Why Your “Mundane” Online Promotion May Have Not so Mundane Gambling Consequences

“Almost every company offers sweepstakes and contests, what is the concern?” This is the response I get on almost a daily basis when speaking with clients and their marketing departments about a proposed online promotion. Unequivocally, the Internet and social media have become the most efficient mediums operators use in order to disseminate information and […]

Supreme Court Chisels Away Damages for Design Patents

Yesterday the Supreme Court tossed out a $400 million award that Apple had won against its smartphone rival Samsung.  The decision was the Court’s first unanimous ruling on design patents in more than a century, and will have broad implications for litigation involving design patents. Prior to this ruling, infringers of a design patent were […]

Federal Court Limits FTC’s Power to Police Data Breaches

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the government agency primarily responsible for imposing penalties on companies that fail to protect consumer data.  It does so under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair and deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” This case began in 2008, when someone found a […]

Court Adopts Patent Analysis in Trademark Cases

On October 24, 2016, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in the 2014 patent case Octane Fitness also applies to trademark cases.   As background, Section 285 of the Patent Act authorizes federal courts to award the winner its attorney’s fees in “exceptional cases.”  Prior to Octane […]

California Enacts Legislation to Protect Park Names

California recently enacted a bill prohibiting concessionaires from claiming trademark rights in a mark that “incorporates or implies an association with a state park venue, or its historical, cultural, or recreational resources.” The full text of the California Heritage Protection Act, AB 2249, can be found at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB224