Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cease and Desist Letters: The Attack on Unicorn Meat

Would this image/entry at Thinkgeek confuse you?

Prof. Rebecca Tushnet reports here on a doozy of a cease and desist letter:  the Thinkgeek blog posted a non-existent April Fool's Day Unicorn Meat product and the National Pork Board responded with a cease and desist letter, details here.

Overreaching by TM and copyright owners really hurts owners who legitimately protect their brands and creative works.   Note to lawyers: leave the fools alone on April 1.

Practice Tip:  Chapter 6 of Copyright Litigation Handbook is titled "Cease and Desist Letters and Declaratory Judgment Actions".   I cover the many pitfalls involved in sending cease and desist letters and the ample case law showing that many lawyers, a surprising number in big law firms, tend not to think carefully about the potential consequences before sending these letters.  The "first to file" rule has some tricky exceptions.   A cease and desist letter may be met with a declaratory judgment action in an inconvenient jurisdiction. 28 USC 2201.  Try explaining that little surprise to your client.

 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook from West here  

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