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September 2015 Archives

"Happy Birthday To You" is now part of the public domain

Most people in California sing 'Happy Birthday To You" without thinking about copyright infringement. However, the famous song has only recently been added to the public domain. On Sept. 22, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the copyright for 'Happy Birthday To You" was not valid, and the copyright owners can no longer collect royalties for the song.

Lawsuits over trademarking search results

California investors might be interested in understanding more about how the judicial system manages trademark disputes associated with search engines. The focus of these court battles typically centers on third-party trademarks used in search returns and advertising. Critics argue that these types of trademarks may be used to confuse Internet users looking for a specific product or brand.

Trademark owners cautioned about issue preclusion

California businesses that own trademarks may be interested in a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit that reversed its earlier decision after the case was remanded back to it by the U.S. Supreme Court. It deals with a long fight over trademarks between B&B Hardware and Hargis Industries. B&B, which owns the registered trademark SEALTIGHT, had filed opposition proceedings with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board over the proposed registration by Hargis of the mark SEALTITE. At the same time, it filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Hargis in federal district court.

Lawsuit filed over counterfeit Disney cake toppers

Lawyers for Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Sanrio have filed a trademark infringement complaint against two eBay sellers in a California federal court. The complaint alleges that the two men have been using an eBay storefront to sell counterfeit cake toppers featuring the likenesses of the plaintiffs' trademarked images without permission.

Maker of the "The Cobbler" sues 11

California residents may have heard about a lawsuit filed in Oregon involving movie sharing service Popcorn Time. In August 2015, a movie studio filed suit against 11 people who used the site to download and share the movie "The Cobbler", which starred Adam Sandler and was released in 2014. Although no one has been singled out by name, the lawsuit does list the 11 anonymous defendants, their IP addresses and their service provider Comcast Cable.

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