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June 2016 Archives

Trade Secrets Finally Get the Respect They Deserve

In May, President Obama signed into law new legislation known as the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (or "DTSA") which is intended to provide enhanced means of protecting the confidential information that many companies rely upon as the basis for their competitive advantage. More specifically, the DTSA amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to provide a federal cause of action to private companies for trade secret misappropriation. The DTSA became effective immediately, but only applies to misappropriation occurring on or after the law's effective date and only protects trade secrets that are "related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce." 18 U.S.C. ยง 1836(b).

Who Will 'Walk the Plank' In the Battle Over the HAVANA CLUB Trademark?

It has been quite some time since real pirates plied the waters of the Caribbean seeking valuable treasure, high-spirited adventure, and wooden casks of rum, but the recent thaw in U.S. relations with the Cuban government has reignited a decades old trademark battle over the "HAVANA CLUB" trademark for rum.

SCOTUS Denies Cert to Batmobile Case

Throughout his many incarnations, Batman, the fictional crime fighter and protector of the peace in Gotham City, has faced a wide range of very odd foes. Names like The Joker, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze and Penguin are familiar to fans of the Batman comic books, television series, and, of course, movies. But, any true fan of the Caped Crusader will have a hard time recalling any episode or story arc that pitted him against a small group of highly intelligent men and women clad in imposing black robes and wielding the power to decide the fate of something as important to Batman as his beloved Batmobile. That is, until now.

TTAB Decides "ZERO" Is Registerable but May Not Be Enforceable

In February, I reported on the battle between Coca-Cola and some of its soft drink rivals over trademark rights to the word "ZERO" in an article entitled, "How many trademarks is Coca-Cola hoping to register with the USPTO this year? ZERO." Now, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the "TTAB") has issued a final ruling on the subject: The Coca-Cola Company can proceed with the federal registration of the "ZERO" trademark for use in relation to soft drinks with no calories, but it cannot prevent competitors from using the word "zero" in their own trademarks. Huh?

Summer Legal Briefing Events (June 8th Orange County, June 14th Riverside)

Hart | King's Manufactured Housing Practice Group leaders are gearing up for our Summer Seminars! Bill Hart, John Pentecost, Bill Dahlin and Robert Williamson invite all mobilehome park owners and managers to attend this informative event. We will have continental breakfast and Hart | King's panel will discuss new statutes and cases of interest which will have impacts upon you and your communities. We will also have plenty of time to answer your questions. For your convenience, we now have two different locations from which to choose. Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the DoubleTree Club by Hilton Hotel (7 Hutton Centre Drive Santa Ana, CA 92707) and Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at the Marriott Riverside at the Convention Center (3400 Market Street Riverside, CA 92501). For both of these events, registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8:30am and the program from 9am - 11am. For more information and to RSVP, contact James Moorhouse at [email protected] or 714-432-8700 ext. 339. 

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Hart | King A California Professional Law Corporation

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