TM Registration for Hot Springs National Park logo challenged

Hot Springs National Park logo challenged

The Interior Department is moving to block a city tourism board from attaining a trademark for the “Hot Springs National Park” logo, a symbol that is used throughout the resort town and in promotional advertising.

The logo does not delineate between the national park itself and the city, and the federal agency said in a filing that the two should be kept distinct.

Here is a link to the registration

Aside from what the article implies, the Hot Springs National Park TM was granted in 2003 (TM # 2706344). The 5 year period for incontestibility was about to toll, so that is why the challenge is happening now.  You will notice that the registration date was 4-15-2003, and the date of challenge 4-14-2008. The Dept. of the Interior beat the tolling by 1 day.

Here is the status page with notice of cancellation pending.

Here is the TTAB status page.

New Arkansas RIAA Lawsuits Coming Soon to a Federal Courthouse Near You

I have gotten a number of phone calls and emails from students (as well as parents and attorneys of students) at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Suffice it to say that there is another rash of RIAA lawsuits on its way. This time, all I have seen have been on the University of Arkansas network. I work for two entities of the U of A system, so can’t comment on the disclosure of student information . . . I will however point out that in Arista v. Does 1-21, Boston Univ. recently fought the RIAA’s subpoenas. The court quashed them based on “the privacy rights of students, and the existence of First Amendment issues in disclosing the identities of anonymous people accused of copyright infringement, and engaged in a balancing test between those rights and the rights of copyright owners” The 52 page ruling just on the subpoenas is a judicial tour-de-force and a good starting point for any university that would like to fight to uphold the privacy rights of students.

I think that these cases are winnable for the defendant, mostly because no one every forces the RIAA to prove its case and because the argument that “making available” = distribution flies in the face of historical copyright law. Thankfully, the courts have begun to see this as well. . . although to differnet degrees.  William Patry, the author Patry on Copyright and copyright attorney for Google (Prof. Patry . . . if you need a passionate copyright attorney from a state school for your team, just say the word), recently worte about the three recent cases which rejected the “making available” theory on his blog. The documents from the three cases are located here:

Atlantic v. Brennan
London-Sire v. Doe
Elektra v. Barker

The most troubling of this cases is Barker, in which Judge Karas equated distribution with publication – something I do not feel is intended by section 106.

For more on this issue, read The Patry Copyright Blog: The recent making available cases 


Arkansas IP Litigation Cases for the Week of January 26, 2008

  • Flexible Staffing Services, Inc. et al v. Integro Employment Services, Inc.; Case Number:  5:2008cv05018; Filed:  January 22, 2008; Court:  Arkansas Western District Court 
    Flexible Staffing Services (FSS) seeks a declaratory judgment that they do not infringe the trademark rights claimed by Integro Employment Services. Both parties to this case are temporary/temp-to-hire staffing services, although plaintiff characterizes this using the term “flexible contract staffing service.” A quick google search for the term turned up only one use, and it wasn’t by either party to this case. However, Flexible Staffing Services, a regional player operating in 10 states, is asking that the court declare “the words ‘FLEXIBLE’ and ‘STAFFING are generic when used in connection with temp-to-hire and flexible contract staffing services. Integro, the northwest Arkansas (Lowell, Ar) staffing company, previously claimed common law trademark rights to “flexible staffing” by sending a cease-and-desist letter to Flexible Staffing Services’ Arkansas Affiliate (FSSOA) regarding the use of the name “Flexible Staffing.” They then sued and sought a temporary restraining order against FSSOA, the Arkansas subsidiary which is pending. FSS brought this Federal action in order to end run the state suit, of which they are not a party and in which they claim they cannot intervene. Why they did not attempt to intervene in the State action I am not sure. Under Rule 24(b)(2), which provides for intervention “when an applicant’s claim or defense and the main action have a question of law or fact in common,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b)(2), & Ark. R. Civ. P. 24(b)(2), they should have been able to assert their rights in that case.

Arkansas IP Litigation Cases for the Week of November 24, 2007

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern or Western District of Arkansas was chosen as the forum for litigating the following case(s), as published by Justia:

  • Nelson Design Group LLC v. Puckett et al; No. 3:2007cv00177 (07-117); Filed: November 21, 2007; Court: Arkansas Eastern District Court; Office: Jonesboro Office; County: Craighead
    Not much to see here. Nelson Design Group filed a lawsuit for infringing the copyright in their home designs. The complaint alledges that Richard Puckett, a former employee, copied designs and gave them to his codefendants, Barry Phillips, Brent Phillips, State Development, LLC, and Phillips Investments & Construction Company, Inc., to use in their home building business. The Complaint alleges eight counts of copyright infringement (that would be eight houses, not eight designs) and that Puckett breached his employment contract. Nelson Design seeks a preliminary injunction and other remedies. In the complaint Nelson Design Group states:
  • Plaintiff immediately contacted the defendants, Richard Puckett and Barry Phillips, and asked how the house plans had been obtained. Both defendants asserted that the house was built from hand drawn prints. Upon further investigation, numerous plans owned and copyrighted by plaintiff are being used by the defendants to build homes. . .

    I would like to see what kind of investigation was needed. I imagine a 2 minute trip to one of the worksites and finding CAD drawing printouts was it took. Puckett had worked for Nelson Design since 2001 before being let go in 2006, and even presented his computer to Nelson Design to show he had none of their CAD drawings on his way out. I imagine, as the housing crisis heats up (oh, there is a long way for it to fall before it hits bottom) we will see more people cutting corners like this.

Arkansas IP Litigation Cases for the Week of November 10, 2007

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern or Western District of Arkansas was chosen as the forum for litigating the following case(s), as published by Justia:

  • Coulson Oil Company Inc v. Deweese Enterprises Inc; No. 4:2007cv01102; Filed: November 9, 2007; Court: Arkansas Eastern District Court
    Here is a Trademark Infringement lawsuit involving gas stations run by both companies, both called “Super Stop.” Coulson Oil, an Arkansas based company, seeks a declaratory judgment that they are not infringing the trademark of Deweese Enterprises, a Mississippi based company. Deweese registered a federal trademark for “Super Stop” in 1982. Coulson is arguing that it obtained Arkansas trademark rights due to its continuous use of the name in commerce. Coulson also operates the Super Stop Co-op, a bulk purchasing group for convenience store owners.


Arkansas IP Litigation Cases for the Week of November 3, 2007

Arkansas IP Litigation Cases for the Week of October 6, 2007

The U.S. District Courts for the Eastern or Western District of Arkansas was chosen as the forum for litigating the following case(s), as published by Justia:

  • Thirty Eight Street Inc et al v. Bajrang LLC, No. 07-920 (4:2007cv00920) (E.D. Ark., filed Oct. 2, 2007)

    Thirty Eight Street brought suit against Bajrang for trademark infringement. Thirty Eight Street licensed the name “Best Value Inn” to Bajrang. When the license was terminated, Bajrang continued using the trademark. Complaint contains six claims (including one for Intentional Interference with Prospective Business Relations), but it is the infringement of a registered trademark that has teeth.

    Kevin Lemley, who was my IP Law professor, has a copy of the complaint up on his blog, the Arkansas Business Litigation Blog.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.