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Brand Protection / Featured Blogs

Funky Ninth Circuit Opinion on Domain Names and Nominative Use - Toyota v. Tabari

Every time I see a federal appellate opinion on domain names, I'm vaguely reminded of the Country Joe song I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag, whose course goes "And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for?" Fortunately, domain name disputes do not lead to the senseless loss of life we experienced from the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, lengthy domain name litigation usually has little more strategic value. more

Regulating and Not Regulating the Internet

There is increasingly heated rhetoric in DC over whether or not the government should begin to "regulate the internet." Such language is neither accurate nor new. This language implies that the government does not currently involve itself in governing the internet -- an implication which is clearly untrue given a myriad of laws like CFAA, ECPA, DMCA, and CALEA (not to mention existing regulation of consumer phone lines used for dialup and "special access" lines used for high speed interconnection). more

Old Dog, New Tricks: Gift Card Scams in Social Networks

In the past few months, a flurry of gift card scams leveraging such high-profile brands as Best Buy, Whole Foods and IKEA have emerged on Facebook. These scams often use the brand's logo, website URL, or general "look and feel" on Facebook "fan" pages to give the impression that these offers are legitimate. Some scams are even bold enough to include bogus, non-interactive fan comments to add a greater sense of authenticity to the gift card offer. To date, these scams have been successful at tricking tens of thousands of consumers. In just one day, for example, a fan page titled "IKEA Get a FREE $1000 IKEA Gift Card! (ONLY AVAILABLE 1 DAY)" registered 40,000 fans before being shut down. more

Take That Down Right Now - and Give Me That Too

Google has released a government requests tool. It's highly illuminating and may end up being quite disruptive. That's what surprising data visualizations can do for us. ... The tool allows us to see the number of requests from different countries that Google received during the last six months of 2009. More than 3600 data requests from Brazil during those six months and more than 3500 from the US. But just 40 or so from Canada and 30 from Israel. more

A Sophisticated Online Counterfeit Ring

Online fakes can be a lucrative business and difficult to crack down on, due to the ease and low-cost of setting up multiple virtual storefronts and the ability to obfuscate an operation's identity. A federal lawsuit filed on March 1, 2010 by Polo Ralph Lauren and VF Corp. illustrates these points and highlights many of the intricacies of an online counterfeit ring. more

Why I Won't Buy an E-book Reader - and When I Might

There have been many news stories lately about ebook readers. The New York Times said that they were prominently featured at the Consumer Electronics Show. Amazon is pushing its Kindle; Barnes and Noble has its Nook. There are many other aspirants, either on the market now or waiting in the wings. For now, though, I'm sitting on the sidelines. more

10 Noteworthy Cyberlaw Developments of 2009

While I like John Ottaviani's perspectives on 2009's top Cyberlaw developments a lot, I independently developed my own top 10 list that has a different emphasis. You might enjoy the contrasts. My list... more

New Zealand Releases Revamped Three Strikes Proposal

The New Zealand government has released a revamped three strikes proposal that incorporates full court hearings and the possibility of financial penalties. A prior proposal, which would have resulted in subscriber access being terminated without court oversight, was dropped earlier this year following public protest. more

How Copyright Violators Are Removed from Search Engine Listings Based on DMCA

It may not be widely-known but the big 3 search engines -- Google, Yahoo! and Bing -- have established procedures for removing natural search results on the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). That's good news for brand owners: if consumers can't find infringing websites via the search engines, they're less likely to come across them at all... more

Some Unsolicited Advice for AT&T re Google Voice

The FCC has posed a number of provocative questions to AT&T regarding the fact that iPhone subscribers cannot download and use the Google Voice application. AT&T should stifle every motivation to play cute or clever with the FCC. Apple adopted such a strategy when it suggested to the Library of Congress and others that it would be curtains for the free world if iPhone owners could hack, jailbreak, tether, and otherwise use their handsets without fear of violating the prohibition on circumventing copyright laws contained in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. more