Topic: Trademark

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Social Media & IP Enforceability

Social media channels represent an exciting medium to reach out to the public and potential collaborators. Social media can also play an important role in helping generate positive buzz for organizations seeking to develop a market for their products or services.  For example, many of today’s companies gauge the depth of market interest in their … Continue reading

Legal considerations for social network APIs

An application programming interface (API) is a library or structured set of software tools that provides an interface to a backend software platform, such as a social networking platform, without providing direct access to the underlying source code of the platform. For example, Facebook™, Twitter™, Instagram™, LinkedIn™, Google Plus™, and Tumblr™ offer APIs so that … Continue reading

Consumer confusion with marketing on social media

Social media often serves as a powerful mechanism that trademark owners can employ to promote and expand their brands, but a case currently pending in the Southern District of California illustrates just how easily social media can also be used to spread consumer confusion. In Faegin v. LivingSocial, Inc., No. 14CV00418-WQH-KSC, 2014 WL 5307186, at … Continue reading

Beware of counterfeit advertisements on social media

Despite the efforts of brand owners and entities providing online advertising space to police against counterfeit goods, advertisements for counterfeit goods on social media continues to be a recurring problem. Moreover, the appearance of many of these advertisements as genuine and leading to websites that contain the logos and trademarks of the brand owner or … Continue reading

Facebook blocks Facemba

In September, we blogged on the successful opposition by Facebook to a trade mark registration in Australia for ‘Friendbook’. Facebook has had further success in the Australian Trade Marks Office, protecting their brand through a successful opposition to an international registration of the trade mark FACEMBA. Application 1504587 for the word mark FACEMBA was an … Continue reading

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

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

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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