BARISTA SERIES files False Designation of Origin Lawsuit against BARISTA BLEND

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Since 2008, Plaintiff has produced a line of dairy alternative beverages (for use with coffee, tea, etc.) under the BARISTA SERIES trademark.

Defendant distributes a similar non-dairy alternative under the trademark BARISTA BLEND. However, Plaintiff noticed in 2015 that Defendant’s product also bore the BARISTA SERIES trademark (see Exhibit B).

Apparently unable to resolve their dispute over the last year, this lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction against Defendant’s use of BARISTA SERIES.

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Pacific Foods of Oregon Inc. v. Califia Farms, Inc.

Court Case Number3:16-cv-01752-SB
File Date: Thursday, September 1, 2016
Plaintiff: Pacific Foods of Oregon Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Scott E. Davis of Klarquist Sparkman, LLP
Defendant: Califia Farms, LLC
Cause: False Designation of Origin, Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Stacie F. Beckerman

Complaint:

Deeks duck decoys cry fowl over Double Deeks trademark

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Plaintiff, based in Salem, Oregon, has been using the registered trademark DEEKS in connection with hunting decoys since the late 1960s.

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Defendants began selling duck hunting decoys in 2014 or 2015 using a DOUBLE DEEKS trademark.

Asserting a likelihood of confusion, Plaintiff brings this lawsuit with a single trademark infringement claim.

Note that the Double Deeks website has already been removed so this matter may be resolved soon.

ISA Corporation v. Double Deeks, LLC et al

Court Case Number6:16-cv-01667-TC
File Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Plaintiff: ISA Corporation
Plaintiff Counsel: Carl D. Crowell of Crowell Law
Defendant: Double Deeks, LLC, Approved Graphics Design, LLC
Cause: Trademark Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Thomas M. Coffin

Complaint:

USPTO upgrading website to https for user privacy

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On August 12, 2016, the informational web pages currently found at http://www.uspto.gov will be moved to https://www.uspto.gov. The USPTO has decided to finally use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), currently the strongest privacy protection available for public web connections.

Those accessing web pages formerly found at http://www.uspto.gov will automatically be redirected to the pages’ new https location.

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Country Archer vs. Tillamook Country Smoker…are you confused?

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Food fight!

Country Archer is a California-based purveyor of beef jerky.

Tillamook Country Smoker, based in Tillamook, Oregon, is one of the four largest purveyors of jerky in the United States.

On July 12, Tillamook Country Smoker received a demand letter from Country Archer accusing Tillamook’s new packaging of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, trade dress infringement and violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law.

Based on their belief that the demand letter was frivolous, Tillamook promptly filed this lawsuit seeking a declaration of non-infringement.

Take a look at the comparison images from the Complaint. Are you confused?

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Tillamook Country Smoker, Inc. v. S & E Gourmet Cuts, Inc. et al

Court Case Number3:16-cv-01477-BR
File Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Plaintiff: Tillamook Country Smoker, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: J. Peter Staples, Susan D. Pitchford, Amelia S. Forsberg of Chernoff Vilhauer LLP
Defendant: S & E Gourmet Cuts, Inc. d/b/a Country Archer, Country Archer
Cause: Declaration of Non-Infringement of Trademarks, Declaration of Non-Infringement of Trade Dress, Declaration of Non-Infringement of Copyright, Declaration of Non-Infringement of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §17200
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Anna J. Brown

Complaint: 

 

Sewing patterns lead to copyright lawsuit; functionality doctrine invoked?

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This copyright lawsuit arises from the alleged infringement of sewing patterns. The Plaintiff, based in Eugene, Oregon, has sold sewing patterns since 1982. The Defendants, based in Georgia, are an online competitor allegedly selling unauthorized copies of the Plaintiff’s patterns.

Note that clothing design is usually held to be functional, and thus does not qualify for copyright protection. However, this lawsuit involves the patterns (drawings) themselves, not the clothing design shown therein.

Copyright in a work that portrays a useful article extends only to the artistic expression of the author of the pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work. It does not extend to the design of the article that is portrayed. – Copyright.gov

I think there can still be an argument made that the sewing patterns do not qualify for protection under 102(b), that they are an illustrated procedure or process for making a dress.

17 U.S. Code § 102 (b)

In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

Judge for yourself in the Complaint (below) but many of the drawings have little ornamental design elements beyond the utilitarian, and thus unprotectable, functionality required to accurately and adequately show someone how to make the dress.

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Stay tuned for updates.

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Ranita Corporation v. Beamer et al

Court Case Number: 6:16-cv-01368-MC
File Date: Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Plaintiff: Ranita Corporation d/b/a Sure-Fit Designs
Plaintiff Counsel: Jacob S. Gill of Stoll Stoll Berne Lokting & Shlachter P.C.
Defendant: Oticca Beamer, Fit & Fashion LLC, Beamer & Associates d/b/a Fit & Fashion
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Vicarious Copyright Infringement, Contributory Copyright Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Michael J. McShane

Complaint:

Bio-energy facility accused of stealing and modifying software written in “German-lish” relic code

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The Plaintiff is an Austrian bank enforcing the claims of an insolvent Austrian company, Entec, that designed and built a bio-energy facility in Junction City, Oregon. Successful operation of the facility relied on some proprietary software, which in turn required a paid license. This dispute arises out of, among other things, the facility’s failure to pay the license fee. There is also an allegation that the software was illegally accessed and modified, perhaps to make the software operate with payment or to make it more functional.

The Defendants, the facility and a consultant firm, are accused of failure to pay for the installation of a software program, making unauthorized modifications to the software program, and ongoing use of the software program without a paid license.

The software code is described in the Exhibits as “written in German-lish [sic] and in a manner to intentionally create dependency and with a multitude of relic code.”

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Sparkasse Bregenz Bank, AG v. JC-Biomethane, LLC et al

Court Case Number: 6:16-cv-01199-AA
File Date: Thursday, June 23, 2016
Plaintiff: Sparkasse Bregenz Bank, AG
Plaintiff Counsel: Darien S. Loiselle, Stephanie Holberg of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, P.C.
Defendant: JC-Biomethane, LLC; Essential Consulting Oregon LLC; Dean Foor
Cause: Copyright Infringement of the Software Program and Design Documents, Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Misappropriation of Trade Secrets, Conversion, Breach of Contract, Quantum Meruit, Breach of Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Ann L. Aiken

Complaint:

Exhibits:

 

Yarn company sues to enforce Twisted trademark

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The Plaintiff, based in Portland, Oregon, sells knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving supplies using the trade name Twisted.

In April 2016, the Plaintiff learned that Defendants, a competitor based in Chelan, Washington, had recently changed their name from “Warehouse Woolery” to “Twisted Fine Yarn & Wool”. The Complaint (below) references several actual instances of confusion.

On June 9, 2016, after receiving Plaintiff’s letters, which put Defendants on notice of Plaintiff’s TWISTED marks and claim of infringement, Defendants filed a federal trademark application for TWISTED FINE YARN & WOOL. That action, unsurprisingly, prompted this trademark lawsuit and likely a trademark opposition. Stay tuned for updates.Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 6.08.23 PM

Twisted LLC v. 3ZS LLC et al

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-01259-BR
File Date: Friday, June 24, 2016
Plaintiff: Twisted, LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Parna A. Mehrbani of Lane Powell PC
Defendant: 3ZS, LLC d/b/a Twisted Fine Yarn & Wool, Sandi Sandum
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Oregon, State Trademark Infringement, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Anna J. Brown

Complaint:

COAST SPAS v. WEST COAST SPAS…are you confused?

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Plaintiff has sold hot tubs and spa products under the COAST SPAS mark for 19 years.

They recently became aware that a competitor has been manufacturing and selling hot tubs and spas under the WEST COAST SPAS mark since 2011.

According to the Complaint (below), Plaintiff has encountered instances of actual confusion leading to lost sales.

Defendant’s website address, www.wcoastspas.com, is similar to the Plaintiff’s domain, www.coastspas.com.

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Coast Spas Manufacturing Inc. v. Marletto Manufacturing, Inc.

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-01162-YY
File Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Plaintiff: Coast Spas Manufacturing Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: J. Christopher Carraway of Klarquist Sparkman, LLP
Defendant: Marletto Manufacturing, Inc. d/b/a West Coast Spas
Cause: Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition, Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Youlee Yim You

Complaint:

 

Copyright Lawsuit filed over DVD of Elvis Presley’s First Ed Sullivan Appearance

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Plaintiff claims to be the owner of the musical composition “Vagabonds Theme.” The composition was allegedly included by Defendants without authorization on a DVD entitled “Elvis – The First Ed Sullivan Show.”  Plaintiff reached out to Defendants to offer a retroactive license, as they had done for a prior infringement, but were not satisfied by Defendants’ lack of a meaningful response, hence this lawsuit.

Note that the Ed Sullivan Show was not the King’s TV debut, but it remains an important milestone in his unparalleled career.

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Segura v. Sofa Entertainment, Inc. et al

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-00938-AC
File Date: Friday, May 27, 2016
Plaintiff: Kevin T. Segura d/b/a Shiny Vinyl Music
Plaintiff Counsel: Elizabeth Tedesco Milesnick, Andrea M. Barton of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
Defendant: Sofa Entertainment, Inc., Direct Holdings Americas Inc. d/b/a Starvista Live and Timelife
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: John V. Acosta

Complaint:

Five largest global trademark offices join forces as TM5, create icons

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The five “biggest” (their term, not mine) trademark offices in the world have got together to form the TM5, an international framework for…creating silly icons. As a display of their collective might and unparalleled joint capabilities, the TM5 has created and adopted a set of “Common Status Descriptors,” a uniform set of icons to visually depict the trademark application process. Because actual words like Registered, Awaiting Examination and Expired were just too difficult for trademark practitioners to understand…

In addition to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the other members of the TM5 are the trademark offices of Japan, Korea, China and the EU.

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The USPTO has already begun using the new icons. Here’s an example in practice on the USPTO website:

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Without a green circled ribbon, how did we ever ascertain that a trademark was registered? Go TM5!