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
At the end of March 2005, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in MGM v. Grokster, reviewing a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and reconsidering the continued viability of the landmark Sony-Betamax case in the new millennium. Since Sony-Betamax, it has been well-settled that manufacturers and distributors are not vicariously liable for