September 7, 2007

Trademarks [5:52 pm]

After Long Dispute, a Russian Starbucks

Starbucks first registered its trademark in Russia in 1997 but did not open any shops here because of the economic crisis of 1998. Then in 2002, as the Russian economy was picking up again, Sergei A. Zuykov filed a request with Russian authorities to cancel the chain’s trademark because it had not been used in commerce in Russia. He then registered Starbucks in the name of a Moscow company he represented as a lawyer.

Mr. Zuykov, a lawyer and a former car alarm salesman who says he has claimed many brands, defended his stake on the name Starbucks for three years, saying that if Starbucks would pay $600,000, he would abandon his registration. The company refused to pay.

He lost his case in November 2005 as Russia stepped up its bid for membership in the World Trade Organization and hewed closer to international standards for the protection of intellectual property.

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An Outlier? Or A New Trend? [11:03 am]

Versus, say, using credit card numbers as keys for DRMed digital content files?
Accusation of ID theft by file-sharingpdf

Gregory Thomas Kopiloff primarily used Limewire’s file-sharing program to troll other people’s computers for financial information, which he used to open credit cards for an online shopping spree, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

[...] Each day, computer users inadvertently share hundreds of thousands of sensitive files through such programs, from banking statements and medical records to tax returns and legal documents, according to Robert Boback, chief executive of Tiversa Inc., a Pennsylvania firm that monitors file-sharing.

Typically the mistakes occur when a user downloads file-sharing software and accidentally allows it to share all files on a computer, rather than just music files, for example.

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Why The Suits Over Comic Characters In Games [8:23 am]

A new Web world with characterpdf

Seeking to capitalize on children’s attraction to virtual worlds such as Webkinz and Club Penguin, Warner Bros. Entertainment plans to create an online hangout called T-Works, where animation fans can adopt the personas of their favorite Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics characters.

When the site launches in April, cartoon aficionados will be able to create their own versions of such classic characters as Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and Batman, interact with other characters online and create their own cartoon remixes.

“Our research has clearly shown us our fans already do interact with our characters around the broadband and wireless space,” said Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television Group. “We decided it would be best for us to build as diverse and immersive an environment as we could for all the characters.”

For example, see these posts: Marvel Sues Over Online Characters; Fred von Lohmann on Marvel’s Suit; More on the Marvel Infringement Suit; Marvel Claims Fall On Deaf Ears; Marvel and NCSoft Settle and

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Fight Over US-Sports-League-Style Content Restrictions [7:30 am]

Can a sports league survive without media coverage? A test: News Agencies Boycott on Limits

The world’s three leading news agencies suspended coverage Thursday of the Rugby World Cup in a dispute with the sport’s governing body over media restrictions.

See this on the NFL and this and this on Major League Baseball.

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