“DUMB Starbucks” made national news as a viral sensation that the owner claimed was a legitimate, blatant copy of the distinctive and famous Starbucks logo. In this business litigation update, Faruki Ireland & Cox discusses the use of a potential “parody defense” in trademark litigation and whether “DUMB Starbucks” was a SMART idea.
March 7, 2014
While waiting my turn in line at a Starbucks in Southern California recently, I was eyeing the holiday-oriented merchandise that the coffee shop had on display. Although snowflake-adorned coffee mugs for sale in semi-tropical locations are always diverting, I was actually more interested in a piece of equipment that Starbucks was selling: a single-cup coffee machine. Was it a Keurig? No. Did it use Keurig pods? No (it used pods that were smaller, but otherwise virtually identical to Keurig pods). At first glance, did it appear to improve upon or “design around” the now famous Keurig coffee machine? Not really.
December 19, 2012
The Federal Circuit’s Recent Changes to the Law on Induced Patent Infringement Borrow, Once Again, from Criminal Law
A criminal defendant cannot avoid criminal liability by arranging for others to complete a crime on his behalf, so why should a civil defendant be able to avoid liability for inducing patent infringement by arranging for others to engage in a series of steps that collectively practice the claims of a method patent? According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the civil defendant should not escape such liability, and a contrary rule is capable of illogically rewarding the most calculated of plans to infringe the intellectual property of others.
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October 4, 2012