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Infringement v. Homage: Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Bridgeport Music Inc., et. al. 03/30/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Publishing & Media.
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By: Callie L. Pioli

Callie L. PioliThe music industry did not get far into 2015 before delivering a blockbuster copyright case. Pharrell Williams’ and Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit Blurred Lines was in fact only 50% their hit, according to a jury verdict in mid-March that found in favor of Marvin Gaye’s children.  As co-owners of his original 1977 hit, Got to Give it Up, Gaye’s children successfully argued that Williams and Thicke had copied numerous aspects of their father’s song and had infringed the copyright in the 1977 hit. The jury accepted the Gaye family’s contention that if Got to Give It Up had been properly licensed, the family would have received royalties of 50% of the $8 million in Blurred Lines revenue. Additionally, Williams and Thicke were forced to surrender $3.4 million of their earned profits from Blurred Lines sales.

Ironically, the lawsuit was commenced by Williams and Thicke themselves, who originally sought a preemptive ruling that Blurred Lines “shared no similarities”[1] with Got to Give It Up after receiving complaints from members of the Gaye family. The Gayes, as defendants, successfully litigated a counter-claim, arguing that the songs were substantially similar and that they were owed $25 million in royalties, profits, and statutory damages. Williams and Thicke lived up to their reputations as performers while on the stand, doing their best to persuade the jury to re-interpret copyright law as excluding the “feel” or “sound”[2] of music, and taking the opportunity to sing to the jury.

While much has been made of the spotlight on Thicke’s admitted drug use in the studio, the blatantly inconsistent statements regarding exactly how much influence Gaye had on Williams and Thicke during the writing process, and the whopping total award of $7.3 million to the Gaye family, the suit also illustrated the importance of both copyright compliance and honoring fiduciary duties. Continue reading…

Any interested “ordinary observers” can listen to a direct comparison of Blurred Lines and Got to Give it Up online.

For more information on copyright law and intellectual property licensing, please contact Callie Pioli or any member of our copyright group.

[1] Complaint for Declaratory Relief at ¶ 1, Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Bridgeport Music Inc., et. al., No. 13-06004 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2013).

[2] Id. at ¶ 2.

MBBP Client OtoSense Earns Top Award at GSMA Global Mobile Awards 03/12/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Manufacturing, Retail & Service, New Resources, Public Companies.
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2015-03-12_9-40-31MBBP client OtoSense, a Cambridge-based start-up, has recently been recognized for its sound recognition technology. The company has developed an app that enables hearing impaired end users to select various traditional sounds such as bells, alarms, timers, etc. that occur within an everyday environment and then identify such sounds as they occur and alert the end user via non-acoustic means such as flashes, vibrations or text messages. Selected out of more than 800 entries and judged by a panel of international experts, the start-up won the “Best Mobile App of the Year” Global Mobile Award, in the category of Accessibility & Inclusion, at the 20th annual GSMA Global Mobile Awards.

Well done, OtoSense!

You can view a full list of 2015 Global Mobile Award winners here.

United States Completes Hague Agreement Deposit For Industrial Designs   03/10/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, New Resources, Public Companies.
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chalvireBy: Stan Chalvire 

Currently, design patent applicants that wish to pursue international protection for their industrial designs must file a design patent application in each country, and such applications must generally be filed within six months of the date of the earliest filed design patent application.  That is about to change with the United States having recently deposited its instrument of ratification to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (the “Hague Agreement”), marking the final step in the process of the United States becoming a member of the Hague Union.  The Hague Agreement establishes an international registration system which facilitates the protection of industrial designs in member countries by way of a single international design patent application that can be filed either directly with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or indirectly though the applicant’s member country.

When the Hague Agreement enters into effect for the United States on May 13, 2015, applicants will have the opportunity to register up to 100 industrial designs in over 64 territories with the filing of a single standardized international design patent application, thus providing applicants the opportunity for increased filing efficiencies and potential costs savings as they pursue international protecting of their industrial designs.

 

Additional information on this topic can be found on our blog, or feel free contact Stan Chalvire directly.

Tips for Caring for Your Patent Garden During Economic Winter 02/20/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, New Resources.
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Illustration - SLV058H (M0003309)There’s snow on the ground, snow on the MBTA tracks, snow on the roofs….it feels like winter will never end!  But inevitably it will, and we’ll once again have warm spring breezes, singing birds and blooming tulips to refresh our spirits.  In the meantime, while your real garden sleeps beneath the snow, this is the perfect opportunity to consider tending your patent garden to ensure that it flourishes for years to come.

Here are 5 tips from Patent Attorney Lisa Warren. Feel free to contact Lisa with questions about your patent portfolio.

MBBP Client Demiurge Studios Acquired by SEGA Networks 02/20/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Games & Interactive Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, New Resources, Public Companies, Publishing & Media.
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2015-02-19_10-29-40MBBP Client Demiurge Studios, an independent game developer out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been acquired by SEGA Networks, a multinational video game developer, publisher, and hardware development company. Founded in 2002, Demiurge Studios made the transition into mobile gaming in 2008 and found success with Marvel® Puzzle Quest™, a top 100 grossing app on the App Store and top 50 grossing apps on Google Play. Previously, they worked with world-class developers like BioWare™ and Irrational Games™ on AAA console and PC games, contributing to titles such as BioshockBorderlands, and Mass Effect. Demiurge Studios will continue to make games under the Demiurge Studios name.

Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton serves as counsel to Demiurge Studios, and advised it in connection with the structuring, negotiation and documentation of this transaction.

Joe Martinez was the lead corporate attorney on MBBP’s team, which also included attorneys Mike Cavaretta, Diana Española and Hillary Peterson.

To learn more, read the full press release.

USPTO Reduces Certain Trademark Filing Fees 01/29/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Legal Developments.
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By: Tom Dunn

Trademark Attorney Thomas DunnOn January 17, 2015, the USPTO reduced certain trademark filing fees and introduced a new electronic application filing option.

The fee for both the TEAS Plus application and the TEAS Regular application are reduced by $50. The TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF) application is a new filing option, and one may still submit a paper filing, as well:

Application for registration, per international class
(paper filing)
$375
Application for registration, per international class
(electronic filing, TEAS application)
$325
Application for registration, per international class
(electronic filing, TEAS RF application)
$275
Application for registration, per international class
(electronic filing, TEAS Plus application)
$225

Each of the three TEAS options comes with a set of requirements; the lower the fee, the higher the number of requirements. (TEAS is an acronym for Trademark Electronic Application System.)

For example, to take advantage of the $225 fee per class of goods/services in the TEAS Plus application, one must meet the following requirements: include an e-mail address and authorization for the USPTO to send application-related e-mail correspondence; agree to file related submissions, such as responses to Office actions, electronically via TEAS; select an identification of goods/services from the USPTO Trademark ID Manual; pay all fees at the time of filing; and provide certain statements regarding the mark in the application as-filed, if applicable (e.g., translation statement, claim of ownership, color claim and description).

Only a subset of the foregoing requirements pertains to the TEAS RF application, while none pertain to the TEAS application.

If one files a TEAS Plus or TEAS RF application but does not satisfy the relevant requirements the applicant will be required to submit an additional processing fee of $50 per class of goods or services, and the application will then be handled as a TEAS application.

The fee to electronically renew a trademark registration has been reduced by $100, to $300 per class of goods/services, as well.

Please see the Reduced Fee FAQs page for more information about the new filing fees and the Trademark Fee Information page for information on payment options and a listing of other trademark fees.

To discuss trademark filing options and related matters, please contact Tom Dunn by email at tdunn@mbbp.com or by phone at (781) 697-2248.

Our Greatest Hits of 2014! 01/21/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Employment, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, M&A, MBBP news, Privacy and Data Security, Public Companies, Taxation.
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From the Top Ten Issues in M&A Transactions to the Life Cycle of an IRS Audit we’re recapping the most popular articles and blogs in 2014!

Other popular articles include:

Most popular posts from our 4 blogs:

These articles, along with our newsletters and other blogs can found here.

MBBP Supports MA Colleges and Universities in MITEF ‘Beantown Throwdown’ 10/23/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, Intellectual Property, MBBP news, New Resources, Telecommunications & Networking.
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2014-10-23_13-28-36MBBP joins MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge and CHEN PR in hosting the upcoming Beantown Throwdown in November.  Students from top colleges and universities in Massachusetts will pitch off their innovative ideas for start-up companies.  Students representing Babson, Berklee, Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, MIT, UMass Lowell, Northeastern and Wentworth will have 3 minutes to present their ideas to attendees who will then invest in their favorite companies with fake cash. The top three start-up companies with the most “money” invested will win various prizes and take part in a discussion panel the following evening.

 

To learn more about the Beantown Throwndown

MBBP Client OYO Sports Acquires New Investors 10/20/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Games & Interactive Entertainment, Industries, Intellectual Property, Manufacturing, Retail & Service, MBBP news.
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OYO Sportstoys, Inc.MBBP client OYO Sports is getting noticed by investors and making strides towards innovative toys for kids. OYO, based in Acton, makes plastic “minifigure” toys that resemble star athletes, similar to the popular Lego toys. The local toy start-up company has raised $14 million in funding in the last year and has recently acquired a new investor. OYO’s newest investor is Mandalay Sports Media, a company chaired by Hollywood executive Peter Guber, who is also an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Local OYO investors include Atlas Venture and Boston Seed.

Learn more about where OYO came from and where they’re going in these recent articles by the Boston Globe and The Boston Business Journal.

Way to go, OYO!

 

MBBP’s Sean Detweiler Presents at WIT Accelerate Bootcamp 10/14/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events, Intellectual Property, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, MBBP news.
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Patent Attorney Sean DetweilerLast week, MBBP patent attorney Sean Detweiler spoke at an even hosted by the Wentworth Institute of Technology Accelerate program.  The event is called Bootcamp, and it allows students to get insights about innovation and entrepreneurship, while also getting inspiration for new ideas and and how to make them real. Sean gave a presentation on intellectual property with specifics about patents, including provisional applications, what they should cover and when to think about them in the context of a start-up scenario.  The audience was very involved, and there were some great questions as well as more specific discussions on patent law issues.

For more info on patents and intellectual property, please contact Sean Detweiler

 

MBBP Attorney Stanley Chalvire to Speak at MDG Boston Forum 09/05/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events, Intellectual Property, Internet and E-Commerce, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, MBBP news, Medical Devices.
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chalvireMedical Development Group (MDG), an organization for professionals in the medical device industry, is hosting an upcoming forum event entitled “Intellectual Property Approaches to Safeguard Value”. MBBP IP and Licensing Attorney Stanley F. Chalvire will serve as one of the speakers of this forum event, which will generally be directed to intellectual property strategies for creating and preserving value of medical devices.

 During the forum, some topics that Stan will address include:

  • Trade Secrets and the protections they can provide
  • Distinguish Trade Secrets and Patents
  • Discuss Strategic Considerations to Maintain Trade Secrets

The event takes place at Constant Contact headquarters in Waltham, MA on Wednesday October 1st.

 To register, please visit MDG Boston 

 

MBBP Client Hastings Equity Partners Completes Sale of Advanced Precision Products, Inc. 09/04/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Intellectual Property, Manufacturing, Retail & Service, MBBP news, Public Companies.
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Hastings Equity Partners, LLCMBBP client Hastings Equity Partners recently announced the sale of Advanced Precision Products, Inc. (APP) to Precision Engineered Products, LLC (PEP). Advanced Precision Products is a leading manufacturer of highly engineered components and products for oil & gas, medical, aerospace, automotive, military and commercial OEMs.  Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton serves as counsel to Hastings Equity Partners, and advised it in connection with the structuring, negotiation and documentation of this transaction. Shannon Zollo was the lead corporate attorney on MBBP’s team, which also included attorneys Mark Tarallo and Jonathan Calla.

Hastings Equity Partners is a Waltham, MA-based, private investment firm that acquires and grows small to mid-sized enterprises.

Please visit Hastings Equity Partners for more information.

MBBP’s Joanna Brougher 2014 National Law Journal Rising Star 09/02/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, MBBP news, Medical Devices.
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9-2-2014 10-08-43 AM MBBP’s Joanna Brougher was selected for the 2014 National Law Journal’s list of Boston’s Rising Stars. The National Law Journal Rising Stars program recognizes the region’s 40 most promising lawyers age 40 and under.  Joanna graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Microbiology, a B.A. in German, and a masters in public health. Joanna received her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2008.  She is a biotech, pharma, medical device and intellectual property consultant, and is also a adjunct lecturer at Harvard School of Public Health where she teaches a course on intellectual property and health technologies.

Congrats, Joanna!

More info on Boston’s Rising Stars

MBBP Client Implant Sciences Corporation Achieves Milestone With QS-B220 09/02/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Industries, Intellectual Property, MBBP news.
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9-2-2014 12-36-18 PMMBBP client Implant Sciences Corporation, a company that develops and manufactures explosive trace detection sensors and systems, announced that its QS-B220 desktop explosives trace detector has successfully completed the certification process for the United States Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) qualification requirements for aviation checkpoint and checked baggage screening.

This announcement marks a major milestone for the company; having the QS-B220 added to the TSA’s Qualified Product List is one of the highest levels of recognition in the security industry and one of the most difficult to achieve,” according to Todd Silvestri, Implant Sciences’ Vice President of Technology.

President and CEO, Glenn D. Bolduc, stated    “We’re very proud to be able to deliver this innovative product for the protection of travelers in our country. Every member of the Implant Sciences team has done a phenomenal job of getting us to this point.”

 

 You can read Implant Sciences’ complete announcement here.

 Well done, Implant Science Corporation!

 

 

Want To Stay Employed as a CIO? Better Get Privacy Right 08/25/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Internet and E-Commerce, Legal Developments, Privacy and Data Security.
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Consumer privacy is emerging into a big headache for companies — and the CIO is bearing the brunt. Most companies analyze customer data in some way, and there are increasing amounts of legislation around how such data handling should be performed. Breaking the rules can land a company in hot water — and leave the CIO out of a job. Sensitive information is often copied from system to system by staff with little understanding of  privacy issues and risks surrounding sensitive data. As a result, it falls to the CIO to make sure that a customer privacy strategy is in place. To properly ensure consumer privacy, the CIO should make sure their company is complying with existing regulations, but also be prepared for possible data breaches.

To read the full article

Understanding the rapidly changing landscape of privacy and data security laws is critical for any business. For more information on how MBBP counsels clients in this area, visit our Privacy & Data Security practice or check out our related resources.

Ten Crucial Questions to Answer Before Contacting a Patent Attorney 08/25/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Intellectual Property, MBBP news.
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Managing Partner and Patent Attorney Lisa TreannieDon’t be fooled by the ads you see promoting the quick filing of a pat­ent application. MBBP’s Lisa Warren gives some insight on why it is important to communicate with a patent attorney when filing a patent application. By considering your invention and preparing the right questions before contacting an attorney, you’ll be sure to save valuable time and money. Are you fully prepared to file for your patent?

To read the full article

For more information on this topic, please contact Lisa Warren.

Second Biosimilar Application Filed Under BPCI Act by Celltrion 08/13/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Life Sciences.
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Patent Attorney David FazzolareBy: David Fazzolare and Joanna Brougher

On August 8, 2011, Celltrion announced that it filed a biosimilar application under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCI Act) for its infliximab biosimilar.  Celltrion’s infliximab biosimlar is already marked in over 50 countries worldwide, including Europe, Canada and Japan, under the brand name of Remsima®.  Celltrion’s announcement comes shortly after Sandoz’s recent announcement that thePatent Attorney Joanna Brougher FDA had accepted its application for a filgrastim biosimilar application, and marks the second biosimilar application known to be filed under the BPCI Act, as well as the first application for a biosimilar mAb.

For more information on this topic, contact David or Joanna.

David Fazzolare Quoted in FDA Week Biosimilar Article 08/12/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Life Sciences.
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Patent Attorney David FazzolareOn August 8th InsiderHealthPolicy.com’s FDA Week, an exclusive weekly report on Food and Drug Administration Policy, regulation and enforcement, published an article titledBiosimilar ‘Patent Dance,’ Litigation Could Coincide With Possible Approval. The article discusses the FDA’s recent acceptance of the first biosimilar application from Sandoz for a biosimilar filgrastim, a version of Amgen’s Neupogen. This acceptance of Sandoz’s application has also set off a series of deadlines outlined in statute that will determine which patents the two companies will litigate. MBBP Patent Attorney David Fazzolare was quoted in the article discussing the patent exchange process including several other deadlines before possibly resulting in litigation. David stated:

The earliest that I see anything publicly happening, absent any press releases from Sandoz and Amgen, is March of next year.

The same two companies are currently engaged in litigation over patents related to a different product, Enbrel, which is currently on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and oral arguments are slated for Sept. 10.

For more information on this topic, please contact David Fazzolare.

FDA Releases Guidance for Determining Biologic Exclusivity Under the BPCI Act 08/08/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Life Sciences.
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Patent Attorney David FazzolareBy: David Fazzolare & Joanna Brougher

On August 4, 2014, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released its latest guidance in a series of guidance documents issued as part of its ongoing effort toward implementing a biosimilar approval pathway under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act).  In contrast to previously released guidance which dealt with the scientific and regulatory considerations involved inPatent Attorney Joanna Brougher reviewing biosimilar applications, such as the clinical pharmacology data required to demonstrate biosimilarity to a licensed biologic, this latest guidance outlines the FDA’s current thinking with respect to determining whether a licensed biologic is entitled to the exclusivity provided for in Section 351(k)(7)(C) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), as amended by the BPCI Act.

To spur the development of innovative and lifesaving biologic medicines, the BPCI Act amended the PHS Act to award periods of exclusivity to certain licensed biologics during which the FDA is prohibited from taking certain actions with respect to an application for a biosimilar version of those licensed biologics.  The Act provides two relevant exclusivity periods which are both calculated from the date on which a licensed biologic was first licensed.  The guidance refers to this date as the date of “first licensure.”  Section 351(k)(7)(C) provides that licensure of an application for a biosimilar or interchangeable product under the BPCI Act may not be made effective until 12 years after, or submitted to the FDA for review until 4 years after, the date of first licensure of the licensed biologic referenced in the biosimilar application. Thus, establishing the date a licensed biologic was first licensed is critical to determining when the licensed biologic’s exclusivity ends and thus when biosimilar and interchangeable products may enter the market.

Typically, the date of first licensure is the initial date a given biologic product is licensed under 351(a).  Not every licensure of a biological product under 351(a), however, is considered a “first licensure” that gives rise to its own exclusivity period.  To assist stakeholders and reviewers at the FDA in determining whether licensure of a biologic product under 351(a) gives rise to its own exclusivity period, the guidance outlines circumstances in which a licensure would not be considered a “first licensure.”  For example, the date of first licensure does not include the date of licensure for a supplement for the biological product that is the reference product, or a subsequent application by a biologic manufacturer or sponsor (or related entity) for a change to a licensed biologic that results in a new indication, route of administration, dosing schedule, dosage form, delivery system, delivery device, or strength, or a modification to the structure of the biological product that does not result in a change in safety, purity, or potency.  In other words, for the date of licensure of a modified version of a biologic licensed under 351(a) to be considered the date of first licensure, there must be a modification to the structure of the biologic that results in a change in safety, purity, or potency.

The guidance notes that the FDA intends to determine on a case-by-case basis, based on data submitted by the sponsor, whether a structural modification to a licensed biologic results in a change in safety, purity, or potency that is sufficient to trigger its own exclusivity period.  However, the guidance does not elaborate on how significant those changes must be for the modified biologic to obtain its own exclusivity period.  In this manner, the guidance falls short of providing much needed certainty on the topic.  It is important to remember, however, the guidance has not yet been finalized by the FDA and is subject to change.  Moreover, in releasing the guidance that the FDA passed another major milestone toward implementing the biosimilar approval pathway created by the BPCI Act and shed some light on the topic of biologic exclusivity.

For more information on this topic, contact David or Joanna.

MBBP Event: Unfair Competition and False Advertising 07/30/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, Intellectual Property.
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Intellectual Property Attorney Sheri MasonOn August 12th MBBP is hosting a seminar on Unfair Competition/False Advertising: How the Supreme Court’s recent decisions impact false advertising claims against competitors. The Supreme Court recently issued two decisions, Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc. and POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., which impact rights a party may have against competitors for false advertising claims under the Lanham Act. This seminar, presented by MBBP Trademark Attorney Sheri Mason, will discuss unfair competition and false advertising under the Lanham Act, the Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc.and POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co. decisions, and how these decisions may affect your rights against third parties.

To learn more or to register, please visit our events page.

For more information on false advertising, please feel free to contact Sheri directly.

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