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20 October 2009

Open season: trademark protection in outsourced software development

The multibillion-dollar computer industry may be all-powerful but a high proportion of its products are developed under open source licences by external programmers. As software and web development is increasingly dependent on outside coders, WTR asks: how do big brand owners such as Google manage to retain control over their trademarks?

23 September 2009

American Automobile Association fails to obtain transfer of 'aaa.net'

In American Automobile Association Inc v QTK Internet, a split panel of the National Arbitration Forum has refused to order the transfer of the domain name 'aaa.net' to the American Automobile Association Inc. The majority panellists refused to apply principles that categorically characterize click-through advertising as bad-faith use.

17 September 2009

Second Life hit with class action for IP infringement

Linden Lab, the technology company behind online virtual world Second Life, has been hit with a potential class action suit over the sale of alleged 'counterfeit' virtual goods.

02 September 2009

LVMH victorious in $32.4 million award against web host

The LVMH group has won $32.4 million in damages in its lawsuit filed in 2007 against internet hosting companies Akanoc Solutions and Managed Solutions Group.

29 July 2009

Yahoo! sued for trademark infringement in email advertisements

Mary Kay Inc, a leading manufacturer and wholesale distributor of cosmetic products, has filed a trademark infringement action against Yahoo! Inc based on Yahoo!'s Shortcuts feature. Through this feature, hyperlinks and associated pop-up advertisements appear in email messages without the sender’s knowledge. This seems to be the first time that a company has filed suit based on links in personal emails.

27 July 2009

Google keyword policy change leads to surge in trademark use

Google's recent policy change in the United States has led to an increase in the use of trademark terms as keywords by advertisers across the major search engines, according to new research.

24 July 2009

Tiger Woods fails to obtain transfer of 'charlieaxelwoods.com'

A National Arbitration Forum panel has rejected a claim by Tiger Woods, his personal services corporation and his minor son, Charlie Axel Woods, requesting the transfer of the domain name 'charlieaxelwoods.com'. The panel found that the name Charlie Axel Woods had never been used as a trademark or service mark and, therefore, was not entitled to protection under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

07 July 2009

Secondary meaning not established by length of use alone, says court

In B & J Enterprises Ltd v Giordano, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed a grant of summary judgment against the plaintiff’s trademark infringement and cybersquatting claims in a case in which the plaintiff had waited 40 years to register its mark. Among other things, the court held that length of use alone is insufficient to establish secondary meaning.

16 June 2009

Trademarks and tweets: brand protection on Twitter

With 6 million users each month, Twitter has soared into the internet big league. But a recent trademark infringement lawsuit filed against the social networking phenomenon has got brand owners talking (or, if you will, tweeting). WTR investigates whether Twitter poses a threat to IP rights and how brand owners should react to suspected infringement.

10 June 2009

Battle between Intel and Pentium Fund moves to federal court

Pentium Fund Ltd has filed a complaint for declaratory relief against Intel Corporation in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to stop the transfer of the domain names 'pentiumfund.com', 'pentiumfund.net' and 'pentiumfund.org' from Pentium Fund to Intel. This filing came after a WIPO three-member panel ordered the transfer of the domain names in a decision issued under the UDRP.

08 June 2009

Stricter ACPA standards apply in cybersquatting cases, says Fifth Circuit

In The Southern Company v Dauben Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, addressing the issue of cybersquatting/typosquatting versus the traditional standards of trademark infringement, has vacated a preliminary injunction in favour of a trademark holder on the grounds that the district court had improperly applied the broader trademark infringement analysis to cybersquatting claims.

02 June 2009

Taser's suit against owner of Second Life dismissed

Taser International Inc's suit against Linden Research for use of the TASER mark on Second Life has been voluntarily dismissed. The case illustrates the fact that trademark owners may no longer be able to ignore the extensive unauthorized commercial use of their intellectual property in virtual worlds such as Second Life.

18 May 2009

Trademark battles likely after Google revises US keywords policy

Google has once again defied mark owners in the United States by further opening up its keywords advertising policy. Under the new rules, certain third parties will be permitted to use trademark terms in sponsored ad text.

13 May 2009

Google hit with class action suit over keywords

Having staved off a major action last year, filed by American Airlines in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Google is now facing a putative class action in the eastern district court brought on behalf of all Texas mark owners.

05 May 2009

ICANN of worms: why mark owners are against new gTLDs

As the gTLD debate intensifies, WTR investigates why mark owners are so worried by the evolving domain space, whether the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is listening to their concerns and what will be done to protect trademark rights in the new cyberspace.