Recent Posts by Michael Thomas

Popcorn-Worthy: First Amendment Plays Key Role in Recent Trademark Cases

Two recent cases demonstrate rare intersections of trademark and constitutional law that may require onlookers to get some popcorn ready as the arguments play out in federal courts this year. In Twentieth Century Fox Television v. Empire Distribution, Inc., Fox, a declaratory relief plaintiff, is battling Empire’s trademark infringement counterclaim by invoking the First Amendment via…
Read more

Four Pitfalls to Avoid with Independent Contractor Agreements

Many small businesses utilize independent contractors because they offer certain advantages over hiring employees, like reducing overhead costs and avoiding headaches such as payroll taxes and employment-related claims. Others may hire independent contractors for discreet one-time services. In either case a written agreement is a must, but beware: there are pitfalls related to the language…
Read more

Copyright Claims in Video Game Characters Dismissed in World of Warcraft Case

Gaming behemoth Blizzard Entertainment, makers of the World of Warcraft franchise, suffered a setback when a federal judge threw out the complaint in its copyright infringement case against Lilith Games and co-defendant uCool. The court cited a lack of specificity related to the allegedly infringed characters, and a failure to adequately apprise uCool of which…
Read more

USPTO Program Lets Trademark Rights Adapt as Technology Evolves

A USPTO program available this fall allows owners to amend their trademark registrations in cases where the goods or services originally identified with their marks have become obsolete and are no longer marketed and newer technologies have emerged. This pilot program, which was initiated on September 1st, may be particularly helpful, for example, to companies…
Read more

Recent Comments by Michael Thomas

No comments by Michael Thomas yet.