Intellectual Property Rights

Get the latest news on intellectual property law, covering patents, trademarks and copyright.

Nov 28, 2011

German drugmaker Merck KGaA recently filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the State of New York to compel Facebook to explain the status of a disputed page on the social networking site.

Merck traces its roots back to 17th century Germany, but the American arm of the corporation - Merck & Co. - became a competitor of the German company in the early 20th century, when Merck was divided after World War I, under the Treaty of Versailles.

Now, Merck KGaA is alleging that Merck & Co. has improperly gained administrative rights to a Merck-related Facebook page.

Nov 22, 2011

Vivendi, the parent company of major record label Universal Music Group, recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against executives of the music sharing website Grooveshark, alleging the execs illegally posted thousands of protected songs to the site.

Universal's complaint contends that high-level employees of Grooveshark posted at least 113,777 of Universal's copyrighted tracks to the website, according to Billboard.

Nov 22, 2011

In a close decision, the Georgia Supreme Court recently ruled against two men who had filed a trademark infringement suit against the state's lottery.

At issue in the suit was the "MONEYBAG$" logo and game, which plaintiff George Kyle obtained a copyright for in 1995. Scientific Games, the company that creates games and prints tickets for the Georgia Lottery, secured a one-time use license to run a game of the same name between 1999 and 2002.

Nov 18, 2011

Sazerac Co. and the Kentucky Distillers' Association announced recently that their ongoing legal battle over the "Kentucky Bourbon Trail" phrase ended in a settlement.

Six weeks before the case was set to appear in front of the U.S. District Court in Louisville, the two companies were able to reach a confidential agreement.

The original lawsuit came from the distillers' association, which sued Sazerac, a New Orleans-based company, in May 2010.