Category Archives: Newly Filed

Companies Battle Over the Word “How”

Authors: Margaret A. Esquenet, Danielle Wright

The word “how” is the center of a trademark dispute between a best-selling author and a Greek yogurt manufacturer.

Author Dov Seidman recently brought suit in the Southern District of New York against yogurt maker Chobani and its advertising agency Droga5, claiming the companies stole his trademarked term “HOW”. In 2011, Seidman authored the best-selling book, “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything,” and has for the last ten years helped companies create more ethical cultures, according to a recent article by the New York Times. Reversely, Chobani ─ the nation’s largest Greek yogurt manufacturer ─ has vigorously used the term “How Matters” in marketing materials to illustrate the differences between how its yogurt and American yogurt are made. Chobani sought to cancel Seidman’s  trademark for “How” and filed its own trademark application for the phrase “How Matters.” To illustrate that Chobani and Droga5 had knowledge of his use of the term, Seidman points to a Twitter message addressed to him and sent out by Chobani, and a meeting in which the advertising agency was present. In its court documents, Droga5 claims to have never heard of Seidman.

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California Court to Consider Whether Universal’s “Section 6” Screenplay Infringes MGM’s James Bond Copyrights

Author: Naresh Kilaru

It has been nearly two decades since the District Court for the Central District of California ruled that the James Bond character is protected under copyright law in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. v. American Honda Motor Co., 900 F. Supp. 1287, 1296 (C.D. Cal. 1995). In a recently-filed suit against Universal City Studios, MGM is now relying on that precedent to once again ask the same court to enforce its rights in the Bond character and movie franchise.  Danjaq, LLC v. Universal City Studios LLC, No. 2:14-cv-02527-DDP-E (C.D. Cal. Apr. 3, 2014). The suit arises after Universal won a heated bidding war with rival studios to purchase a screenplay written by co-defendant Aaron Berg entitled “Section 6,” which apparently tells the story about the formation of the British MI6 intelligence agency.

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Hollywood Movie Studios, Record Labels Sue Megaupload for Copyright Infringement

Author: Brian R. Westley

Major movie studios and record labels are suing Megaupload for copyright infringement, claiming the popular file-sharing website encouraged users to upload hundreds of thousands of unauthorized copies of popular films, television shows, and music each day.

Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom, face two separate lawsuits, both filed this month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The first lawsuit filed on April 7 includes movie studios Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, and Paramount. The studios allege the infringement of popular movies such as “Tangled,” “Transformers,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” The second lawsuit, filed three days later, includes record labels Sony, Capitol Records, and Warner Music. They allege the infringement of hit songs by Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars and other popular recording artists.

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