All posts by: Joshua Waterston

About Joshua Waterston

A fascinating aspect of the law is that something can be standard practice, or settled law, until a creative lawyer or court pulls it apart, turns it on its head, and a new paradigm is born. Think of Brown vs. the Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, or Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Each of these decisions […]

At the end of December 2020, Congress passed an “omnibus” bill which justifiably received significant attention for providing financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the legislation, in addition to the changes to trademark law discussed above, were also new laws related to copyright: the CASE Act and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act. The CASE Act […]

How much personal data do you collect from customers, and what privacy laws apply to your business? Recent privacy violations have resulted in penalties of thousands or millions of dollars, with Facebook paying a record FTC fine of $5 billion. Every business needs to know its compliance requirements and potential exposure. Yet the current proliferation […]

After six years of litigation, Led Zeppelin has finally won.  Michael Skidmore, the trustee for the estate of Spirit’s guitarist Randy Wolfe, sued in 2014, claiming that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” infringed Spirit’s copyright in its song, “Taurus.”  On October 5, 2020, the Supreme Court denied Skidmore’s request for a writ of certiorari after the 9th Circuit Court […]

In the world of intellectual property, the “Cease and Desist” letter is king. These are letters from attorneys for the owner of a work or invention, sent to an alleged infringer of the owner’s intellectual property rights. The letters cite the legal basis for the owner’s claim, may threaten doom, destruction, and huge financial damages, […]

For almost 30 years, the NFL’s Washington Redskins were involved in litigation over their team name. Now that the owners have capitulated, they face new challenges: a swarm of trademark squatters that have scooped up rights to likely replacements.  First, a little background. The Washington Redskins have been using the team name since 1933 and […]

In a story that would make a screenwriter jealous, it seems that the newly-minted U.S. Space Force may have lost trademark rights in the term “Space Force” to Netflix. On June 18, 2018, President Trump announced the U.S. Space Force which came to life on December 20, 2019, with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, […]

Why is the famous “I [heart] New York” logo protected by trademark and not copyright?  At first glance, you’d think that it’s artwork, and therefore can be protected by copyright.  However, the Copyright Act protects “original works of authorship.” The “I [heart] New York” logo is merely a phrase, with the word “love” replaced by […]