The Supreme Court decided in June 2019, that trademarks with foul language would be legally permitted, striking down a long-time ban on the practice. The ban on immoral or offensive language in trademarks affected companies in California and many other states, but the court decided that this ban violated the constitutional free speech rights of Americans. The restriction on trademark language had been in place since 1905.
The past decade has seen a growing trend of companies in California and elsewhere buying up patents that were sitting on the shelf because they were not worth commercializing. In some cases, companies purchased such patents en masse for the sole purpose of litigating patent infringement cases against businesses that produced goods or services resembling a feature in one of the patents. In many cases, the lawsuits were directed at tech companies who began to buy up such patents themselves as defense mechanisms.
A lawsuit brought by Free Stream Media Corp. accusing Alphonso Inc. of infringing upon its patent ended with a summary judgment in favor of Alphonso in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The court determined that the facts did not support all of the claim elements in the lawsuit and therefore granted Alphonso's motion for summary judgment.
California residents may be interested in a brand name trademark case that is headed to the United States Supreme Court for review. The case involves a fashion designer whose trademark application was rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on the grounds that the name of his clothing line is vulgar.
One of the concerns entrepreneurs in California may have is how to prevent their company's intellectual property from being stolen or copied. The use of patents is one aspect of intellectual property management business owners may use to protect their company's assets.
Multiple sclerosis patients in California and across the country have watched an intellectual property dispute play out in the pharmaceutical arena that could have a major influence on the price of a key drug in MS treatment. Copaxone, patented by Teva Pharmaceuticals, is one of the most widely prescribed treatments for relapsing multiple sclerosis. From August 2017 to 2018, $2.86 billion in 40 mg/mL doses were sold as well as $527 million in 20 mg/mL doses.
Disney is finding it more difficult than anticipated to sue third parties that allegedly violate the use of its trademarked characters at birthday parties. The California-based entertainment company lost a summary judgement against a company in New York that sent characters with names like "The Princess," "The Duck" and "Big Harry Guy" to birthday parties. Disney claims the characters are meant to trick customers into thinking they are well-known trademarked property.
California is a major hub of innovation in the U.S., according to a WalletHub report. The report included California among the nation’s most innovative states.