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October 2018 Archives

Dating apps quarreling over the swipe

There is no love lost between the companies who created the dating apps Tinder and Bumble. The first and larger of the two, Tinder and its parent company Match have tried to buy Bumble twice and have been rebuffed. Bumble, for its part, was started by an early Tinder employee who dated a founder and CEO, but left after accusing him of sexual harassment in the workplace. The case was subsequently settled out of court.

Small businesses playing music likely violate copyright laws

Think about how many times music is played in a restaurant, independently owned coffee shop, local clothing store or other small business. Chances are that it is personally purchased by an employee or streamed from an internet source like Spotify or Apple Music, which likely means that there is no commercial license for playing the music in public.

Just call them Dunkin'

Dunkin' Donuts is a beloved treat or everyday fix for many. In efforts to keep up with the times, the 70-year-old company is moving forward by " from its name and plans to emphasize its coffee and healthier or at least less sugary edibles. While the company took pains to say it would still sell donuts, the loss of donuts in the name does provide some trademark food for thought.

Breweries engage in playful cease and desist orders

Intellectual property rights are established to create legal protection so companies do not steal products or ideas. However, there are a growing number of cases where companies are engaging in playful back and forth using parody. This seems to be particularly popular among small craft breweries.

Another intellectual property issue involving a color

We recently talked about a unique type of trademark based on the senses such as sound, scent and color. As we wrote, these kinds of marks, while rare, can be registered when a color is associated with a product, service or company in the marketplace such as brown with UPS or canary yellow with Post-It notes.

Court finds photographer held copyright to Marilyn Monroe images

In a fascinating narrative, a federal judge in New York has found that the successors-in-interest of deceased photographer Bert Stern own the copyright to 2,751 iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe taken in a series of three sessions at the Los Angeles Bel-Air Hotel in 1962, shortly before her untimely death. 


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