Time once again for the STL grab bag!
- On Aug. 20, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran Ann Woolner’s syndicated column on Johnson & Johnson’s infringement dispute with the American Red Cross over ARC’s rights to the red cross. Ms. Woolner sided with Johnson & Johnson, concluding if the company “wants to keep what it claims as its 100-year old right to use the mark commercially, it had to either negotiate a compromise or sue. The Red Cross left it with only that one option.”
- On Aug. 19, law blogger Marc Randazza wrote a long post about Nautica Apparel Inc.’s TTAB proceeding opposing adult entertainer Shauna Tokumi’s application to register her screen name NAUTICA THORN as a trademark. He was ok with the notice of opposition until Nautica alleged that registration should be refused on the ground that the mark is scandalous or immoral: “Oh, see, now they went and made me mad,” he wrote. “In my opinion, this claim should subject Nautica® to sanctions. … “[I]t appears that Nautica’s® attorneys went way overboard with that claim. Section 2(a) only applies to the mark itself — not the services provided or identified by the mark. The USPTO isn’t supposed to delve into whether the product or services are immoral or scandalous, but solely whether the mark itself is (much to the chagrin of some examiners). This was a gross overreach and Nautica® should have to pay Shauna Tokumi’s fees for dismissing that count. It won’t happen, but they should.” As usual, Mr. Randazza provides a good read.
- I have been remiss in reporting on two Seattle law blogs. Really remiss in one case. Seattle attorney Venkat Balasubramani has been writing his blog, Spam Notes, since July 2006. He writes about “Electronic communications, privacy, identity theft, data protection, adware, spyware, and more.” He recently posted a disturbing story about a lawyer who was sanctioned after missing a settlement conference because the court’s minute order didn’t make it past his firm’s spam filter that had been installed earlier that same day. (The District of Colorado’s 10-page order awarding fees against the lawyer here). Ouch!
- I feel somewhat less guilty about the other blog, which I can almost passably characterize as “new.” It’s the Open-Government Blog, which Michele Earl-Hubbard and Greg Overstreet began publishing in May in connection with the opening of their new law firm, the Allied Law Group. They write about “open government issues of interest to regular citizens, media, trade associations, and government agencies,” including decisions on Washington’s Public Records Act, Open Public Meetings Act, and the media. These guys are the best at what they do, so I am sure you can count on the o-g blog for breaking news and analysis on Washington’s sunshine laws.