Anti-Counterfeiting, Lawyer Jokes, and In-House Counsel Insights

by Mike Mintz on December 16, 2010 · 1 comment

in connected

Here’s what you missed on Connected.

Trademark Theme Week and CLE Webinar

Our Trademark theme week spawned a few guest posts and a CLE webinar featuring Anne Gilsen LaLonde and Janet Marvel (look for a playback to be available in the coming weeks).  Here are a few of the gueest posts you may have missed:

ACTA Seeks to Impose Global IP Protections

Guest blogger Phillip Barengolts wrote:

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) attempts to impose developed nation intellectual property protections on the world.  That it will, if the rest of the world signs on.  What can IP owners expect?  No impact in the U.S.  Impact at the edges of other developed nations’ IP laws.  Significant impact on the laws of developing nations that sign on to it.

See how the ACTA works by reading the rest of his post.

Critical Analysis of Product Trade Dress

Guest blogger Kenneth Germain wrote:

Traditionally, “trade dress” meant the overall commercial impression of a package as created by its size, shape, color, and design taken as a whole. Protection even extended to the overall combination of individually common, indistinct, and/or functional elements which interact to let the purchaser know that the product in the package comes from one source (although the identity of that source need not be known). On the contrary, modernly, “trade dress” attempts to extend package design principles and protections to product designs/configurations.

Read the rest of his analysis here.

Seventh Circuit “Exceptional Cases” Under the Lanham Act

Guest blogger Ashley Iacullo wrote:

The Lanham Act allows prevailing parties to recover an award of attorneys’ fees in “exceptional cases.” In its simplest sense, a case is viewed as “exceptional” if the plaintiff was frivolous in bringing the suit or if a defendant had no basis for defending.

Since its addition to the Lanham Act in 1975, the circuit courts have grappled with what constitutes an “exceptional” case and accordingly, have set different standards. In some jurisdictions, there are varying standards for the plaintiff and defendant.

Read about the different standards of the courts by visiting the Trademark group.

So A Lawyer Walks Into a Church …

It sounds like the start of a lawyer joke, but this post by community manager Joe Walsh tells the true story about former Citibank lawyer Susan Sparks, who hung up her shingle for a congregation.  Serving as a Baptist minister since 2000, Sparks’ story is an inspiring tale of following your passion.  Joe asks what your outside the office passions are and shares about his own.

See what our members had to say.

Industry Wrestles with CMBS 2.0 Risk Retention Requirements

Super member Keith Mullen wrote:

As part of the Dodd-Frank Act (summaries and my prior comments on what I call “delegated legislative authority”), the topic of risk retention or “skin in the game” plays a pivotal role in the revival of the CMBS lending market (or “CMBS 2.0″).

The question causing heartburn is this: will CMBS loan originators be required to retain 5% of the loan (as their skin in the game), as contemplated under Dodd-Frank?

Find out what the requirements are by reading the rest of Keith’s post.

Initial Interest Confusion

Super member John McKeown wrote:

A recent decision of the English High Court has found that a claim for initial interest confusion was actionable in an action claiming trademark infringement.

See his analysis of the case in the Intellectual Property group.

Life Outside the Law

This week has been full of in-house counsel insights as we plunged into our two week theme Life Outside the Law.  The focus is on what shapes our professional lives from outside of the practice of law.  Guest blogs include:

Think and Act Globally

Michael Chang, Senior Counsel at Warner Brothers wrote:

I read a story about a pottery class where half the students were graded on quantity and the other half on quality. The quality students aimed for one perfect pot by the end of the class; the quantity students were graded on the number of pots they made regardless of quality. It came as a surprise that the students who aimed for quantity ended up with better quality pots. This was because they weren’t afraid to try, fail, experiment, learn, and try again.

He goes on to tell the story of how his own life has mirrored this very pattern.  Read about what has lead to Michael’s success as a global lawyer and person.


David Cohen, in-house counsel for the Anaheim Angels baseball team wrote:

I recently went to lunch with a law firm colleague. My colleague (“Steve”) was responsible for overseeing his firm’s summer associate program. Like Steve, I oversee an externship program where law students spend a semester working with my company. During the meal, we talked about what is important in potential mentees.

Steve’s firm takes a “check the box approach”. They review the resume and assess points based on membership in professional organizations. I take a very different approach as I value involvement and leadership over membership.

In thinking about my discussion with Steve, I realized that my view is not just about hiring…it is about life as a whole.

Read the rest of what David finds important in life and business.

What the Track Rats Taught Me About In-House Life

June Casalmir, In-House Counsel at Sprint Nextel wrote:

The rising sun bathed the pavement in orange as I arrived at Heartland Racepark in Topeka, Kansas, affectionately known to track rats near and far as just “HPT.” The nervously-inhaled bagel remains were still churning in my stomach on that cold fall Saturday morning.

I headed to the rented garage for my second-ever high performance driving event (HPDE-or “DE” for short), this one hosted by the Kansas City chapter of the Porsche Club of America. I pushed fears of trackside lawn-mowing and gravel-scattering out of my mind as I watched (and heard) other DE participants and instructors arrive.

I definitely wasn’t pontificating on the corollaries between DEs and life as an in-house counsel over those two cold and blustery days last fall.

Find out what June was thinking about, and how she’s taken the lessons of high speed racing into her practice.  And don’t forget to check out the rest of the action next week when our theme continues with more guest posts, a special edition podcast, and a wrap up of the Live Twitter discussion that happened today with the hash tag #LOTL.

That’s it for today’s Connected Round Up.  Members can get in on these discussions and more by clicking the links and commenting.  Non-members can check see all these discussions, but need to register to comment – it’s 100% free.

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