Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Legal Insight for the Retail and Consumer Products Industry

Dickerson M. Downing

Dickerson M. Downing

Dickerson M. Downing is a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group in New York, with over 25 years of experience in trademark, copyright and trade secret law as well as other areas of intellectual property law. He has successfully brought and defended cases for trademark, trade dress and copyright infringement, false advertising, trade secret violations and related causes of action in courts throughout the United States for a variety of corporate clients. He has been involved in the seizure of infringing goods, the detainment of infringing goods by the United States Customs Office and in the successful action to prevent the sale of imported “gray market” goods in the United States.

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.Sucks to Be You?

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, IP/Brand Protection
Caveat Brand Owner: We are in the beginning of a two-month “sunrise period” for trademark owners to register their marks as second level domain names in “.sucks.” While the purported purpose of the “.sucks” domain name is to provide a forum for customers to voice constructive criticism, trademark owners may disagree.  The hefty price tag… Continue Reading

Expect Increased Scrutiny from the USPTO Regarding Trademark Use Claims

Posted in IP/Brand Protection
Trademark applicants and registrants may experience increased scrutiny of their trademark use claims in light of the results of a recent Pilot Program, conducted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), showing that fifty percent (50%) of approximately 500 randomly selected registrants could not support the claims made in previously filed Declarations of… Continue Reading

What Do Actress Lindsay Lohan and Former Panamanian Strongman Manuel Noriega Have in Common?

Posted in IP/Brand Protection, Privacy & Data Protection
Both have recently brought legal actions against video game makers alleging that their rights of privacy or publicity have been violated by characters in video games. The lawsuits are the latest in a series of high profile disputes that pit an individual’s personality rights against a game maker’s First Amendment rights. Various states have enacted… Continue Reading

FTC Updates Guidance to Search Engine Industry on the Need to Distinguish Between Advertisements and Search Results

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, IP/Brand Protection
The Federal Trade Commission recently sent letters to a number of search engine companies regarding what the FTC perceives to be “a decline in compliance” with the FTC’s 2002 guidelines requiring that search engine results clearly and prominently distinguish natural search results from paid advertising. In the letter, the FTC notes that the failure to properly… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Finds That Use of a College Football Player’s Likeness in a Video Game Violates His Right of Publicity

Posted in IP/Brand Protection
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on May 21, 2013, finding that the use of the likeness of Ryan Hart, a former standout quarterback for Rutgers, in a video game about college football, violated Mr. Hart’s right of publicity. Hart v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 11-3750, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10171, at… Continue Reading

Companies May Begin to Protect Their Online Presence Anew: Trademark Clearinghouse Now Available for New gTLDs

Posted in IP/Brand Protection
As of March 26, 2013, trademark owners may submit their trademarks for inclusion in the “Trademark Clearinghouse,” which may be a valuable tool for minimizing the potential for abuse resulting from the imminent expansion in the number of generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). Inclusion in the Clearinghouse will give the mark owner the opportunity to… Continue Reading