In the ongoing saga of the copyright-infringing Baltimore Ravens football logo design, the 4th Circuit held that the fair use defense insulated the Ravens—who discontinued the infringing logo several years ago—from liability for displaying the infringing logo in a pictorial collage of the organization’s history in its corporate office, but not forselling highlight films from the years when the players wore the infringing design on their helmets.Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens L.P., No. 08-2381 (4th Cir. Sept. 2, 2010).
In a patent/trademark case in which the district court made some seemingly bizarre trademark rulings, the Federal Circuit held that a trademark invalidity declaratory judgment cannot be dismissed for lack of an Article III case or controversy where the mark owner has actually sued the party seeking the D.J. for infringement.(One would have thought that this is not a concept that needs to be rectified at the appeals level.)In another part of the opinion, the Federal Circuit also used imprecise nomenclature when it repeatedly referred to a demand for a disgorgement of profits as a “damage” claim—an imprecision that could cause confusion down the line since the principles applying to each remedy are quite different.Green Edge Enters., LLC v. Rubber Mulch Etc., LLC, No 2009-1455 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 7, 2010).
I am an IP lawyer in Houston, and have been practicing law about 19 years. I work more on the trademark side, though I have litigated several patent and copyright cases as well.
Although I discuss court decisions on this site, this blog does not constitute legal advice. It's a fun hobby. One more thing. Anyone reading this does not, as a result of reading, or publishing a comment on, this blog, become my client. In contrast, my readers and commenters (if any) are just part of our Founding Fathers' grand and glorious vision of free speech. Very public speech.