Random Chatlines -- The Month That Was August

August has been a busy month for me as the lull in postings demonstrates.  Nevertheless, there's been no shortage of interesting cases during that time and following are links to a few of them:
  • Latin American Music Co. v. The Archdiocese of San Juan of the Roman Catholic & Apostolic Church, No. 05-2806 (1st Cir., Aug. 16, 2007)
  • Brown v. Latin American Music Co., No. 06-2710 (1st Cir., Aug. 7, 2007)
  •  Mag Jewelry Co. v. Cherokee, Inc., Nos. 06-1556, 06-2127 (1st Cir., Aug. 8, 2007)
  • New York Mercantile Exch., Inc. v. Intercontinental Exch., Inc., No. 05-5585 (2d Cir., Aug. 1, 2007)
  • Time Warner Cable, Inc. v. DIRECTV, Inc., No. 07-0468 (2d Cir., Aug. 9, 2007)
  • Compuware Corp. v. Moody's Investors Services, Inc., No. 05-1851 (6th Cir., Aug. 23, 2007)
  • H-D Michigan, Inc. v. Top Quality Serv., Inc., No. 06-3618 (7th Cir., Aug. 2, 2007)
  • Jada Toys, Inc. v. Mattel, Inc., No. 05-55627 (9th Cir., Aug. 2, 2007)
  • Grocery Outlet, Inc. v. Albertson's Inc., Nos. 06-16380, 06-16448 (9th Cir., Aug. 9, 2007)
  • AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Nat'l Ass'n for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., No. 07-12299 (11th Cir., Aug. 13, 2007)

Random Chatlines--Week of June 18th

  • The Ninth Circuit affirmed the grant of partial summary judgment in the Jimi Hendrix right of publicity case pending in the Western District of Washington.  Via the Seattle Trademark Lawyer.
  • The Federal Circuit found the marks "CHI" and "CHI PLUS," used in connection with electric massagers, likely to cause confusion in an opinion issued on Friday.
  • Marty Schwimmer at The Trademark Blog made my day with his post on Static v. Dynamic Branding that featured an array of the artwork that Google has made of its mark.
  •  The Eleventh Circuit addressed the issue of the "substantial similarities" versus "virtually identical" standard in a copyright infringement case involving competing factual compilations about yachts listed for sale.
  • And in another interesting opinion involving a suit by a Burger King franchisee against McDonald's alleging false advertising under Section 43 of the Lanham Act in connection with McDonald's various promotional games, the Eleventh Circuit tackled the prudential standing test for such claims.

Random Chatlines--Week of June 4th

  • The Seattle Trademark Lawyer is keeping tabs on the litigation over the publicity rights of Jimi Hendrix.
  • In a case involving libel, foreign judgments and personal jurisdiction, check out the Second Circuit's decision in Ehrenfeld v. Mahfouz.
  • William Patry discusses the Supreme Court's decision overruling Conley v. Gibson at The Patry Copyright Blog.
  • Ron Coleman at Likelihood of Confusion gives a good lesson on How Not to Build a Brand.  Got that cease and desist yet?
  • The New York Assembly has passed legislation that would, among other things, make it a class E felony to disseminate "violent and indecent video games" to minors.  According to the summary of the bill, the justification for the bill is that "[p]sychological experts have concluded that there is a connection between playing violent video games and violent behavior[.]"
  • People were talking about a Macmillan exec's rather lame attempt to "teach Google a lesson" by taking two of Google's laptops from the company's booth at Book Expo America in New York, which apparently was intended to reflect the exec's feelings about Google Book Search.  Lawrence Lessig, ars technica and others weighed in on the discussion.

Random Chatlines--Week of May 28th

  • The son of the great Walter Matthau won a legal battle with the William Morris Agency this week involving the agency's alleged right to commissions from payments received in connection with Mr. Matthau's employment contracts.  You can read the California state court's opinion here.
  • And another interesting opinion from the California state courts in which the Los Angeles Unified School District argued that the City of Long Beach and its city attorney were not "persons" under the California Public Records Act and therefore were not entitled to request admittedly public documents under the Act.
  • For all the WoW fans out there (and I know there are one or two of you), Blizzard Entertainment reportedly announced that it is suing Peons4hire, one of the so-called "gold spammers" who send in-game messages to players advertising their power-leveling and gold selling services.  According to the announcement, which was posted on one of the WoW forums, "the operators of Peons4hire have been asked to immediately cease all in-game spamming efforts" or face "further legal action."  I'm still trying to get my hands on a copy of the complaint.  You can see the post and learn more about Blizzard's efforts to reduce gold spamming at the WoW website.
  • I can't top William Patry's description of the recent Ninth Circuit opinion involving copyright and other claims brought by the daughter of Orson Welles in connection with Citizen Kane so I won't even try.  But see here for a copy of the Ninth Circuit's opinion.
  • According to The FOIA Blog, the Society of Professional Journalists was trying to unmask the senator who placed a secret hold on FOIA legislation pending in the Senate and SPJ thinks it may have succeeded.

Random Chatlines--Week of May 21st

This week got away from me but I did manage to take note of a few interesting Chatlines:
  • What is "fair use"?  Good question.  Marybeth Peters talks about the issue in an interesting article at ars technica.  Hat tip to Rebecca Tushnet at the 43(B)log.
  •  And continuing the copyright theme, Mark Helprin at The New York Times opines about perpetual copyright.
  •  Interesting decision (technically issued last week) by the Western District of Washington finding, among other things, that the plaintiffs lacked standing to assert claims under the CAN-SPAM Act.  Hat tip to the TechKnowledgy Blog.

Random Chatlines--Week of May 14th

Throughout the week, there are any number of interesting events, opinions, legal (and non-legal) news items, and discussions that I simply don't have the time to write about at any meaningful length and still get my actual work done.  So, I'm going to endeavor to point out some of these tidbits each week in a (not very creatively) named feature "Random Chatlines."  Here goes, hope you enjoy!

  • Topping the list, the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google (hopefully more on later), in which Perfect 10 claimed Google infringed its copyrighted photos of nude models.
  • Does copying another attorney's complaint constitute copyright infringement?  It's an interesting, albeit not earthshaking, topic that popped up a number of places this week including The WSJ Law Blog, The Trademark Blog, and Techdirt.
  • "Massage interviews"?  Indeed, check out The Official Google Blog.  I think I have a suggestion for a new hire at the firm.......
  • Personally, I thought it was good news this week that Comcast confirmed that it will be dropping Microsoft's television software from its digital cable boxes in Washington in favor of other software used by Comcast customers in the rest of the country.  Check out the story in the Seattle P-I for more details.
  • And back on the legal front, an interesting case from a California appellate court involving the IMDb website in which the court affirmed the order striking the plaintiff's complaint on an anti-SLAPP motion by IMDb.