In a recent judgment concerning a dispute between Jean Cassegrain S.A.S (Longchamp) and a Belgian reseller of leather handbags, the Court of Appeal of Ghent denied copyright protection to Jean Cassegrain’s handbag “Le Pliage,” serial number 1623, created and commercialized since 1993.
If your company has a Point of Sale (POS) terminal anywhere in its infrastructure, you are no doubt aware from the active media coverage that malware attacks have been plaguing POS systems across the country.
Just within the past week, the New York Times has reported that:
Companies are often slow to disclose breaches, often because of the time involved in immediately-required investigations;
Congress is beginning to make inquiries of data breach victim companies; and
Even those companies who have conducted cybersecurity risk assessments still get attacked, often during the course of implementing new solutions to mitigate potential problems and protect their customers’ payment cards or other personal information.
Former employees can be a source of information to the media about your efforts to investigate and secure your POS systems.
By John Wilks
This year’s conference of Marques, the European brand owners’ association, took place in the European Union’s most troubled and ancient capital, Athens, under the lamentably resonant strapline “Sign of the Times”. Among the many interesting topics shoe-horned under this banner, one theme seemed to keep resurfacing: the challenge of locating internet infringers.
This is by no means a new problem: IP infringers have for obvious reasons always sought to cover their tracks. But the advent and continuing expansion of the internet and social media have dramatically increased the scope for anonymous infringements from cyberspace. The impending arrival of over 1,000 new gTLDs- including many for common generic terms, threatens to further expand the possibility for anonymous infringement.
Guest blog post by Melanie Garcia. Melanie is a Summer Associate in the Washington, D.C. office of DLA Piper LLP. She is a J.D. Candidate at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Unhappy customers have been embracing the Internet for years to vent their frustrations with companies. Lately, several bloggers have capitalized on websites that lampoon popular companies and companies are beginning to fight back.
Recently, Forever 21 threatened to sue fashion blogger Rachel Kane for diluting its brand and trademark with her blog, WTForever21.com. Forever 21, a global retail chain of clothing and accessories for young men and women, reportedly sent cease-and-desist letters to Ms. Kane regarding her blog. On WTForever21.com, Ms. Kane posts and satirizes images of clothing from Forever21.com. For example, on April 14, 2011 Ms. Kane posted a picture of earrings from Forever 21 with the following caption, “Those bead curtains that provide no privacy and serve no other purpose than to get tangled around each other, or in your hair when you walk through them, came back from 1973 and decided to become earrings.” While this is understandably offensive to the company, it seems Forever 21 has chosen not to pursue further action against Ms. Kane.
There are many reasons why Forever 21 may have chosen not to bring a suit against Ms. Kane.
Our group spends a significant amount of time working on issues relating to the transformation of copyright and trademark laws in the 21st century. I am particularly passionate about and interested in how the Internet and other new technologies challenge these dynamic areas of law. For my first blog post, I revisited a few of what I see as the most influential cases of 2010.
Overview: In January, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael Davis for the District of Minnesota remitted a 2009 jury award of statutory damages totaling $1.92 million against defendant Jammie Thomas-Rasset by 97% to $54,000. This damages award arose from claims that Thomas-Rasset willfully infringed plaintiffs’ copyrights by downloading 24 songs using the Kazaa peer-to-peer network. Judge Davis held that although Plaintiffs highlight valid reasons that Thomas‐Rasset should pay a statutory damages award, the Judge ruled that these facts simply could not justify a $2 million verdict in this case. He further opined that although this new award was still three times the statutory minimum, this reduced award remains “significant and harsh” and should sufficiently serve both the deterrent and the compensatory purposes of statutory damages.
Overview: The plaintiffs rejected the reduced damage award and, instead, asked for a new trial on damages. On November 4, the jury returned a verdict awarding statutory damages in the amount of $62,500 for each of 24 songs for a total amount of $1.5 million.
Takeaways: P2P file-sharing cases are having a profound impact on the future of copyright as applied to individual users of online platforms. Judges in at least two jurisdictions have changed the jury awards — both citing them unconscionable — potentially leading to not only a split in future appeals but also calls for legislation from all sides.