The followers of popular television shows or movies sometimes create works of fiction to share with fellow fans. The owners of intellectual property guard their trademarks and copyrights zealously, and media outlets in New Jersey and around the country reported in December 2015 that Paramount Studios and CBS had initiated litigation against a company formed by a group of fans of the popular television and movie franchise 'Star Trek." The fans drew the ire of the entertainment giants by using crowdfunding websites to raise the money necessary to produce a 'Star Trek" movie for fans, and CBS and Paramount filed an amended complaint on March 11 that included specific instances of their alleged copyright infringement.
New Jersey observers of the world of intellectual property may be aware of the existence of trademark bullying. This is a case where a larger company registers a trademark and uses its legal rights to prevent other companies from using words or phrases that have only the most tenuous relationship to the trademark. A recent example of this practice has emerged from the world of video games, where an established video game company trademarked the word "rage" and attempted to take legal action other video games that happened to have that word anywhere in their title. Their enforcement of this trademark appears to be both inconsistent and arbitrary.
An apparel entrepreneur is likely to spend considerable time and effort in creating a name for a new clothing brand or line. The name becomes tied to the design and function of the clothing and differentiates it from other clothing products. Due to this, New Jersey entrepreneurs should understand why the process of registering that name as a trademark is so important.
New Jersey businesses and citizens who own intellectual property may discover that legal precedent limits their ability to benefit from practices like patent term adjustment. Patent term adjustment is sometimes granted following extended examination and approval processes. In some cases, however, courts may disallow adjustments on the grounds that patents are invalid because they duplicate earlier claims, which could constitute obviousness-type double patenting.