Having a famous brand might sound pretty awesome, but with a name everyone recognizes comes the hassle of trying to protect that name from others out there trying to make a buck off it. Food Network host Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, is preparing to do battle to keep her brand her own, suing a California company for selling what she calls unauthorized look-alikes of her frozen dinners. [More]
Barefoot Contessa Suing California Company Over Unauthorized “Contessa Chef Inspired” Frozen Dinners
BlackBerry has a bone to pick with Typo, the makers of a slip-on iPhone keyboard that the mobile phone company already sued once with claims that the case infringes on its patents, and it’s not ready to let that bone go anytime soon. A new lawsuit against Typo is now on the books, this time aimed at the company’s second iteration of slip-on accessories [More]
A woman who was arrested last November during a screening of whatever Twilight movie was in theaters at the time has filed suit against the movie chain. She says that she only filmed two short sequences, the opening credits and a moment when her “favorite actor” took off his shirt. Wisely, she does not say in her lawsuit whether she’s Team Beefcake or Team Emo, or my niece would possibly go ballistic. [More]
Last week Constantin Films got YouTube to pull almost all the Angry Hitler parody clips by using the website’s Content ID tracking system. The process is automatic, and YouTube immediately takes down a video once it’s been tagged. However, that also means you can use this system in reverse to get your clips back up, at least for as long as you’re in dispute with the copyright holder. Whether you do this or not will depend on how willing you are to risk a potential lawsuit later on. [More]
Pez Candy is suing the Pez musuem in Burlingame, CA for copyright infringement. The museum has a 7-foot-tall Pez dispenser that they want destroyed. Maybe Pez should make a new candy flavor called “Copyright Overkill” that tastes like all the joy has been removed. [Laughing Squid] (Thanks to sizer!) (Photo: Hryck.)
A well-respected lawyer has a simple message for corporations: stop suing disgruntled customers who start websites to air their grievances. Though William Pecau of Steptoe & Johnson thinks that online gripers are “self-righteous narcissists with time on their hands,” he also realizes that “shutting down a gripe site generally is not easy, often cannot be done, and often is counterproductive.” Pecau goes on to explain exactly why most online gripers are safe from over-hyped takedown notices…
Angela and Vanessa Simmons, daughters of Reverend Run of Run-D.M.C., are following the Hot Topic business model of ripping off the designs of other people. In this case, their fashion line Pastry keeps putting out t-shirt designs that are uncomfortably similar to the tees that Johnny Cupcakes puts out first. Last Spring, he had his lawyer contact them about trademark infringement, but he says that hasn’t stopped them from using his line as a free design resource. Classy!
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a Brooklyn judge made a defendant in an RIAA lawsuit very happy when he ordered the RIAA to document the actual expenses incurred per downloaded song.
Media companies including CBS Corp., Microsoft Corp., News Corp.’s Fox and MySpace, Viacom, Walt Disney and NBC have all agreed to some über-pact of copyright “guidelines” to protect their work, and have said they will announce the details later today. “The agreed principles include using technology to eliminate copyright-infringing content uploaded by users to Web sites and blocking any material before it is publicly accessible.” [Reuters]
A group of Congressmen used Simpsons characters without permission in a weird press release that involves Mr. Burns, Mayor Joe Quimby, some anti-MoveOn swipes and a little incest humor. Fox has said they did not authorize the usage and that the characters “may not be used in this manner,” but TechDirt wonders whether the network will sue? (We’re thinking no.) [TechDirt]
Vonage has settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Sprint, agreeing to pay $80 million. Vonage has also struck a deal with Sprint to license their technology, a move that helped boost Vonage’s stock, according to the NYT.
In the U.S., teens blithely record movie clips; in France, they produce “near professional” translations. A 16-year-old French kid translated the final Harry Potter book and posted it online within days of its late July release, and now could face a heavy fine as well as charges for violating intellectual property rights. Police are also questioning other minors who may have helped.