Topic: Trademark

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Facebook de-friends FriendBook

A trade mark application for ‘FriendBook’ has been refused by the Australian Trade Marks Office, following a successful opposition from Facebook. Australian company Northsword Pty Ltd filed an application on 19 February 2012 for the word mark ‘FriendBook’ in respect of Class 45 services for: Consultancy services relating to social planning; dating and social introduction … Continue reading

Google – Hanginout in court

In November 2013, Hanginout, Inc. (“Hanginout”) filed a lawsuit against Google Inc. (“Google”) alleging, among other things, that Google had infringed on Hanginout’s HANGINOUT mark. Hanginout, a Virginia based social media company, uses its HANGINOUT mark for its interactive video response platform, which enables its users to create, promote, and sell their own brands by … Continue reading

Update – CANDY Mark Dispute

We have written previously about the trademark dispute in the US between King.com Limited and Runsome Apps Inc., the creators of the mobile/social media/web games “Candy Crush Saga” and “CandySwipe,” respectively. It appears that the year-long battle between the two developers has ended. On April 16, 2014, Albert Ransom posted this statement on the Candyswipe.com … Continue reading

Mobile/ Facebook game developers face off in CANDY mark dispute

Our readers are probably familiar with a game that can be played on Facebook or on a mobile device known as CANDY CRUSH SAGA.  Also available on Facebook and on mobile devices is another game called CANDYSWIPE.  This posting summarizes the trademark application dispute between the two companies, one of which has leveraged the power … Continue reading

IP enforcement via takedown notices

According to a January 22, 2014 ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, an incorrectly-chosen takedown notice may constitute a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). CrossFit and its DMCA takedown notice In Crossfit, Inc. v. Alvies, plaintiff CrossFit, Inc. brought a trademark infringement action against Jenni Alvies … Continue reading

Fictitious social media profiles under the Lanham Act

On November 7, 2013, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia issued its opinion in AvePoint Inc. v. Power Tools, Inc., a case that, at least in part, has fortified the ability of a competitor injured by a fictitious social media profile to bring a claim under the Lanham Act. In … Continue reading

Policies banning photos, videos and confidential information unlawful

On July 15, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released a memorandum providing further guidance on whether a company’s social media policy could be construed to stifle protected, concerted activity.  Over the last two years, the NLRB Office of the General Counsel has issued several memoranda discussing the validity of employer social media policies … Continue reading

Pinterest v. Amazon and ICANN’s New gTLDs

On July 16, 2013, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center issued a panel opinion on an objection brought by Pinterest, Inc. (“Pinterest”), the San Francisco-based creator of the social media platform Pinterest, under the New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure. Our readers are probably familiar with the common top-level domains, such as .com and .gov.  In … Continue reading

The Rise of the #Hashtag

Every day, hundreds of millions of people use social media to share their thoughts about everything that is happening around them. The most popular social media sites do not have simple ways to search for and organize content, so users turned to the hashtag to solve the problem. Hashtags are words or phrases prefixed with the … Continue reading

Anonymous Yelp! Reviews Used as Proof of Actual Confusion

In any trademark infringement lawsuit, evidence of actual consumer confusion between two marks can play a key role in a court’s “likelihood of confusion” analysis.  This evidence frequently takes the form of a consumer survey demonstrating that certain individuals were in the marketplace, saw the two marks, and believed that they were somehow related. On … Continue reading
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