show Continued Vigilance on “Made in USA” and Leniency for Cooperation Last week the FTC issued three letters closing three separate investigations of advertising practices by three different businesses. The letters are notable for the two common themes present in each. First, each investigation centered on allegedly unsupported “Made in the USA” claims, demonstrating the FTC’s continued vigilance on this issue–a point that has been the topic of past posts. Second, each investigation was closed without further action due to, at least in part, the advertisers’ willingness to cooperate and take... More
  • Stolen Norman Rockwell Returned After 40 Years ArtNet news recently reported that the painting of a slumbering child painted by American illustrator Norman Rockwell (pictured below) has been returned to its rightful owners by the FBI.  The recently recovered work has been known by various titles over the years including Taking a Break, Lazybones, and Boy Asleep with Hoe. The painting was owned by the Grant family for nearly 20 years before it was stolen in 1976.  Last year, the FBI issued a press release marking the 40th... More
  • Polish Court Clears Path For Merger Of New World War II Museum With Smaller, Not Yet Built Museum For A More Nationalistic Perspective Of The Conflict In recent art world news, Poland’s Museum of the Second World War, said to be the “most comprehensive public exhibition in Europe about the greatest cataclysm of the 20th century,” opened last month.  The new museum, situated in the seaside city of Gdansk, has drawn around 14,000 visitors in its first two weeks of being open.  Among those in attendance included former prisoners of German Nazi concentration camps and Soviet labor camps. Earlier this week, Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court cleared the... More
  • Tips for non-disclosure agreements with Chinese companies In a previous post on IP Spotlight, I provided a few tips for negotiating non-disclosure agreements. In the post, I noted that a “form” NDA should only be considered a starting point. The parties should modify it as appropriate to fit the business situation and the type of information that is being disclosed. Here’s an additional tip if the other party to the NDA is not a U.S. company:  if the other party breaches the agreement, you may be able sue that... More
  • Panel Discussion on How to Effectively Manage A Fine Art Collection to be held in May 2017 at James A. Michener Art Museum   U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, will host a panel discussion at the JAMES A. MICHENER ART MUSEUM in Doylestown, PA on “Effectively Managing A Fine Art Collection” on May 17, 2017 from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. The panel will be hosted by ERIC J. ABEL, Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust and feature EVAN BEARD, National Art Services Executive, U.S. Trust; RAMSAY H. SLUGG, National Wealth Planning Strategist, U.S. Trust; and CINDY CHARLESTON-ROSENBERG, Founder and President, Art... More
  • When is a Price Not Just a Price But a Matter of Speech Protected by the First Amendment? A New York case decided this week by the U.S. Supreme Court involving a state prohibition on credit card surcharge fees would not, at first blush, seem to involve “speech,” let alone “speech” that needs to be protected by the First Amendment.  Indeed, a credit card surcharge fee – such as, for example, a nondescript warning stating “3% added for credit cards” – hardly seems to be in the same league as The Pentagon Papers, or Fanny Hill, or even... More