For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, October 8, 2018, we will discuss the following cases:
Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin (9th Cir September 28, 2018 available here). Skidmore sued the members of Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement. A band called Spirit toured with Led Zeppelin in the 70’s and wrote a song called Taurus. Led Zeppelin would go on to write the hit Stairway to Heaven. At trail a jury found Zeppelin had access to the copyright, and that Skidmore was the owner, but did not find the two copyrights substantially similar. The 9th Circuit held several of the jury instructions were erroneous and prejudicial and vacated in part and remanded for a new trial.
Real Foods v. Frito Lay (CAFC October 4, 2018 available here) Real Foods applied for the mark “CORN THINS,” for “crispbread slices predominantly of corn, namely popped corn cakes”; and “RICE THINS,” for “crispbread slices primarily made of rice, namely rice cakes.” Frito Lay opposed the marks. The TTAB refused to register the marks, finding the marks “are merely descriptive and have not acquired distinctiveness.” The CAFC affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.
All are invited to join us on Monday October 8, 2018, 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 Elisha Manzur by 9 am Monday morning.