Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebrity's company and mommy blogger "fight" over use of word "Honest" in trademark or wordmark; USPTO actually agrees with larger company



ABC News reported, Monday on Good Morning America, about a legal feud (not yet a lawsuit) started by Jessica Alba’s “The Honest Company”, successfully fighting (though the US Trademark Office) a trademark application by author and “twitter feed” mommy bogger Bunmi Laditan, for the mark “Honest Toddler”. 

The USPTO said that the use of the common word “honest” by Bunmi could confuse consumers, but Bunmi says she doesn’t plan to sell any other products (except her book: “Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting”, as here on Amazon (link).   The URL for Bunmi’s feed is (website url) here.

The ABC News story is here.

I think the case is important, and that established companies or celebrities shouldn’t be able to monopolize common words in the English language. 

The other famous mommy blogger is, of course, Heather Armstrong ("dooce").  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Patent troll defendant keeps quiet, fearing retaliation

A lawsuit by a patent troll against technology startup described in a  Washington Post Wonkblog article today “Here is what it feels like to be sued by a patent troll” sounds like one of the most abusive suits ever. The article, by Timothy B. Lee, does not name the defendant or the plaintiff, because the defendant fear retaliation. The link for the article is here

The article points out a major problem with these suits, that the details of the alleged infringement are vague until litigation starts.  This forces a defendant to spent thousands in defending a likely frivolous claim.  In this case, the complaint is so vague as to stop at mentioning a “wireless device” and “database” and software to synchronize e-commerce.  Customers using patented technology have been targeted, when they think they have already paid for everything. 

The attention paid to copyright trolls (like Righthaven) seems to have calmed down a bit, but the patent troll problem is getting “worser”.

It’s obvious that patent law is in need of reform to prevent abusive suits. 



The video above, by NerdAlert, again describes the Shield Act. 

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Geragos will discuss patent trolls on Adam Carolla Show

Electronic Frontier Foundation has advised its followers that Mike Geragos and Julie Samuels will discuss patent trolls on the Adam Corolla Show.  There has been an issue with patent trolls and podcasting specifically, although the article doesn’t give details yet. The advisory on the show is here. 


More than ever, the patent troll (like copyright troll) problem comes partly from a very competitive economy, where a lot of stuff is “free” but some people have to find a way to make a “living”. 

Geragos is a nationally known defense attorney who often appear on CNN discussing major criminal trials.