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.
Delaware Intellectual Property Litigation Blog
Wilmington attorney Gregory B. Williams explores the decisions issued by the U.S. District Court of Delaware in the areas of antitrust and intellectual property law.
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.
Recent Blog Posts
- Honest Reviews, Without Threat of Penalty In December 2016, the Consumer Review Fairness Act became law. On February 21, 2017, the FTC published guidance for businesses in following the new law. The law protects the consumer’s right to express and share his or her honest review of a company or its products, even if the review is negative. To accomplish this, the law targets contractual provisions used by companies to stifle negative reviews. The law specifically prohibits any such provisions, whether in online terms and conditions... More
- Chief Judge Stark Grants Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment of Patent Ineligibility By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in Intellectual Ventures I LLC et al. v. Symantec Corp. et al., C.A. No. 13-440-LPS (D.Del. February 13, 2017), the Court granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment of patent ineligibility upon finding that the claims at issue – claims 25 and 33 of U.S. Patent No. 5,537,533 (“the ‘533 patent”) – (1) are directed to an abstract idea, and (2) fail to include any inventive concept sufficient to elevate them... More
- The First Amendment Wins: ISU Is Barred From Viewpoint Discrimination in Its Trademark Licensing Program For Student Organizations Yesterday, on February 13, 2017, the Eighth Circuit issued a resounding affirmation of First Amendment principles in a case raising the question of just how far a public university can go in preventing the use of its marks by student organizations whose views the university may oppose or object to. We previously discussed the dispute in early December, before the court heard arguments in the case. In the opinion, the unanimous appellate panel held that the First Amendment trumps normal trademark... More
- Are you using your trademark with ALL of the goods and services listed in your trademark application? On January 19, 2017, the USPTO published a final rule that would allow the USPTO to verify whether trademark holders are using a trademark with all of the goods and services listed in the trademark application or registration. However, the White House’s recent regulatory freeze calls into question whether and when the USPTO will implement the new rule. Before the USPTO will issue a trademark registration, trademark applicants are required to submit proof that they using the mark in commerce. In... More
- Judge Andrews Grants in Part Teva’s Motion to Dismiss ANDA Complaint By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Richard G. Andrews in Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al. v. Actavis Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 14-1381-RGA (D.Del. February 8, 2017), the Court granted defendant Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.’s motion to dismiss Counts II and VI of the Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). With respect to Counts II and VI, Teva argued that it was not a proper defense because “all alleged... More
- District of Delaware Announces Judge Sue Robinson’s Transition to Senior Judge The United States District Court for the District of Delaware announced that, effective February 3, 2017, the Honorable Sue L. Robinson, transitioned to Senior Judge. In the announcement, the Court also set forth certain changes to its case assignment practices given Judge Robinson’s transition to a Senior United States District Judge. In short, Judge Robinson will not be assigned any new criminal cases or new civil cases. Until the vacancy is filled, all new criminal cases will be assigned to Chief Judge Stark, Judge... More
- FTC Secures Refunds for Indoor Tanning System Consumers In April 2016, the FTC filed a Complaint against Dr. Joseph Mercola and his companies alleging that their indoor tanning system advertisements violated section 5(a) of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices in commerce, and section 12(a) of the FTC Act, which prohibits the dissemination of false advertisements in commerce for the purpose of inducing the purchase of foods, drugs, devices, services, or cosmetics. According to the FTC, indoor tanning systems qualify as “devices” under the FTC... More
- When Sale Prices Never End, the Litigation Also Never Ends Several large retailers likely thought that they were finally clear of legal problems relating to advertising sale prices for products that were not truly on sale. With a post on September 28, 2016, https://advertisinglaw.foxrothschild.com/?s=class+action, Dennis Hansen discussed these class action lawsuits, several which have settled for millions of dollars. For example, JC Penny paid $50 million to settle a class action suit against it alleging that its advertised and listed sale prices were not actually sale prices, but were more... More
- Chief Judge Stark Adopts in Full Report and Recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Burke Granting Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss in Part By Memorandum Order entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in Yodlee, Inc. v. Plaid Technologies Inc., Civil Action No. 14-1445-LPS-CJB (D.Del. January 27, 2017), the Court overruled the objections of both parties and adopted in full the Report and Recommendation previously entered by United States Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke concluding that defendant’s motion to dismiss the asserted patent infringement claims should be granted in part and denied in part for the reasons set forth in Judge Burke’s detailed... More
- LIFEPROOF: What’s in a Word? What comes to mind when you hear the term “LifeProof”? Does it immediately make you think of something that protects from all of life’s hazards or does it merely suggest that something can withstand various accidents? That is what the Ninth Circuit in California is deciding in Seal Shield LLC v. Otter Products LLC, et. al. after hearing oral arguments on the topic in January. The issues central to the case hammer home the importance of using your trademarks in the right... More
- But Officer, My App Said I Was OK To Drive … FTC Hammers Allegedly Deceptive Advertising of Breathalyzer App The FTC recently cracked down on Breathometer, Inc., the maker of an app-supported smartphone breathalyzer, for false and deceptive advertising. The advertised purpose of the product is to keep people safe—to let someone know when he/she has had too many to drive, and provide an estimate on when sobriety will return. The device, which connects to an app on a smartphone, allows the user to blow into it and receive a blood-alcohol content reading on their phone. The accuracy of the... More
- Con Artists Roll Out The Red Carpet To Trademark Owners Registering your brand name as a trademark domestically or internationally can be a long, confusing process involving obscure governmental agencies requiring various fees at seemingly random intervals. Some of these demands are legitimate (International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization notification that payment of a 2nd part fee is due in Swiss francs): but many others are NOT (WPAT s.r.o. invoice for 2738$ “on or before”, 2798$ “after”). These solicitations arrive because the process of registering a trademark creates a... More
- Judge Sleet Grants Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement in Patent Action By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in Quest Licensing Corp. v. Bloomberg L.P. et al., Civil Action No. 14-561-GMS (D.Del., January 19, 2017), the Court granted Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,194,468 (“the ‘468 patent”). By way of background, the ‘468 patent discloses an apparatus and method enabling a subscriber to receive via mobile telecommunications network information that is updated in real time such as financial market information. Id. at *2.... More
- Chief Judge Stark Denies Motion to Stay in Kraft v. Heartland Infringement Action Pending Ruling on Venue by U.S. Supreme Court By Memorandum Order entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC v. TC Heartland, LLC et al., Civil Action No. 14-28-LPS, the Court denied the Heartland defendants’ motion to stay all case-dispositive matters in the patent infringement action, including dispositive pre-trial rulings and the trial, pending the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the venue issue before it through its granting of the Heartland defendants’ petition for a writ of certiorari on December 14,... More
- Anticipated Oral Argument Finally Heard This morning, the United States Supreme Court heard the long-anticipated oral argument in the Lee v. Tam trademark dispute. The issue in the case, as reported on the SCOTUS blog, is as follows: “Whether the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which provides that no trademark shall be refused registration on account of its nature unless, inter alia, it ‘[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or... More