In a case with far-reaching implications for interactive websites and other online service providers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com, (No. 04-57173, 9th Cir. 2008), recently stripped the defendant website’s conduit immunity under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 [CDA], concluding that the site had materially
Ideas and concepts, other than those that are not obvious and may be subject to patent protection, are generally freely available to all.  Trademark protection usually extends only to the owner’s use of a particular mark, including any logo or image. Yet a judge in the Northern District of California held recently that a trade dress owner
In a recent case of first impression, the Sixth Circuit decided in Brilliance Audio, Inc. v. Haights Cross Communications, Inc., No. 05-1209 (6th Cir. 2007) that the record rental exception to the first sale doctrine, in section 109 of the Copyright Act, applies only to sound recordings of musical works. The decision is also interesting for its
A mark is merely descriptive if it conveys any aspect, purpose, function or use, or desirable characteristic of the goods or services with which it is used. For example, the mark MARTHA WASHINGTON for dolls is merely descriptive of dolls that portray Martha Washington; likewise, the mark APPLE PIE for potpourri with an apple pie
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