Our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, December 8, 2014 will be a discussion of a recent decision in the N.D Cal regarding trademarks and the First Amendment as well as a WIPO decision regarding a domain dispute:

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. Case No. 14-cv-02361-RS (ND Cal 11/24/14 ) (available here).  In a summary judgment decision, the district court found that the use of an “angry monkey” design in a video game was entitled to First Amendment protection.  The court focused on the customizable elements of the character and the feeling of “personal identity” experienced by players during the game.

Jastremski v. Jaisen Mathai Case No. DME2014-0006 (WIPO 11/10/14 ) (available here).  A solo panelist of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center found that Mathai’s prior knowledge of Jastremski’s mark was inconclusive and thus declined to find bath faith registration of the domain name.  The panelist found that Mathai, owner of openphotome.com was more likely fueled by the dictionary, rather than Jastremski’s mark when filing the domain, despite the record showing that it was possible that the parties’ services were competitive.

 All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, December 8, 2014 at Noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Noelle Smith by 9 am Monday morning.