Archive | July 2011

The Repeat Offender

By Charles Hwang

Reviewed by Kyu Hee Chu

The ubiquitous Forever 21 has struck again. This time the brand has copied a unique textile print (called “Teepees”) owned by Alice Wu and Moriah Carlson, designers for Feral Childe. Unfortunately this was no accident. Forever 21 is well known throughout the industry for copying designs, motifs and entire dresses from prominent designers ranging from Diane von Furstenberg to Phillip Lim.

As discussed in detail by Professor Scafidi of Fordham Law School,[1] because items of clothing and their designs are currently not given any copyright protection, while prints and textiles are, there have been efforts on an industry and political level to change that. An example of this is a bill pushed by New York senator Chuck Schumer that would, among other things, grant designers copyright protection for their designs.

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EA(Uh Oh): It’s In the Game

Written By Ari Rada

Reviewed By Cynthia Amis

 

Electronic Arts (EA) is widely considered the leading global entertainment software company, developing software for personal computers, wireless consoles and video gaming systems.  Among Electronic Arts’ most popular software include:  realistic sports games such as Madden (football), FIFA (soccer), NHL (hockey), NBA Jam (basketball) and NCAA (collegiate sports).  Chances are if you’re a male between the ages of 6 and 30 then you are probably a “self-proclaimed expert” with one of the previously aforementioned EA games  (and you probably belong to a video game anonymous group to quit your addiction as well).   Electronic Arts is one of many video game developers which are part of a now multi-billion dollar industry in the United States alone.  When you are sitting at home on a rainy Sunday afternoon and decide to pick up that Xbox controller determined to finally beat Reggie Bush (or is it #25?) and the USC Trojans on expert level, it is doubtful that you are thinking about a potential multi-million dollar lawsuit that is currently being litigated, potentially changing the entertainment gaming industry forever.

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What’s Mine is [NOT] Yours

Written By Jennifer Williams

Reviewed By Cynthia Amis

Fashion is a tricky thing to define, mainly because it means something different to everyone. It can mean simply what you wear from point A to point B or it can mean what a person uses to transform and express themselves through the art of clothing and accessories. For Tory Burch it partially means $164 million after winning a lawsuit to protect her fashion designs. In December of 2010, fashion designer Tory Burch filed a cybersquatting lawsuit against countless websites carrying the designers name and trademark. These websites were carrying and selling fake Tory Burch branded products, ranging from ballet flats to handbags and accessories.

To fully understand the lawsuit, it must first be understood what cybersquatting is. Generally defined, cybersquatting is registering, selling, or using a domain name containing a trademark that the registrant does not have the rights to. As the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in our daily lives, it is no surprise that cybersquatting has become more of a problem.

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The Secret Eye

Written By Kyu Hee Chu

Reviewed By Cynthia Amis

Technology never ceases to amaze me …and sometimes scare me.  Technology has advanced to the point that somebody can spy on you while you’re in the privacy of your own home, without you ever knowing about it.  That’s what some people who rented from Aaron’s, Inc. experienced with their laptops and what led the Byrd couple to file a lawsuit against the company.

Imagine having rented and bought a laptop and then one day somebody shows up at your door to take back your laptop because he thinks you forgot to make a payment, and as proof he pulls out a photograph of your husband using the laptop that was taken from the webcam.  Creepy?  Major invasion of privacy?  The Byrd couple apparently thought so.

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Terms & Technology: Trademarking “App Store”

Written By Asher Kest

Reviewed By Cynthia Amis

Apple is suing Microsoft over the use of the term “App Store,” insisting that they should own a valid trademark on the term despite its seemingly generic and descriptive meaning. Apple argues that they were the first to use the phrase,[1] and that it is most commonly associated with them. Indeed, generic phrases may be trademarked if applied in an uncommon way. The mark was approved for comment by the patent and trademark office, and Microsoft has since objected to the trademark as a generic and descriptive term, going so far as to hire a linguist[2] to contest Apple’s insistence of the word’s unique value. Of course, Apple already has a linguist on hand to argue that although “App Store” may contain generic words, when put together it becomes a proper noun. Apple has extended their defense of the term, suing Amazon[3] over their use of the similar phrase “appstore.”

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More on file sharing…

By Charles Hwang

Reviewed by Jennifer Williams

Last week I wrote a blog entry about Hollywood trying to grasp at the wallets of Internet Service Providers in Australia in an effort to hold them responsible for illicit file sharing by their customers (see https://artherworldblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/are-you-breaking-the-law/).

Recently, New Zealand passed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill. This new bill will implement a three-strike penalty system of warning letters and fines. Internet Provider (“IP”) addresses will be used to track down offenders. The problem with this method is that many people, groups, and organizations can share an IP address. This means that if you share an IP address with someone and that person infringes on a copyright, you will also be held responsible.

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Little Red Carpet

Written By Jennifer Williams

Reviewed By Cynthia Amis

These days, it is pretty rare for me to be in awe of a red carpet event. Mainly because it seems like every other day there is an opening, award show, or movie premiere that seems to merit a red carpet. Celebrities walk down the red carpet dressed to impress mainly for the benefit of being photographed as part of this ‘it’ event while looking flawless. So it comes as quite a surprise that Shirley Jones, who stars in the television series The Partridge Family, is suing Corbis Corporation for violating her publicity rights by using ten photographs of her on a red carpet and allowing users to search for her name and view images of her.

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