Perhaps it’s surprising that Pastor Shirley Caesar never registered her name as a source-indicating mark before now. Thankfully, trademark rights attach even to unregistered marks [NOLO.com] used in connection with sale of goods or, in her case, entertainment services as a world-renowned gospel recording artist.
And now after the “U Name It” Challenge [BET.com w/ sound] became a thing and gave new meaning to the phrase “going viral” recently, Caesar and her legal team realized that securing trademark rights in her name is as important as protecting her copyright interests.
About the “You Name It” Viral Clip
The video clip making viral rounds on social media is an excerpt from a live performance of “Hold My Mule.” The legendary gospel sermon has been edited to revolve around Caesar’s chant, “beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes,” in response to the question, “Grandma, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?” – BET.com
I invite you to register for Wednesday’s webinar, hosted by the NBA IP Law Section. Registration is free for all IP Section members, and $30 for non-members.
IP Law Review – A Survey of Recent Developments in Patent, Trademark, and Trade Secret Law.
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Follow live tweet at #NBAIPLaw
- Tonya Evans (Widener University Commonwealth Law School) – Moderator
- Darrell Mottley (Banner Witcoff)
- Shontavia Johnson (Drake University Law School)
- Kevin Jordan (JP Morgan Chase)
Summary – Our panelists will discuss a variety of hot topics and recent developments in patent, trademark, and trade secret law, including:
- The internet of things as an emerging technology/industry, and related IP and regulatory issues
- Intersection between the First Amendment and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act regarding registration of immoral, scandalous, or disparaging trademarks, including the impact of trademark cases
- Overview of trade secret law and its viability as an alternative means of IP protection
CLE Info: The NBA IP Law Section is looking into obtaining CLE accreditation in the following jurisdictions: CA, GA, IL, NY, TX, and VA. For questions regarding CLE accreditation, please contact Bill Barrow (wbarrow[at]mayerbrown.com).
Cost: This webinar is free for NBA IP Law Section members and costs $30 (plus processing fees) for non-members.
On September 18-19, 2015 Howard University School of Law is hosting a national conference focusing on entertainment, arts, and sports law. It will be held at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. The conference agenda is below. Online registration is available here: http://newglobaleas.com.
The gala dinner and awards ceremony honoring Professor Spencer Boyer is on Friday night. The tickets for that event are available here: http://www.law.howard.edu/1952.
Conference Agenda Read more…
Real Housewives of NY “Pop of Color” Trademark Kerfuffle: Not so fast Kristin, Bethenny’s right. Sort of.
The IP-meets-reality world according to Professor Evans:
So if you’ve ever wondered what intellectual property law professors do after the semester ends and grades are submitted (except for recuperate from hip surgery), this post may clear it up.
We sleep, travel, surf the Interweb, research and write law review articles, blog, review lesson plans and, of course, catch up on guilty pleasure t.v. (one more day until Orange is the New Black!!!!! … but I digress).
Sometimes if we’re lucky, those to-dos (such as they are) converge into a perfect storm. At least that’s what just happened to me.
Case in point. This afternoon, I was flipping through cable news channels and overwhelmed with the horror that is the escaped murderer debacle in New York. I needed something less intense, less serious, less scary, less … real. So I clicked on over to Bravo to catch the “reality” du jour. I landed on one of my fave Real Housewives franchises (yeah, I said it): Real Housewives of New York.
Oh the “Pop of Crazy” RHONY trademark episode. So much went on … where do I begin. Catch the recap here from RealityTea.com.
To be fair to Kristin, she certainly has filed. But ultimate registration cannot issue until she demonstrates actual use. So, to be fair to Bethenny, Kristin doesn’t own the federal trademark registration. Yet. She remains a work (and trademark registration) in progress. Read more…
On Wednesday, June 18th, the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (TTAB), an administrative arm of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), ruled the NFL Washington “Redskins” trademark should be canceled on the grounds that it is disparaging to Native Americans.
If you’re an early bird, tune into The Matt McGill Morning Show onWVON 1690AM “The Talk of Chicago” (wvon.com) Thursday June 19th at 8:05 AM ET/7:05 AM CT to hear me analyze what the cancellation ruling says and, more importantly, what it means. If you’re not in Chicago or able to tune in via the radio, listen live at
About the Matt McGill “The Talk of Chicago” Morning Show
Matt McGill is one the country’s premier morning-drive personalities. As a host on one of the nation’s only Urban Talk radio stations, McGill’s morning show is the only locally produced program which targets affluent African-American adults in what is the largest market in the country. McGill offers substantive conversation mixed with his own brand of observational humor, making him a favorite amongst Chicago’s movers and shakers; business and community leader; as well as politicians.
On February 9th, The Huff Post and other media outlets reported the grand opening of a store in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, “Dumb Starbucks”. The clever prankish parody even caught the attention of Forbes:
‘Although it looks like Starbucks, smells like Starbucks and even acts like Starbucks (the super-friendly baristas asking for your name were hired off Craigslist), the whole thing is an elaborate goof on Starbucks culture. A list of Frequently Asked Questions posted on premises compared the place to Weird Al Yankovic’s homage to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Dumb Starbucks, you see, is the “Eat It” of $6 coffee drinks.’ Source: Forbes.com
Amazingly, people stood in line for hours for the Dumb Starbucks java, which reportedly was whatever the local grocery store had on hand for the few days Dumb Starbucks remained open. The locals and media alike seemed to get a big kick out of the entire thing. Starbucks execs? Um, not so much. The Dumb Starbucks mastermind, Comedy Central comedian Nathan Fielder from Nathan for You, explained the method to his parodic madness and the Starbucks response to Jimmy Kimmel recently:
The store shutdown for reasons completely unrelated to the trademark vs. parody debate. It seems that Fielder not only caught the attention of the coffee giant, Starbucks, but also the local health department. The Health Department cited code violations for selling coffee without a permit. And there is no word on whether Fielder will attempt to secure the necessary permissions to re-open. But what is sure to re-open and remain so is the debate on whether the First Amendment and parody trumps trademark law. Read more…