What Is The UDRP? (and Why It Matters to Your Business)

What Is The UDRP? (and Why It Matters to Your Business)

Domain Names, Trademark, Trademark Infringement, UDRP
In the past month, I've had a number of clients who are either facing, or are in a good position to use, the Uniform Domain-name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) for their websites and domain names. Given this rash of requests to our e-commerce law firm, this might be a good idea to explain just what is the UDRP and the advantages it offers online businesses and trademark owners facing disputes over domain names utilizing or confusingly similar to their valuable brands. What is the UDRP? The explosion of the World Wide Web in the very late 20th Century led to a number of enterprising individuals attempting to register trademarks they did not own or had no legal authority to use as Internet domain names. The purpose behind this "land grab"…
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How Do I Trademark My Book Title?

How Do I Trademark My Book Title?

Entertainment, Trademark, Trademark Infringement
Stacked Books by Thought Catalog from Pexels Every now and then, I'm asked by aspiring authors, songwriters, film makers, and other creative types, “How do I trademark the title of my book [or song, movie, etc.]?” In this post, we take a look and answer the question of whether titles to books can even receive trademark protection and how you can possibly protect the economic value of that awesome book, song, or painting title of yours. Ben's Note: For purposes of this post, I will keep things simple by referring to titles of books, but, for the most part, you can extrapolate these ideas to whatever work you’ve created, e.g., new song, photograph, YouTube video, etc. Can I Trademark My Book Title? First off, let's eliminate the suspense. In general,…
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Repeat After Me—Domains are NOT Trademarks (but Trademarks Can Be Domains)

Repeat After Me—Domains are NOT Trademarks (but Trademarks Can Be Domains)

E-Commerce, Entity Formation, Lanham Act, Trademark, Trademark Infringement
Lately, I've had more than one new business owner client tell me they registered a website domain with their company name and, because they were able to do this, then it must not be a registered trademark and available, right? [I direct your attention to the title of this blog post] No, you cannot just add a word onto someone else's trademark and register that domain A recent situation with a new startup client ran something like this: the founder had selected their company name but had not ever bothered to perform an actual trademark search or "clear" the usage of the name. She subsequently hired my firm to assist with getting their startup formally set up and basic initial documentation and disclosures prepared. At one point, the founder requested…
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Cara Delevigne Followed Me: Protecting Value in Celebrity Names

Cara Delevigne Followed Me: Protecting Value in Celebrity Names

Trademark Dilution, Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition
Will the real Cara Delevingne please stand up? The other morning, I woke up to a notification that (British model, singer, and actress) Cara Delevingne had followed me on Instagram. After congratulating myself on how hip I was to recognize the name of a (currently) famous person, and contemplating Cara and I's eventual life together, I then realized from the actual Instagram handle that it was not THE Cara Delevingne now following my amazing Instagram life but someone (for whatever bizarre reason) merely posing as her. My disappointment got me thinking about the legal challenges faced by famous persons and celebrities in protecting their names from use by others in this social media age. If you are a celebrity (or quasi-celebrity) these days, what can you do to prevent others…
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The Handmaid’s Fail: Can Trademark Dilution Exist in Lingerie?

Trademark, Trademark Blurring, Trademark Dilution, Trademark Infringement, Uncategorized
One of my favorite things on premium television is streaming network Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's bestselling dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”. After a highly acclaimed (13 Emmy nominations, 8 wins) debut season, the online series had its much-anticipated Season 2 premier last week. For those who have not yet seen the show or read the novel, THT tells the story of Offred (played by the always fantastic Elizabeth Moss), a “handmaid” living in a future totalitarian, theocratic state that has replaced the good 'ol USA.  For reasons neither the show nor novel get into, the wives of Gilead’s ruling elite (all men, naturally) have been rendered barren and, as a result, fertile women like Offred (who is married with a young daughter of her own) are kidnapped and forced…
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