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Little Pet Shop, Big Right of Publicity Problem

When Hasbro introduced a hamster named “Harris Faulkner” to its “Littlest Pet Shop” line of animal character toys, it drew a multi-million dollar lawsuit from real-life television journalist Harris Faulkner. The complaint, filed in New Jersey, included claims for violation of the right of publicity under New Jersey common law…

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Dilution of Famous Trademarks

Part 1 of this series about famous marks discussed the well-known marks doctrine. This post discusses trademark dilution. Famous Brands and Dilution Owners of famous marks can prevent others from using marks that “dilute” the famous mark under federal law. See 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c). Prior to 1996, trademark owners relied on…

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Coming This Fall: A Timely Copyright Dispute

  The fall television season is upon us, with networks busily promoting their new shows in hopes of creating the next lucrative franchise. And new creative endeavors often bring us interesting intellectual property issues. This time, it’s a copyright dispute involving time travel. Ok, not really. But it does involve…

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Trademark Tools and the Price of “Fame”

Everyone may have his or her fifteen minutes, but there’s always a price to pay for fame. For brand owners, fame brings special challenges as it brings imitators, fans, and social commentary. This is the first in a series of posts about trademark law tools that are specific to famous…

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The Billion Dollar Copyright

The use of photographs and other digital images on the web can be a tricky business. Copyright owners are increasingly taking steps to police their images by monitoring web content using automated means like web scrapers. Many online content creators have had to learn the hard way about the pitfalls…

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Trademark Lessons From Crazy Horse Strip Clubs

Better known for juicy tales of mobsters, adult film stars, and general shenanigans, the now-closed Las Vegas strip club “Crazy Horse Too” plays a role in providing important lessons in trademark law. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently put to rest a dispute over the “Crazy Horse” trademark for…

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