Intellectual Property Blog

Copyright Fair Use: Distinction between Parody and Satire

Written by Guest Author, Marks Gray Associate Logan McEwen     In the United States, a copyright-protected work can be utilized without authorization of the copyright owner if it is a “fair use” of the copyright-protected work.  Fair uses of copyright-protected works generally fall into two categories: (i) commentary and criticism, or (ii) parody. The fair use exceptions balance between promoting the creation of art through copyright protection and not inhibiting freedom of speech.  Parody Parodies […]

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Supreme Court Rules Brunetti Has Right to Register Scandalous Trademark

We have been following the story of the trademark application for FUCT that was originally filed with the USPTO in May 2011, in Class 25 for clothing, all the way to the US Supreme Court.  Erik Brunetti, the owner of the trademark FUCT, challenged the constitutionality of the scandalous clause in the Lanham Act which was used by the USPTO to deny the registration of his trademark.  On June 24, the Supreme Court finally made […]

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Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants Now Required to Have US-Licensed Attorneys

On July 2, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new rule for applicants, registrants, and parties who live outside the country. They must be represented by a US-licensed attorney for filing applications and all activity with the USPTO and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) proceedings starting August 3, 2019.  This rule was created in an effort to reduce inaccurate and fraudulent trademark filings by foreign parties. In a USPTO press […]

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Filing a Copyright Registration for Architectural Works Is Now Easier

In the past, obtaining a copyright registration for architectural works was a long and annoying process. Designers would have to submit physical plans and paper applications to secure the rights to their design. In the digital age, these requirements became even more of a burden.  Fortunately, the US Copyright Office has adjusted its requirements to make filing for architectural works a lot easier. The new rules went into effect on May 23, 2019. What Is […]

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Saturday and the Witch Woman

Last Friday, I received a surprise in the mail, a hardcover book called Saturday and the Witch Woman written by Tom Ott, my client and friend. Tom is a professor of Caribbean history who has wanted to write about Saturday for many years. Several years ago Tom sent a draft of the book for me to read and give him my opinion. He has now come full circle and actually published the book in hardcover […]

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What’s Allowed under Fair Use of Copyright-Protected Work?

Copyright registrations protect owners’ original works from other people reproducing, distributing, displaying, and/or performing the original works or creating derivative works. But the laws surrounding copyright protection are not exactly sealed tight. References to copyright-protected work are all around us, and you can bet that most of those people did not get permission. So when is the use of copyrighted material okay? And when does it cross the line? The United States Copyright Act has […]

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