Category: Intellectual Property

How Much is Michael Worth?

The IRS is taking serious issue with Michael Jackson’s estate over the value of various assets upon which taxes are due.  According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times (“LAT”), there is over a billion dollar discrepancy between the value reported by his estate after his 2009 death and the amount concluded by …

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IRS rules on sales-based royalties treatment

The IRS has determined that for sales-based royalties for tax years ending on or after January 13, 2014, taxpayers can either allocate sales-based royalties entirely to property sold and include those costs in cost of goods sold or allocate sales-based rolaties betwen cost of goods sold and ending inventory using a facts and cirucmstances cost …

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US Supreme Court to Hear Significant Copyright Case

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and this change touches on some serious legal issues.  A recent article by Marc Miller and Melissa Reinckens of DLA Piper discusses a case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The cases involves, Aereo, a New York-based startup technology company financed by Barry Diller, utilizes …

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Protecting Their Candy

King is the game developer responsible for the hugely popular online game “Candy Crush Saga”.  Recently it was awarded trademark protection on the word “candy”.  According to a recent article in the LA Times, competitors are complaining that such a common word was granted protection as some have begun to get cease and desist notices. …

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Speculative damages lead to summary judgment

When it comes to damage calculations, the term “speculative” is effectively a death sentence.  In order to provide evidentiary value, a damage calculation must be to a reasonable degree of certainty.  In Carter v. Clements Walker PLLC, et al. (“CW”), the Court found that despite an expert opinion that Carter suffered $33 million in damages, …

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Addressing Judicial Concerns About Consumer Surveys

In the course of affirming the district court’s decision in Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., 2013 WL 6017396, Judge Posner went a step further.  While upholding the injunction, he ended his assessment with some comments “for future reference” when it comes to consumer surveys offered to demonstrate consumer confusion …

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Nash bargaining solution in patent damages is not always a 50%/50% split

The Federal Circuit ruled in Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. that the widely used (but fatally flawed) 25 percent rule can no longer be part of reasonable royalty damages calculations. This article provides the details of this reasonable royalty damages decision. Since that time, plaintiffs have advanced the Nash Bargaining Solution, a theoretical mathematical …

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Google Prevails in Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Google Books

After an eight year class action copyright infringement battle in and out of court, Google won the right to continue its Google Books project to digitize books. According to Judge Denny Chin’s November 14, 2013 Ruling, to date, Google digitized, indexed, and made available for search more than 20 million books. Even though many of …

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Bottega Veneta successfully trademarks it’s signature design element

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) has ruled in re: Bottega Veneta International S.a.r.l., no. 77219184 (TTAB Oct. 4, 2013) that protection is appropriate for Bottega Veneta’s signature “weave design, described as a: “configuration of slim, uniformly-sized strips of leather, ranging from 8 to 12 millimeters in width, interlaced to form a repeating plain or …

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Too Many Fail to Audit their Licensing Agreements, Leaving Royalties on the Table

A patent and license portfolio can provide a consistent and reliable revenue stream. However, many companies have technology, trademarks, and merchandising opportunities that are not fully exploited. Even if fully licensed, there is often considerable upside available via vigilant enforcement of audit provisions to ensure all amounts due are paid. Unlike almost any other business …

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