A Sad Day for Happy-Talk

In a highly anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States recently held that the disparagement clause of federal trademark law violates the First Amendment. This disparagement clause refused federal trademark registration for trademarks that are likely to disparage people, institutions, or beliefs. All eight participating justices agreed that…

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Social Media Influencers Get Fyre’d

The ill-fated Fyre Festival drew delighted mockery from Internet denizens earlier this month and continues to draw lawsuits against the organizers. Social media “influencers” played a huge role in convincing people to buy tickets to the event that never happened and they are not escaping legal action. At least one…

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Copyright and the Meaning of Art

The “Fearless Girl” statue sparked headlines around the world in March when it appeared opposite the famous “Charging Bull” statue at Manhattan’s Bowling Green. The statue, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors as an advertisement for its index fund of gender diverse companies, generated a fair amount of controversy. Among…

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Social Media & Copyright: Know Your Rights

Every couple of years, we see social media users publishing long posts containing broad declarations of copyright with lots of legalese. We want to shout from the rooftop: STOP!  Those posters are not doing anything to preserve their intellectual property rights. They simply spread misinformation about the nature of copyright in the age of…

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Is That Hashtag A #Trademark?

Hastags - a pound sign followed by a word or series of words with no space between - are ubiquitous on social media. People use them to spark and continue conversation about various topics on social media platforms. But can they be trademarked? #Trademark Applications Increasingly, companies are seeking to protect hashtags as…

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