New Jersey football fans may or may not have been happy to see the Green Bay Packers out of the playoffs in 2017. However, the Packers are still making headlines as they defend one of their trademarks in court. Specifically, the team is contesting the efforts of McClatchy U.S.A. to register Titletown, TX as a trademark. The Packers claim that they own the trademark to Titletown and that the new trademark would be too similar to its own.
Trademark disputes can come to a head for New Jersey businesses dealing with a range of products, even when the other party involved is in a widely variant industry. For example, one ongoing trademark dispute between a Mexican hotel and the U.S. rock band, the Eagles, has been settled after an ongoing series of challenges between the party. The Mexican hotel bears the name Hotel California, the same name as the Eagles' classic hit that continues to be widely played decades following its 1976 release.
Whether a company is located in New Jersey or another part of the United States, there are laws about who has the right to use a name. This is what's at the heart of a challenge the U.S. Army has made against an NHL team using the name The Vegas Golden Knights. The Army claims that it has been using the nickname for its parachute team since the 1960s. The hockey franchise with the similar name officially debuted in 2017.
In 2011, Congress enacted the America Invents Act to simplify the process of contesting a patent. The law allows residents in New Jersey and other states to challenge the validity of a patent through the federal government's Patent Office procedures rather than at a jury trial.
New Jersey residents are most likely aware that the smartphone market is highly competitive and driven by innovation. Electronics companies tend to be fiercely protective of features that separate their products from those of their competitors, and intellectual property disputes are not uncommon when a new phone or device uses a feature that is suspiciously similar to one protected under the nation's patent laws.
Redbox is often the go-to solution for quick movie rentals in New Jersey, but Disney is now claiming that Redbox is pulling a fast one. Disney has accused Redbox of what amounts to illegal sales of its digital content. Attorneys for Disney say that Redbox is opening combo packs that contain a DVD, Blu-Ray and code for a digital copy of some films and then selling the digital redemption codes.
Although Disney's 'Frozen" came out in 2013, a 2017 court case may have some people in California feeling a bit frigid. In the movie, the song 'Let It Go" became a breakout hit and was lauded by critics. Unfortunately, a musician who believes that 'Let It Go" is too similar to his own 2008 song, 'Volar", is suing Disney and the two singers who performed 'Let It Go" for both the movie and radio versions.
As New Jersey residents gear up for Halloween, they may head to local stores to purchase costumes. Halloween costumes are big business, and because of the money involved, they may be the subject of intellectual property lawsuits.
It seems self-driving cars are on their way to New Jersey and the rest of the nation. However, there's a lot of debate and conflict regarding which companies will lead the way. While tech giant Google has spun off its own self-driving vehicle company, called Waymo, the ride sharing service Uber has thrown itself into the fray as well. However, Waymo is claiming that Uber's technology was not developed or acquired legally. It has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming trade secret violations.
Intellectual property plays a significant role in the economy of New Jersey, and patent holders have a financial interest in defending their ideas. The Inter Partes Review system developed five years ago by the America Invents Act was intended to be an alternative to lengthy litigation when someone challenged the validity of a patent. The process gave the Patent Trial and Appeals Board the ability to settle a patent question. Critics, including many patent holders, have concerns about the fairness and consistency of the process.