All posts by: Joshua Waterston

About Joshua Waterston

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 […]

A month ago, we were at work and school. Grocery stores were full of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, flour, and milk. “Flattening the curve” meant that I needed to lose a few pounds. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has now swept through the United States like a hurricane. Businesses have been shuttered, supply chains are stretched […]

 In 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) became law. That year, Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping” topped the charts, Mark McGwire broke the home run record, Google, Inc. was formed, and smartphones didn’t yet exist. The Web was in its infancy, but online service providers were concerned about their potential liability for hosting users’ content. The DMCA […]