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"Aloha Poke": Social Media and Consumer Perception are Part of the Trademark Enforcement Equation

Once a company owns a trademark, it must police the mark for unauthorized use, or risk losing its rights. As a result, companies will send “cease and desist” letters to enforce and protect their marks. At times, however, legal rights are only one consideration. Public opinion and consumer perception are also part of the equation, as the Aloha Poke Co. (“Aloha Poke”), a Chicago based restaurant, recently learned firsthand.

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TAGS: Intellectual Property, Social Media, Trademark, Trademark Litigation

2, 4, 6, 8! Who Does Big Fashion Appreciate? The Sixth Circuit Protects Clothing Design In A Thrilling Overtime Victory.

The Sixth Circuit shook up copyright law – and had some fun with it – in the recent decision Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, with reasoning that hinged on an unusual proposition: “[a] plain white cheerleading top and plain white skirt still cover the body and permit the wearer to cheer, jump, kick, and flip.”  (No. 14-5237, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14522, *51 (6th Cir. Aug. 19, 2015).)   The decision, which found a protectable copyright in stripes, chevrons and patterns on uniforms, stood conventional wisdom on its head, flipped the usual script of copyright analysis, and gave new cheer to fashion designers, who are typically shut out from copyright protection. 

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TAGS: Copyright Law, Intellectual Property, Sixth Circuit

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