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February 2018
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Portland Surrenders To Old Town Brewing Over Stag Sign Trademark

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For some time, we've been following an odd trademark dispute between the city of Portland and a small brewery, Old Town Brewing, all over a famous city sign featuring a leaping stag. Old Town has a trademark for the image of the sign and uses that imagery for its business and beer labels. Portland, strangely, has pursued a trademark for the very same market and has attempted to invalidate Old Town's mark for the purpose of licensing the image to macro-breweries to fill the municipal coffers. What I'm sure city officials thought would be the quiet bullying of a local company without the breadth of legal resources Portland has at its disposal has instead ballooned into national coverage of that very same fuckery, with local industry groups rushing to the brewery's aid.The end result of all of this has been several months of Portland officials looking comically bad in the eyes of the public. Of all places, the people of Portland were never going to sit by and let their city run roughshod over a local microbrewery just so that the Budweisers of the world could plaster local iconography over thin, metal cans of pilsner. And now, despite sticking their chins out in response to all of this backlash for these past few months, it seems that the city has finally decided to cave in.

The city has surrendered in a battle over who gets to use the iconic image of a leaping stag from the Portland Oregon sign and will not seek a trademark that would conflict with one already owned by a local brewery. The city will give up on obtaining a trademark that it could license to any beer or alcohol company to use on cans, bottles, glasses, packages or tap handles. In return, Old Town Brewing will allow Portland to grant alcohol companies the right to use the image of the famous sign on local advertising.
It's a good resolution to a dispute that never should have existed. Trademark law has become problematic generally, and in the craft beer industry more specifically, but there was nothing in what Old Town was doing that was improper. The brewery had a local connection to Portland, properly attained a trademark for the image of the sign, and then had to deal with the city pretending that none of that was true. In the end, the city has essentially accepted what Old Town's ownership suggested at the start of all this: go get your trademark, just don't tread into the alcohol market.
Before the negotiations, Milne had faced an uphill battle against the city to defend his trademark. He had advocated for more than a year that the city simply seek a trademark that did not infringe on beer, wine and alcohol. That's exactly what the city has agreed to do now.  Milne will file a letter with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office encouraging the agency to grant Portland's trademark application so long as it does not cross over into the category of beer, wine and alcohol.
And thus ends this David and Goliath story, with Goliath once again slain. Salud.

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Zusammen Ihr Web-Entwicklungsteam Ihre Internetseite ber diese eine, DF-Verbindung erprobt?

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Solange bis heute ist echt die Einfhrung des Unternehmens im Internet diese eine, unabdingbare Grund fr die erfolgreiche Frderung dieses Unternehmens uff (berlinerisch) dem Dorf. Es zieht Kunden fuer und sieht sich als effektiver Nicht da, um gegen Konkurrenten abgeschlossen kmpfen. Eigene Seite im globalen Netzwerk bietet die Mglichkeit, sich selbst zu deklarieren. Wenn die […]The post Zusammen Ihr Web-Entwicklungsteam Ihre Internetseite ber diese eine, DF-Verbindung erprobt? appeared first on Adotas.

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James Woods Saved By A Question Mark, But Still A Total Hypocrite

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Karma works in funny ways sometimes. Over the past few years, we covered how actor James Woods filed a totally ridiculous defamation lawsuit against an anonymous internet troll who made some hyperbolic statements about Woods -- statements that were little different than what Woods had said about others. The case never went anywhere... because the defendant died. But Woods gloated over the guy's death, which just confirmed what a horrible, horrible person Woods appears to be.So, while we found the karmic retribution of someone else then suing Woods for defamation on similarly flimsy claims noteworthy, we still pointed out just how weak the case was and noted that, as much of an asshole as Woods was in his case against his internet troll, he still deserved to prevail in the case against him. And prevail he has. The case has been tossed out on summary judgment. While the opinion also details Woods continuing to do the assholish move of trying to avoid being served (his lawyers refused to give an address where he could be served and Woods refused to have his lawyer waive service requirements -- which is usually a formality in these kinds of things). Not surprisingly, the judge is not impressed by Woods hiding out from the process server:

It certainly appears that Woods is fully aware of the lawsuit, has retained a lawyer torepresent him in this matter, has received a copy of the Complaint (as evidenced by hisresponding Answer), and is willing to engage with the substance of the allegations (as evidencedby his Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings seeking a decision on the merits). Hissimultaneous refusal to waive service, to authorize his lawyer to accept service, or to provide hislawyer with an address where he may be served smacks of intentional evasion, a well-settledground for denying dismissal....[....]Woods denies he engaged in any gamesmanship because he twice notified Boulger thatservice was not yet complete, and because Boulger could have further attempted service throughdifferent means, such as by personally delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to thedefendant personally, leaving a copy at the defendant's dwelling or usual place of abode withsomeone of suitable age and discretion who resides there, or delivering a copy to an agentauthorized to receive service of process .... But Woods himself made all of these methodsimpossible by refusing to provide his lawyer with an address where he may be served or toauthorize his lawyer to accept service on his behalf.
Thankfully, the court isn't letting the big Hollywood actor man play games with the court.But, then the court gets to the meat of the case and does make the right decision. As much of a jerk as Woods has been throughout both of the cases we've discussed, he's legally on the right side of this. He did not defame Portia Boulger with his tweet questioning whether she was another woman. The background of the case, if you don't remember, is that there was a clip of a Trump-supporting Nazi woman, and some people started saying that it was a sort of false flag operation, saying that the woman was really Boulger, a well-known Bernie Sanders supporter. However, the two were obviously different women and Boulger wasn't anywhere near the rally where the Nazi-spouting woman was recorded. Woods had tweeted a "question": "So-called #Trump 'Nazi' is a #BernieSanders agitator/operative?" over a tweet from someone else making the claim that the woman was Boulger.In this case, it's that question mark at the end that saves Woods and actually makes the case a closer call than it should have been. Woods should have won easily, but here it really does seem to come down to the question mark:
Were it not for the question mark at the end of the text, this would be an easy case.Woods phrased his tweet in an uncommon syntactical structure for a question in English bymaking what would otherwise be a declarative statement and placing a question mark at the end.Delete the question mark, and the reader is left with an unambiguous statement of fact: Socalled#Trump 'Nazi' is [Portia Boulger,] a #BernieSanders agitator/operative.But the question mark cannot be ignored. The vast majority of courts to considerquestions as potential defamatory statements have found them not to be assertions of fact.Rather, a question indicates a defendant's lack of definitive knowledge about the issue andinvites the reader to consider various possibilities.
And thus, the statement is not defamatory. The court does note that merely adding a question mark alone is not enough to sheild someone from defamation (so don't get that idea!) but here it is enough to make the tweet protected.Again, this is a good (and correct) result, even if Woods' hypocrisy is on full display here. Not only did he try to evade service in this case and try to get it dismissed on those grounds, he remains the guy who continued to chase after an anonymous internet troll for saying a couple of marginally mean things about him on Twitter. One hopes that Woods will have learned a lesson from all this -- that filing defamation lawsuits against people over their angry tweet rants is a bad idea... but... that seems unlikely.

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