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Did A Neural Network Just Solve Craft Brewing's Trademark Problems?

In response to a rise in craft beer trademark disputes, research scientist Janelle Shane recently set loose a "neural network" – a type of computer program that can "learn" from data sets that are given to it – to create new craft beer names. The thought was that the computer program could learn from thousands of existing beer names, and come up with a long list of new ones built on detected patterns. Last month, Shane published a list of dozens of names, saying: "It worked . . . I give you: craft beer names, invented by neural network."

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Fiona Versus the Counterfeiters: What About Her Rights?

As Fiona the hippo, at the Cincinnati Zoo, battled from being born six weeks premature to weighing 375 pounds with a healthy side of sass, she gathered a huge and fierce following.  #TeamFiona has taken the world by storm.

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TAGS: Intellectual Property, Trademark

Choice of Law and Trademark License Agreements: Rethinking Delaware as an Appropriate Jurisdiction

Although substantive portions of trademark license agreements receive most of the attention, as shown in a recent decision of the Delaware Court of Chancery, choice of law provisions, such as those frequently found in the boilerplate of most agreements, should receive careful consideration as well. In Mrs. Fields Brand, Inc. v. Interbake Foods LLC (a copy of which is viewable here), a well-known cookie company, Mrs. Fields as licensor, sought a declaratory judgment that its contract manufacturer, Interbake as licensee, could not terminate their license agreement before the expiration of the then-current term.

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TAGS: Delaware law, Trademark

Why Is The USPTO Treating Marijuana Differently For Patents Than For Trademarks?

Although about half of the states have legalized medical marijuana, and the department of justice has declared it to be a low enforcement priority, marijuana is still a controlled substance under federal law, with criminal penalties for possession and sale.

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Trademarks And Craft Brewing: What Do Federal Courts Think Of Craft Beer Lovers?

An exploding craft beer industry has led to an uptick in lawsuits about beer names and labels.  Craft beer lovers do not always appreciate the lawsuits.  But what do the federal courts think about them?

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TAGS: Craft Brewing, Trademark

UK Votes to Brexit -- Keep Calm and Carry On

This morning, we awoke to the news that the U.K. has voted to exit the European Union. Our first thought was whether this vote, and the expected unwinding of the U.K. from the European legal system, will have any impact on our clients’ European intellectual property rights in the U.K.

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TAGS: Intellectual Property, Trademark

Bad Brand Decision from Audi "Rears" Its Ugly Head?

Another day, another case of a company not bothering to see how its new trademark translates into the native languages of its intended consumers.

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Supreme Court's Ruling in American Needle Creates Uncertainty Over Future of NFL Licensing

In a landmark decision, released (coincidentally?) on the first day of the International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, that the NFL’s licensing activities are covered by Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act which prohibits “every contract, combination in the form of a trust or otherwise, or, conspiracy, in restraint of trade.”  As a result, the NFL will now be required to demonstrate, on remand, that such activities comport with the so-called “Rule of Reason.”

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Facebook: Now Presenting, "Brand Destruction!"

Since we created an Evolving Media & Technology Team here at KMK, I have been telling brand owners to proactively manage their presence on Facebook by creating an official, corporate, Facebook page and strategically selecting the fan pages and copycat pages to shut down.  After yet another “update” to its site late last week, Facebook has now made this kind of brand management exponentially more difficult for trademark owners.

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