Author Archives: Shawn Sullivan

South Africa Advertising Body Says GM Crops Ad “Unsubstantiated”

On March 17, 2014, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa–a non-governmental, self-regulatory body established by the marketing communication industry–declared that a radio advertisement that touted several benefits of genetically engineered crops violated the ASA’s Code of Advertising Practice. Mariam … Continue reading

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Brazilian Court Annuls Approval to Commercialize Transgenic Corn

A federal appellate court in Porto Alegre, Brazil nullified a government commission’s approval for commercial release of the transgenic corn (maize) product known as LibertyLink. See Processo 5000629-66.2012.404.7000 (Tribunal Regional Federal da 4ª Região 13 Mar. 2014). APPROVAL OF RELEASE LEADS … Continue reading

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Functionality of Product Design Bars Registration as Trademark

In Adams Manufacturing Corp. v. Rea, No. 12-1430 (W.D. Pa. March 12, 2014), a federal court in Pennsylvania upheld the determination of the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that the shape and design of a suction cup with … Continue reading

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Fair Use Bars Copyright Infringement in Politician Photo Case

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the fair use doctrine barred copyright claims by a politician and lawyer against the operators of a website that reproduced her photo without her permission. Dhillon v. Does 1-10, No. … Continue reading

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SCOTUS Allows False Advertising Claims vs Printer Cartridge Manufacturer

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that Static Control Components, Inc., a seller of components for remanufacturing of used laser printer toner cartridges, may pursue false advertising claims against Lexmark International, Inc., a … Continue reading

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Ecuadorian IP Institute Registers Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Community

Yesterday, at a conference at its offices in Guayaquil, the Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) presented its 2013 annual report. IEPI, 2013 Informe de Rendición de Cuentas. As noted in an article published in the newspaper El Comercio, IEPI has been … Continue reading

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Chilean Government Pulls Proposed Revision of Plant Variety Rights Law

Yesterday, after years of controversy, the government of newly re-installed Chilean President Michelle Bachelet withdrew a proposal to revise Chile’s plant variety rights law. The proposed modification was first introduced in January 2009, when Bachelet was serving her first term … Continue reading

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European Parliament to Consider Trade Secrets Directive

Tomorrow the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs will discuss the European Commission’s proposed trade secrets directive, whose aim is to protect undisclosed know-how and business information against their unlawful acquisition, use, and disclosure. See Draft Agenda, European Parliament Committee … Continue reading

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Wyoming District Court to Decide Fracking Fluids Trade Secrets Issue

In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, No. S-13-01202014 WY 37 (Wyo. Mar. 12, 2014), the Wyoming Supreme Court reversed and remanded a state district court’s decision that the chemical components of fluids used … Continue reading

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Asian-American Band’s Uphill Battle to Register “The Slants” as Trademark

An October 20, 2013 story on National Public Radio (NPR) reports that an Asian-American music group from Portland, Oregon, has been fighting with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for four years in an attempt to register their name–“The Slants”–as … Continue reading

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