Recent Posts by Michael Thomas

Can’t Take the Heat: No Copyright Protection for Bikram Yoga Sequence

After years of litigation in multiple cases spanning more than a decade, the Bikram Yoga copyright controversy may finally be resolved. In an opinion rendered October 8, 2015, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Bikram Choudhury’s 26-posture yoga sequence is not protectable under U.S. copyright law, and did so with an air of…
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3 Legal Tips for Bands Looking to Hit It Big

You got into music because it’s your dream. You put up with hours of rehearsals, the rigors of recording, and the hardships of gigging. “What else do I need to do to lay a foundation for success?” you might ask. To answer this question, here are three legal tips that will prepare you for eventual…
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You Can Tuna Piano But You Can’t Copyright a Chicken Sandwich

In a case reminiscent of the attempt last fall to protect pizza flavor as a trademark, a plaintiff’s argument seeking copyright protection for his chicken sandwich met with clucking disapproval from a federal court. Amazingly, that court was the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals (yes, the plaintiff appealed the District Court’s ruling), and it upheld the lower…
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4 Things Business Owners Should Know About the Trademark Clearinghouse

As a new internet era dawns with the continuous roll-out of new gTLDs (“generic top-level domains), business owners interested in protecting their valuable trademark rights and existing domains should be aware of four things regarding an organization that may not be well-known to most: the Trademark Clearinghouse (“TMCH”). 1. What is the TMCH? The TMCH is the…
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