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Keep it Legal Blog

In-N-Out Sues Grab-N-Go

v.       Famed California-based fast food chain, and sworn enemy of my cardiologist, In-N-Out Burger, has sued an East Coast-based competitor, Grab-N-Go Burger, for Trademark Infringement, Trade Dress Infringement, and Trademark Dilution. The Huffington Post has a brief article summarizing the claims. Their illustrations are good, but they confuse trademark and copyright. Editorial Note: Mainstream media articles confuse trademark, copyright, and patents all the time. Journalists, please learn the difference between these types of intellectual property, or contact an IP attorney when you’re writing a story on this type of topic – we are happy to talk about…

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Does California Charge Sales Tax on Licensed Software?

  California says no sales tax on certain licensed software… With California’s current budgetary and fiscal issues, the State has attempted to come up with new ways to increase revenue (see my previous blog post on the Amazon sales tax). But doing so through a sales tax on certain software transactions is still a no-no in this State. This rule applies to any transfer of non-tangible intellectual property subject to a patent or copyright. Recent events This past April, a California appellate court ordered the State Board of Equalization (“BOE” – a public agency responsible for tax administration and fee…

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College Logo Showdown: Hawkeye vs. Golden Eagle

Iowa says USM’s “Golden Eagle” to similar to their “Hawkeye” In the world of college athletics, a university logo or mascot means almost everything. Especially at a place like the University of Iowa, where there is no professional athletic team and the Iowa Hawkeyes have come to represent not only the school itself, but an entire state. So it’s not surprising that University of Iowa officials were not pleased in 2003, when the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) debuted a Golden Eagle logo that looked eerily similar to the Iowa Hawkeye, a logo that has been in use for over…

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A Fake IKEA Store?

Wait, this isn’t IKEA? While it’s not unusual to go shopping in China and find things like fake DVDs (for pennies on the dollar), now you can go shopping there and find yourself in an entirely fake store. Chinese companies are now copying global giant brands’ (Nike, Ikea, Apple, etc.) overall retail experience. A recent article described how a store known as 11 Furniture has copied IKEA’s entire store layout and décor, with the same exact color scheme, mock room set ups, cafeteria style restaurant, and similar details. This is especially troublesome for a company like IKEA because the store…

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