If the Sandal Was on the Other Foot, You Would Sue Too

Fashion is fierce

Bernardo is a household name for luxury designer footwear.  Currently, this company has made a name for itself as “plaintiff” in several patent infringement lawsuits, centering around the design of their ornamental thong sandals.  Since obtaining the patent in 2008, Bernardo and its parent company JPT Group have filed eleven lawsuits against other shoe and lifestyle brand companies.  Some of the eleven companies Bernardo has taken legal action against are Old Navy, Famous Footwear, Balenciaga, and Pedro Garcia.  Most recently, the company has accused Tory Burch of infringing upon their intellectual property rights.  In particular, the Tory Burch Emmy Pearl Sandal closely resembles the design of the Bernardo thong sandal.   Read more

Ink Not Dry on LeBron Tattoo Lawsuit

Basketball, by flickr user Ryan Fung, licensed by Creative Commons.

Heating up

The world of video games has become very realistic as technology continues to advance. In the 1980s and 1990s, the additions of player’s actual names in sports games was a huge step to creating a more immersive experience. In the 00’s, the blank faces and stares of old video game character models became much more realistic, if not lifelike, replications of famous athletes. Today, guys like LeBron James in Take-Two Interactive’s NBA 2k series is a dead-on representation, right on down to the tattoos. However, this has now caused a brand new issue and interesting talking point. A tattoo company with copyrighted images of the tattoo work has filed a lawsuit, claiming copyright infringement.   Read More

BlackBerry Sends Facebook a Lawsuit Request

BlackBerry email on the BB 8330, by flickr user Ian Lamont, licensed by Creative Commons.

‘member these?

In the ever-changing world of technology and information, it is sometimes easy to forget the trailblazers. BlackBerry, one of the first companies to consistently release top of the line smartphones, is now going to mat against the social media juggernaut Facebook. Claiming patent infringement related to messaging platforms and mobile apps, BlackBerry is seeking monetary damages of an undisclosed amount. Interestingly enough, BlackBerry recently went after Nokia for similar issues. Instagram and WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) were also named in the lawsuit. This could be seen as Blackberry trying to remind the public and their competitors who the “old guard” in mobile technology & messaging really is. Read More

Spider-Man Swings to Supreme Court

spider web, by flickr user cybershot dude, licensed by Creative Commons

Trapped in a web

If you are a child during the holiday season, there may be no better gift than a brand new Spider-Man toy. However, it appears that a trademark lawsuit may keep some Marvel merchandise off the shelves. A man named Stephen Kimble invented a toy glove that fires silly string, allowing kids to pretend they are the web-slinging hero Spider-Man. Marvel bought the idea and had been paying Kimble royalties from sales, until his patent on the idea ran out. Furious, the inventor filed a lawsuit to overturn a 50-year-old Supreme Court ruling about expiring patents, seemingly forcing Spider-Man to trade in his red-and-blue spandex for a suit and tie. Read more

Slip Up: Banana Lady’s Lawsuits Bear No Fruit

bananas, Flickr user Fernando Stankuns, licensed by Creative Commons.

Crazy? More like going bananas.

Catherine Conrad makes a living as an inspirational speaker, personal motivator, and also delivers singing telegrams dressed in a banana suit.  After several incidents with clients which ended up in Ms. Conrad filing multiple lawsuits, it seems the U.S. District Courts have had enough.  A recent ruling against the Wisconsin-native claims that although those who receive the banana-grams take pictures and videos, Catherine has no copyright claim over the over-sized, yellow costume. Previously, she had filed infringement lawsuits of anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000.  A jurist recently declared that her accusations and demands were “without merit” and an “abuse of the legal process”. Read more