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Week in Review

By Ben Natter

EL CHAPO's IP Protection

Multiple trademark and service mark applications were filed with the Mexico Intellectual Property Office (IMPI) for EL CHAPO, EL CHAPO GUZMAN, and JOAQUIN EL CHAPO GUZMAN in 2011.

The Applicant was Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's daughter, and it was widely reported that all of the applications were refused due to the fact that Mr. Guzman was a fugitive at the time when the applications were filed. Upon further review, it appears that registrations were obtained for the mark EL CHAPO in connection with toys, business management, advertising, leather goods, jewelry and watches. There are also third-party registrations for the mark EL CHAPO in classes 9 and 41.

Chapo is a common nickname in Mexico, refering to a little person, and the applications for registration likely were not refused for this reason. It has been reported that Mr. Guzman was looking to have a film made about his life and he recently met with the actor Sean Penn while in hiding in the Mexican jungle.

IMPI Search:

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE Sues Chinese Counterfeiters

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH) filed a trademark infringement claim in Beijing's district court against three Chinese retailers who were selling counterfeit goods via the Alibaba owned website, Taobao (which targets Chinese consumers). The defendants were convicted of selling counterfeit goods in 2014; however they have not yet been punished by the Beijing district court.

Taobao and Alibaba are arguably the most notorious online marketplaces for counterfeits, and Alibaba makes it very difficult for brand owners to police their intellectual property on Taobao. At any given time, a search for a well-known brand on Taobao or Tmall, Taobao's consumer focused website, will reveal hundreds of counterfeits.


Tmall search for "Vuitton":

Taobao search for "Vuitton":

Trademark Attorney Sues U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

An attorney behind the mass trademark filing Website "The Trademark Company" has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that alleges, among other claims, that the USPTO has violated his Fifth Amendment right to due process. He claims that the USPTO's Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) initiated an investigation into his mass filing practice, and allegedly contacted the attorney's clients without his knowledge. The OED is investigating 15,000 applications filed by the attorney, and the plaintiff claims that the USPTO has seemingly made it very difficult for his website to conduct business.

U.S. District Court Complaint:

Cosby's Attorneys Argue That Binding 2005 Promise Should Bar Prosecution

Attorneys for Bill Cosby argued that a 2005 promise by then-Montgomery County, PA. District Attorney Bruce Castor that Mr. Cosby would not be prosecuted criminally for the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand should bar prosecution of the current criminal case. According to the filing submitted by Cosby's attorneys on January 11th, Cosby agreed to a 2005 deposition in a related civil matter based on a verbal promise by Mr. Castor that the testimony from the deposition would not be used in any future criminal matters. Cosby's attorneys stated that Castor had reminded the current District Attorney's Office of the verbal promise in 2015 before criminal charges were filed.

Cosby's attorneys also seek to have the criminal charges dismissed on the basis of the current prosecutor's political motives and his past history with Castor.


New York City Opera to Return

The New York City Opera will return on January 20th, with a presentation of Puccini's "Tosca", as part of a court approved settlement to revive the opera from bankruptcy. "Tosca" will be a production of the new owner of the New York City Opera, NYCO Renaissance. The group hopes to bill the opera as a co-production with the New York City Opera.

NYCO Renaissance is led by Roy G. Niederhoffer, a former member of the New York City Opera Board. NYCO Renaissance had to overcome a number of hurdles to revive the New York City Opera from bankruptcy, including objections from the Attorney General's Office and settlement of debts owed by the New York City Opera.



CBS and Paramount File Suit for Infringement of Stark Trek IP

CBS and Paramount filed a complaint in the Central District of California against the crowdfunded Axanar project for copyright infringement. Axanar aims to be the first independent Star Trek film, and has already received more than $1 million in crowdfunding. The producers of the film expect it to be the first "professional" independent Star Trek film. CBS and Paramount have historically not pursued intellectual property infringement claims against independent Star Trek related productions, however this one garnered closer attention, due to its fund raising success and the release of a closely watched trailer.



Here is a listing of Star Trek fan productions:

ISIS Profiting From Looted Antiquities

Last March, Bulgarian police recovered artifacts dating back 5,000 years, originating from an ancient city in what is now known as Iraq. Few countries have shown interest in enacting regulations to combat the illegal trading of artifacts, and experts feel that ISIS has been able to exploit vulnerabilities in international law. It is widely known that ISIS has allowed plundering of antiquities in the territory controlled by the group as a way to raise revenue (through taxing excavations).

While it is difficult to trace looted antiquities directly to ISIS, a recent surge in the quantity of antiquities originating from ISIS controlled territory, evidence that the antiquities were recently excavated, and ISIS endorsement of illegal excavations, suggest that the artifacts are coming from regions currently under ISIS control.


See article on ISIS taxation:

FIFA Bans Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid From Signing Players

This week, FIFA imposed a punishment on both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, related to both clubs' actions involving their youth team players. FIFA has strict regulations with respect to transfers of players under the age of 18 in youth programs associated with professional clubs. The punishment will exclude both clubs from participating in the transfer market for one year (the next two transfer windows). There is a 90 day window for appeals.

Previously, Barcelona FC was punished for similar actions, and delayed the ban through appeals. Once the punishment was in place, Barcelona circumvented the restrictions on transfers by signing players to contracts beginning after the punishment expired.


Cardinals Scouting Director Pleads Guilty

Chris Correa, former scouting director for the St. Louis Cardinals, last week plead guilty in Federal Court in Houston to 12 charges of unauthorized computer access. Correa used passwords recovered from a former Houston Astros employee to gain access to the Houston Astros database, scouting information, and research belonging to the Astros. Correa's actions were uncovered by a New York Times investigation, and the federal government decided to pursue charges at that time.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 15, 2016 11:10 AM.

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