Businesses in California may want to pay close attention to their insurance coverage, especially if they will be dealing with intellectual property issues. This is illustrated in one case where a company sought coverage from their insurer for a lawsuit that accused the firm of infringing a trademark. However, the insurance company said that its policy did not provide coverage for intellectual property disputes, disclaiming its responsibility to defend the case. The company's case was dismissed after the insurance company demonstrated exclusions in its business liability and technology policies that addressed trademark infringement cases.
Companies in California and throughout the nation most likely have trade secrets that they need to protect. This can be done in a variety of ways including telling employees what they can and cannot share with others. Furthermore, the consequences for sharing protected information should be made clear in an employment contract. In the event that trade secret rights are violated, a company should take legal action quickly.
California-based band Guns N' Roses is suing a brewery in Colorado over a menu item that bears the name "Guns N' Rosé" ale. The band claims the name the establishment is using for its ale creates the false impression that they are somehow associated with it. The brewery at the center of the matter attempted to trademark the name for its product in 2018, which is what ultimately attracted the band's attention.
Making a film in California sometimes results in some unexpected surprises, such as legal action. This is what's happening with a 2014 Bill Murray movie. A horse-racing announcer is suing the film's production company over what he claims is trademark infringement. The case centers around the phrase "And down the stretch they come!" which the announcer first used in the 1960s. It later became a well-known phrase when he used it during horse races shown on broadcast TV in the 1970s.
California brand owners may be interested in learning about a case involving car manufacturer BMW and a telecommunications company that registered with the same initials in its company name. This is something that is of particular interest to those with brands that are well-known around across the nation and around the world.
It's not unusual for California business owners to want to have something truly unique about their brand that's also legally protected. The World Intellectual Property Organization reports that the number of trademark application filings has spiked considerably. In 2017 alone, applications jumped 30 percent over the previous year. Because of the rise of trademark application filings, there is greater need to be diligent about screening, clearing, registering and watching trademarks.
While legalized cannabis may present an exciting new business frontier for many entrepreneurs, it can also lead to traditional disputes over intellectual property. United Parcel Service has filed suit against a group of marijuana delivery businesses for infringing its trademarks. In its lawsuit that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, UPS also claims the companies are engaging in deceptive advertising.
One major California movie studio is being hit with a lawsuit over its upcoming film. Fox is releasing "Alita: Battle Angel," a major science-fiction production directed by Robert Rodriquez, in February 2019. However, Epic Stone Group filed suit on Jan. 30, claiming that it owns the trademark to the phrase "Battle Angel." The Florida company is accusing 20th Century Fox of trademark infringement and unfair competition. It says that it has been selling "Battle Angel" merchandise for over 10 years.
The California-based footwear manufacturer Vans has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Target Corporation according to recent media reports. Vans claims that the retail giant's Camella sneaker copies design elements of their iconic Old Skool shoe introduced in 1977. Court documents reveal that Vans believes the Old Skool design was deliberately copied by Target to improve the market profile of its Wild Fable line or merchandise, of which the Camella sneaker is a part.
Families in California and across the country may face conflicts when business and even intellectual property enter the picture. In one case, relatives of Phyllis Schlafly, the well-known late conservative activist, failed to block a brewery owned by a relative from trademarking their surname. A panel of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of Saint Louis Brewing LLC, co-founded by a nephew of Schlafly. He applied in 2011 to trademark his last name for his Schlafly-branded beer.