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Sprouts v. Sprouts: Regional Trademark Disputes


Sprouts v. Sprouts: Regional Trademark Disputes Many of my Southern California-area readers will be familiar with the Sprouts Farmers Market chain of grocery stores. San Diego’s Boney family originally operated several stores as “Boney’s.” Following the death of founder Henry Boney, the names were changed to “Henry’s.” Recently, stores in the Southern California region saw another name change, this time to “Sprouts Farmers Market.” This is because of a merger between the Henry’s stores and the Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market chain (which, confusingly, was also founded by the Boney family). The merged company is now owned by a hedge fund….

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Tetris Case: Video Game Copyright


Video Game Copyright Recently, the owners of Tetris sued the creators of a similar game, Mino, for copyright infringement. In a fairly simple game like Tetris, which elements can be protected under copyright law?

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Gaymer v. Reddit


Gaymer v. Reddit In 2008, Chris Vizzini obtained registrations from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for two marks using the word GAYMER (here’s the word mark, here’s the design mark). Mr. Vizzini founded an online community in 2003, gaymer.org, aimed at fostering communication and friendly competition between gay and gay-friendly video game enthusiasts. Reddit.com is a website featuring user-submitted content. Reddit is organized into “subreddits” for every imaginable topic, including /gaymers, which features discussion of gay-positive topics related to video games. Both gaymer.org and /gaymers are seen as a refuge for those who object to perceived homophobia in…

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Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy


Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Adam Yauch, a member of the Beastie Boys, sadly passed away in May 2012. Several days after Yauch’s will became public, the Beastie Boys filed a lawsuit against Monster Energy Company for copyright and trademark infringement and violation of the New York Civil Rights law. The suit alleges that Monster used parts of the band’s songs, including “Sabotage,” “So Whatcha Want,” and “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” in promotional videos for Monster Energy Drinks. These videos were used to promote Ruckus in the Rockies, a Monster-sponsored snowboarding event. How did Monster allegedly violate…

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