Copyright Counselors

Copyright Counselors Copyright Counselors is the boutique art and entertainment law firm and literary agency of John D Mason. We offer artists, writers, and creative professionals reliable legal backing for their business needs.

Operating as usual

It's one thing for a company to enforce its color TM within its industry, where there is a real danger of brand confusio...
12/02/2019
T-Mobile Has A Trademark On Magenta, Demands An Insurance Company Stop Using It

It's one thing for a company to enforce its color TM within its industry, where there is a real danger of brand confusion. It's a stretch to claim that a consumer would confuse an insurance company with T-Mobile because they use the same shade of pink.

http://ow.ly/fGNH50xpzr0

The mobile phone carrier is serious about the color associated with its brand. Now, a legal dispute involving T-Mobile's parent is raising the question: Is it possible to own a color?

In declining to register "widely used phrases" as trademarks, the US PTO has ensured that our precious memes remain in t...
11/22/2019
Trying to Trademark a Meme? OK Boomer

In declining to register "widely used phrases" as trademarks, the US PTO has ensured that our precious memes remain in the hands of the public where they belong.
http://ow.ly/ygHk50xi65u

At least five trademark applications are pending for the retort, according to a database for the federal patent office, including one by Fox Media, which hopes to use it for a possible television series.

If you think you'll be able to corner a market by branding your business after a market, know that generic trademarks ar...
11/11/2019
U.S. Supreme Court to consider blocking Booking.com trademark

If you think you'll be able to corner a market by branding your business after a market, know that generic trademarks are not eligible for registration with the U.S. PTO. Remember - the more unique the trademark, the better it can protect your brand.

http://ow.ly/ORA850x7QSU

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider a bid by a federal agency to...

It is possible to gin up publicity for your brand by attempting to register unusual trademarks with the US PTO, but it's...
10/16/2019

It is possible to gin up publicity for your brand by attempting to register unusual trademarks with the US PTO, but it's not without risk. Whatever your TM application strategy, we're here to help!

"Brands win by losing with creative trademark filings"
http://ow.ly/FSc250wMSAP

This article discusses UK law, but the same "use it (in commerce) or lose it" principle applies to trademarks in the US....
10/03/2019
Banksy Has to Start Selling His Merch So Nobody Else Can

This article discusses UK law, but the same "use it (in commerce) or lose it" principle applies to trademarks in the US. We wish it was easier for public artists to protect their work, but until the law comes up with a solution, we're here to help!

http://ow.ly/cas050wAGvm

The famously anonymous global street artist's situation shows how hard it is for graffiti writers to avoid getting ripped off.

Long story short: copyright in music is so convoluted and multi-dimensional that expert advice is suggested even to regi...
10/01/2019

Long story short: copyright in music is so convoluted and multi-dimensional that expert advice is suggested even to register the copyright for musical works properly.

"Stairway to Heaven and the Scope of Musical Copyright" http://ow.ly/YNt650wyt1T

Yes, we at CC are lawyers, but we've maintained a semblance of humanity (we're all about artist's rights). So, we're not...
09/17/2019
A Different Landscape: The Intersection Of Artwork, Architecture, And Copyright

Yes, we at CC are lawyers, but we've maintained a semblance of humanity (we're all about artist's rights). So, we're not buying the claim that a mural painted on a building functions as architecture. Murals are powerful, but not as structural support ...

http://ow.ly/E4Yj50wdz9U

Any company (or client) seeking to use photographs of buildings that depict graffiti or murals should be careful and mindful of this somewhat murky copyright area.

We've been following this case since Mercedes sued four muralists for objecting to the uncompensated use of their art in...
09/09/2019
Battle Between Mercedes-Benz and Street Artists Could Redraw Copyright Landscape

We've been following this case since Mercedes sued four muralists for objecting to the uncompensated use of their art in Mercedes's ads. Here's hoping the court doesn't curtail the rights muralists have to protect their work!

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/mercedes-benz-street-artists-fight-could-redraw-copyright-landscape-1229543

A lawsuit involving a series of Detroit murals may define how much protection artists have if their work is in plain sight on the exterior of a building.

You guys, I really can't stress this enough: simplistic trademarks made of commonly used elements invite major headaches...
08/28/2019
New Balance Wants to Shut Down Nautica's Use of a "Block Letter 'N'" in New Lawsuit — The Fashion Law

You guys, I really can't stress this enough: simplistic trademarks made of commonly used elements invite major headaches and high legal bills. That may be good for our wallets, but we are nice lawyers and want the best for you.

http://ow.ly/hzLX50vMHwt

New Balance is calling foul on Nautica for “intentionally” copying some of its staple design and branding elements – one of which being the stylized “N” that has appeared on its sneakers since the 1970s – in a newly-filed lawsuit. Since the release of its 320 trainer in 1976, New Ba...

Wow. It might be a little premature to talk about whether we should be granting copyrights to non-human creators like AI...
08/16/2019
Keaton Patti on Twitter

Wow. It might be a little premature to talk about whether we should be granting copyrights to non-human creators like AI. This makes you appreciate human creative genius all the more. Also, what exactly is "goth ham"?

http://ow.ly/43Q630pmGy4

“I forced a bot to watch over 1,000 hours of Batman movies and then asked it to write a Batman movie of its own. Here is the first page.”

Everyone please stop panicking! OSU will only be able to claim trademark rights to "The" when it is used as part of "The...
08/15/2019
Ohio State University seeks to trademark the word 'The'

Everyone please stop panicking! OSU will only be able to claim trademark rights to "The" when it is used as part of "The Ohio State University". Still, OSU has already registered the TM "Ohio State University", so this move is a bit redundant ...
http://ow.ly/l1En30pmf4x

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University wants to trademark the word "The" when used as part of the school's name on university merchandise. The Columbus Dispatch reports the school...

An excellent article explaining the elements of copyright owned by a creator, and how those rights can be infringed.http...
08/09/2019
Clarifying the U.S. Approach to Copyright and Plagiarism

An excellent article explaining the elements of copyright owned by a creator, and how those rights can be infringed.

http://ow.ly/58FZ30pkkRp

Copyright is one of the most important intellectual property rights for any individual in America. For this reason, I think it is important to clear up some misunderstandings in the recent IP Watchdog article, “A Question of Morals: The U.S. Approach to Plagiarism, ‘Moral Rights’, and Copyrigh...

The take home here is that it's much easier to protect more complex and detailed trademarks than something as simplistic...
08/05/2019
adidas and Skechers Settle Latest Suit in the German Giant's Longstanding 3-Stripe Trademark Tear

The take home here is that it's much easier to protect more complex and detailed trademarks than something as simplistic as 3 stripes. Something to think about when designing your trademark ...
http://ow.ly/w7Z330pik63

Adidas and Skechers have ironed out their issues when it comes to the latter’s 4-stripe Goldie-Peaks sneaker. After five months of arbitration, Skechers formally requested that the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismiss the case that it filed against its German rival ba

The U.S. is seriously lacking in traditional moral rights - IP protections like the right to attribution and preservatio...
07/25/2019
A Question of Morals: The U.S. Approach to Plagiarism, ‘Moral Rights’, and Copyright Infringement

The U.S. is seriously lacking in traditional moral rights - IP protections like the right to attribution and preservation of the integrity of a work are flimsy at best under U.S. law. Still, a good IP lawyer can often find a way help creatives in need.

https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/07/23/question-morals-u-s-approach-plagiarism-moral-rights-copyright-infringement/id=111327/

With widespread popularity comes risk of infringement—in this case, not of copyright infringement, but a very particular violation of authorial rights.

The deepfake future is here, and the law is still in the 8-bit pixel past. Luckily, CC attorneys are like the Terminator...
07/16/2019
Faking It: Why Deepfakes Pose Specific Challenges Under Copyright & Privacy Laws

The deepfake future is here, and the law is still in the 8-bit pixel past. Luckily, CC attorneys are like the Terminator 2: our mission is to protect you, and we can MacGyver weapons from 1984 to take down whatever comes at us.

https://abovethelaw.com/2019/07/faking-it-why-deepfakes-pose-specific-challenges-under-copyright-privacy-laws/

Whether we like it or not, deepfakes are here to stay, and will need to be handled in more solid ways than through the existing copyright framework or patchwork of state laws.

Navigating the US PTO without an attorney is risky even for seasoned US trademark owners. As experienced US-licensed tra...
07/11/2019
Foreign Trademark Owners Now Will Need a U.S. Attorney

Navigating the US PTO without an attorney is risky even for seasoned US trademark owners. As experienced US-licensed trademark attorneys, we're happy to help with any trademark matter from clearance to complex litigation. Call us for a free consultation!

http://ow.ly/2Plw50uYDYJ

While it always has been advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced trademark attorney to handle trademark matters, beginning August 3, 2019 (Effective Date), federal trademark applicants, reg

Okurrr, the US PTO has a point. When Urban Dictionary defines your applied-for mark as a common affirmation in the drag ...
07/01/2019
Trademark Office Tells Cardi B Her Application Is Not ‘Okurrr’

Okurrr, the US PTO has a point. When Urban Dictionary defines your applied-for mark as a common affirmation in the drag community used to "put someone in their place," even Cardi B best not mess with it.

http://ow.ly/kf7n50uQUvE

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied Rapper Cardi B’s application to trademark her catchphrase, “Okurr” because it’s too “commonplace.”

As predicted, the US PTO's ban on  “immoral” and “scandalous” trademarks was overturned on 1st Amendment grounds. Let th...
06/24/2019
Supreme Court sides with ‘subversive’ clothing designer in First Amendment case

As predicted, the US PTO's ban on “immoral” and “scandalous” trademarks was overturned on 1st Amendment grounds. Let the scandalous trademark registrations begin!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-sides-with-apparel-maker-who-said-government-violated-first-amendment-by-denying-subversive-clothing-line-trademark/2019/06/24/717eb058-968a-11e9-916d-9c61607d8190_story.html?utm_term=.12e1049e40a2

Los Angeles artist Erik Brunetti sued the government, saying it violated the First Amendment by refusing to register the trademark for his FUCT brand of street wear.

Your creative assets can be covered by one or more of 4 types of intellectual property protections, but it's not always ...
06/17/2019
Even the Most "Instantly Identifiable" Fragrances Cannot be Protected by Trademark Law

Your creative assets can be covered by one or more of 4 types of intellectual property protections, but it's not always clear which type(s) you should use. That's why it's worth having a qualified attorney set up the best protection strategy for your IP.
http://ow.ly/DLPn50uG8Y9

For the past several years, it has been difficult for many city-dwellers from those in New York all the way to Singapore to avoid one particular scent: the distinctly musky, leathery, sandalwood-y aroma of Le Labo’s Santal 33. The 8-year old fragrance began, according to the New York Times, “as ...

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7315 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 400 West
Bethesda, MD
20814

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