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Category: Trademarks

Trademark Infringement: Can I Bid on My Competitors’ Trademarks as Adwords?

By Vincent Allen and PJ Putnam

With the use of search engines by consumers to find products and websites becoming more prominent, search engine optimization has become an important part of the marketing plan for large and small businesses alike. For those companies that do not want to take the time or put in the effort to improve their SEO for certain keywords organically, purchasing keywords, also known as Adwords, from Google or other search engines can put a website on the first page of search results for a particular keyword overnight. By “purchasing,” we mean the submission of the high bid for the use of a keyword or campaign for a specific time period and geographic location.

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Trademark Basics: What’s in a Name?

by Mandy K. Jenkins

Is the name of a new business or product really that important to its success?  As Shakespeare would say, “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  No offense to Shakespeare, but most people would agree that when starting a new business or launching a new product, the name is very important.  The name gives people a first impression and is associated with the product or business forever.  So choosing the right name is paramount.  When deciding upon the name for a new company or product, you want to select a name that can be protected as a trademark, ensure your chosen name will not infringe another’s trademark, and take the proper steps to protect your trademark.

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In re Bose Corp.: The New Sound of Fraud?

By James R. Gourley

The Federal Circuit raised the bar last year on the standard of proof needed to support a finding of fraud in connection with trademark registrations in the In re Bose Corp. decision.  Applicants for federal trademark registrations make a number of representations to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over the life of a trademark.

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Jim Brown Fails to Break Through First Amendment Defense

By Vincent J. Allen

Jim Brown’s claim of false endorsement against Electronic Arts in regard to the use of his likeness in the Madden NFL video game was dismissed last year. The decision continues the trend of courts finding that the First Amendment provides a complete defense to a claim of unfair competition when source identifiers are used within video games. Jim Brown is a retired professional football player who is revered as one of the best football players of all time. Electronic Arts (EA) develops and publishes video games, including the popular Madden NFL series. The Madden NFL game is a virtual football game that contains up to 170 virtual teams and 1,500 virtual players. The virtual players include players that wear the names and numbers of current real-life players playing on real-life teams.

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Pirates of the Twenty-First Century – Tips for Fighting Back Against Counterfeiting

By Zach W. Hilton

Worldwide Counterfeiting Epidemic

Over the course of the last couple of decades, the counterfeiting of almost every conceivable product has become endemic worldwide.  While thought of as harmless by many, the massive amount of trade currently occurring in counterfeit products can often lead to disastrous consequences for both individuals and businesses.

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