Wealth of Ideas Blog

An Unexpected Outcome of Legalized Pot - Part B

Hershey has won a trademark infringement lawsuit against a start-up Colorado-based company that makes marijuana-infused edibles that, the lawsuit alleged, resemble Hershey products. In its lawsuit, Hershey claimed that TinctureBelle manufactured and sold several products – Ganja Joy, Hasheath, Hashees and Dabby Patty – that too closely resembled Hershey's Almond Joy, Heath, Reese's peanut butter cups and York peppermint patty candies. In the settlement, the defendants agrees to no longer use those product names or Hershey’s brown, yellow and orange coloring in the their products packaging.

Everybody Does It, So It’s Okay

That is essentially the defense that singer Robin Thicke and his producer, Pharrell Williams, has put forth in a California federal trial in which they are charged with copyright infringement by the estate of Marvin Gaye. The Gaye estate claims that Thicke and Williams’s hit song “Blurred Lines” infringe on copyrighted material. 

That’s Why They Call Themselves “Beastie Boys”

The band Beastie Boys won a $1.7 million jury verdict against Monster Energy Co. in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Beastie Boys asserted that Monster Energy used the group’s songs in a promotional video. 

Monster Energy is appealing the award, cliaming that it was excessive and unsupported by evidence. We have to ask: Is that all you got? The jury thought Beastie Boys provided enough evidence, that’s why they awarded the group $1.7 million!

We also must ask – and we hope this was asked at the trial: Who ever heard of Monster Energy? And how many people actually saw its promotion video?

Jay-Z Tries to Wriggle Out of Copyright Royalties

Rapper Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records LLC, his record label, lost out in their request for quick dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records owes Dwayne Walker (who claims he helped design the singer’s logo back in 1995 in return for a $3,500 upfront and a 2% royalty on sales) $7 million! 

The question we ask is does the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller family know that Jay-Z is ripping off their family name? And what does rap music have to do with a robber baron oil zillionaire who give most of his fortune to charity?

Thanks to “The Big Bang Theory” Most People Now Know Who Stan Lee Is!

Back in 2012, Stan Lee Media Inc., owner of the Marvel Comic Book characters created by Mr. Lee – such as Spider Man and the X-Men – sued the Walt Disney Company for copyright infringement. Disney owns Marvel Comics, but Stan Lee Media (with which Stan Lee himself is no longer affiliated) claims it owns the copyrights to the actual characters created by Mr. Lee.

Now, after losing several rounds in court, Stan Lee Media is appealing an award of $240,000 in attorneys' fee to Walt Disney Company. It is clear that Walt Disney Company does not need the $240,000, the company simply wanted to punish Stan Lee Media for bring the lawsuit, and send a message to others thinking about doing the same.

Woody Allen Was Right

Woody Allen has been oft quoted as saying that “80% of success is showing up.” Well, 100% of failure is NOT showing up. 

Rapper Kanye West was just awarded a default judgment against the operators of a digital currency exchange called “Coinye West.” Mr. West had filed a trademark infringement claim against the operators of Coinye West, but when the defendants failed to show up in court, the judge issued a default judgment in favor of Mr. West and issued a permanent injunction against use of the term “Coinye West.” We can only wonder what the verdict might have been had they shown up in court.

Push-Up Bra Insert Patent Dispute Raises a Critical Issue

Runberg Inc. (that does business as “Zephyrs”) filed a $5.9 million malpractice lawsuit against law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP claiming that the attorneys’ patent-drafting errors allowed Amazon.com and Victoria’s Secret to infringe its invention for bra push-up inserts. Zephyrs claims that drafting errors rendered U.S. Patent No. 8,216,021 defective, and – worse yet – Zephyrs cannot now sue competitors during the "blackout period" that is in effect while it seeks a reissue of its patent.

Zephyrs claims to have lost $5.9 million in profits, and it also seeks reimbursement for its legal fees and expenses incurred in the reissue application process.

Do You Really Want to Go There?

Owner of the Washington Redskins, Pro-Football Inc., filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the USPTO’s cancellation of its “Redskins” trademark on the grounds that the term is disparaging to Native Americans. The Pro-Football lawsuit claims that the Trademark Office’s decision is “replete with errors of fact and law” and is unconstitutional.

One advantage of attending a baseball game is that when the home team is ahead in the ninth inning, they end the game and everyone goes home. In football, despite how far behind a team is, both teams play out the rest of time on the clock. Hasn’t the clock run out on this? Is this really a fight worth fighting? And won’t Pro-Football just end up red-faced and embarrassed?