Posts made in January, 2014

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Candy Crush Embarks on a Trademark “Saga” 0

Candy Crush Embarks on a Trademark “Saga”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Trademark

If you have not played Candy Crush Saga, you probably know someone who has.  In light of the enormous popularity of the game, the developer of the game, King, sought to protect the name of the game through trademark law.  Specifically, King has sought to protect both the words “Candy” and “Saga.”  Some people believe these terms are too generic for trademark protection and King has received a fair amount of criticism over its trademark filings.  The situation merits a closer look to see what would motivate a company like King to seek trademark protection the way it did. King filed for a mark for the word “Candy” in the European Union.  The application was approved on January 15 of 2014 and other parties have 30 days to oppose the trademark.  The mark was listed in many categories such as games, game accessories, merchandise, and paper hats.  In the United States, this application may have been rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but you can never truly predict what the office examiners will do. King also filed a trademark application for the word “Saga” in the United States back in 2011.  Meanwhile, another game company named Stoic Studio filed a trademark application for the name of...

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New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Business

In the fall election of 2013, New Jersey voters approved a one dollar increase in the state’s minimum wage to $8.25 an hour.  Minimum wages are governed by both federal and state law; the federal government enforces a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour which states must follow unless they establish a higher wage.  Up until the election, New Jersey had followed the federal minimum wage but starting in 2014 will be one of 21 states with higher minimum wages than the federal standard. There are a couple exceptions to the federal minimum wage rule.  Tipped labor, such as waiters or hairdressers, can be paid as low as $2.13 an hour as long as their hourly wage plus tips equals at least the minimum wage.  Also, people under the age of 20 may be paid $4.25 an hour minimum for the first 90 days of employment.  Just like the standard federal minimum wage, these two minimums can be raised by a state if it wishes.  New Jersey has not amended it standards for tipped workers or for those under 20 years old. New Jersey was wage standards for other employment situations as well.  If a company employs a worker for over 40 hours a week, those overtime hours must...

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DMCA Takedown Used to Quash Negative YouTube Review

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Copyright

If you were to search YouTube for reviews of video games, you would hit countless results.  Some channels have been able to rise above the other in terms of subscribers and consequently can be targeted for their negative reviews.  This particular dispute involved a video game review uploaded by TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit, of the game Day One: Garry’s Incident, made by Wild Game Studios.  TotalBiscuit regularly reviews independent (indie) games, games which are developed outside of large studios and which typically have low budgets.  While major retail games are sold for $60 on video game consoles or computers, indie games typically are sold for $20 or less.  TotalBiscuit prefers to review indie games in order to inform consumers of games they should buy which they may never have heard of before.  He also wishes to warn gamers to stay away from games which he feels will be a waste of money.  In TotalBiscuit’s opinion, Day One: Garry’s Incident fell in the latter category. TotalBiscuit’s videos are monetized to receive advertising revenue.  Once a YouTube video is approved to receive advertising revenue, the uploader will receive 55% of the advertising revenue Google is paid by advertisers.  The types of advertising shown will change depending on many factors such as...

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Patent Fee Shifting: Kilopass Technology Inc. v. Sidense Corp.

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Fee Shifting, Litigation, Patent

In a typical litigation, each party in a legal dispute is responsible for paying their own legal fees.  However, there are some instances where a losing party must pay for the legal fees of the prevailing party.  In patent law, this occurs in so called “frivolous” litigation. Until recently, judges would approve fee-shifting in patent cases if one party acted in bad faith.  This is a difficult standard to prove as the prevailing party must prove the intent of the losing party.  Congress has been debating whether to change this standard.  In December of 2013, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would require judges to consider a “reasonably justified” standard.  Thus a losing party would have to pay the legal fees of a prevailing party unless the legal position of the losers was reasonably justified.  This bill has not yet been taken up by the Senate and the Senate has not drafted its own bill on the subject. However current patent litigants may not need to wait for Congressional action.  On December 26, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit provided an opinion for Kilopass Technology Inc. v. Sidense Corp.  The main issue in this case was whether Sidense’s request for fee shifting was properly...

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