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Monthly Archives from September 2022

AI – Artist or Paintbrush?

Taking first place in digital fine arts at the 2022 Colorado State Fair was a piece named “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.” The artist, Jason Allen, garnered a lot of attention when, after winning, he revealed how the piece came to be: He used an artificial intelligence (or AI) program to generate the image, plus another AI program to increase the quality.   Much of Allen’s post-reveal attention questioned whether he was truly an “artist” – and […]

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Is PURPLE RAIN a Nearly Invincible Trademark?

When a business applies to register a trademark, other businesses may oppose the registration of that trademark for various reasons. One motivation for trademark opposition that sticks out in recent news: false suggestion of a connection. NPG Records, LLC and Paisley Park Enterprises, LLC – the contemporary managers of Prince’s intellectual property estate – opposed the registration of the mark PURPLE RAIN that would have covered nutritional supplements and drinks, brought by JHO Intellectual Property […]

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What to do if your are presented a Restricted Social Security Card?

When it comes to reviewing Section 2 of Form I-9, I see many mistakes when Employers accept and put down the incorrect social security card as a List C document.  Per USCIS guidelines, a Social Security that is UNRESTRICTED (see image below)  is an acceptable List C document. You CAN accept them if they are laminated as well.  A RESTRICTED Social Security card (as pictured below) is not an acceptable List C document. Restricted Social […]

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A Lesson in Delayed Trademark Infringement Claims from Gibson Guitars

As we have discussed in previous posts, it is a business’s responsibility to pursue claims of infringement against its copyrights and trademarks – the TTAB will not do it for you. The reasonable hope is that this encourages businesses to make claims that are pragmatic rather than frivolous. So what happens when a business starts to assert its trademark dominance after decades of allowing similar products to coexist? In recent and ongoing trademark claims involving […]

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Trademark Salad: Unintended Consequences of the Amazon Brand Registry

Have you ever bought something on Amazon with a brand name that seemed unpronounceable? Perhaps the name’s language of origin was difficult to trace – almost like a string of random letters. That seems crazy, right? Well, this may in fact be the case for some brands on Amazon.  Why do something that appears to go against common trademark logic? Why would brands want to be known by a string of unpronounceable letters? It comes […]

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Why is Disney So Placid About Mickey Mouse Entering the Public Domain in 2024?

Who has two ears, two gloves, and lives in the happiest place on earth? Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognizable figures on the planet, and his likeness is owned by Disney. He is a valuable creative and commercial symbol indeed. Since the passage of the Copyright Act of 1976, we have been observing waves of previously copyrighted material entering the public domain. Now, in January 2024, we will see Mickey Mouse go through […]

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