What Donald Trump’s Micropenis Can Teach You about Free Speech

“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.” – Donald Trump to Page Six on April 3, 2011.

“If they’re small, something else must be small,” [about Marco Rubio referring to his hands and genitals,] “I guarantee you there’s no problem, I guarantee you.” – Donald Trump at the March 3, 2016 Republican Primary Debate in Detroit, Michigan.

Donald Trump is not one to take the high road and let an insult to his manhood go unchallenged. So, it comes as little surprise that when Los Angeles based artist Illma Gore painted a nude portrait of him, Donald Trump, or at least his people, took an interest. The artwork, a censored version of which is shown below, shows a nude Donald Trump, face contorted in the midst an undoubtedly newsworthy quote, micropenis smugly displayed (uncensored version here). Titled “Make America Great Again,” Gore first shared it on Facebook with the tag line, “You can be a massive prick, despite what is in your pants.”

You're welcome for the =/

“Make America Great Again” [censored] – Courtesy of Illma Gore – http://illmagore.com/

Although Trump’s campaign has not officially commented, Gore says a person claiming to represent Trump called her in February of 2016 threatening to sue if she sold the artwork, specifically citing Trump’s right of publicity. Considering The Donald’s litigious reputation, it’s not an outrageous claim. Continue reading

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Graffiti Counts 2: Why Freedom of Speech Doesn’t Save Katy Perry’s MET Gala Dress

Back in August, we covered the outrage surrounding Katy Perry’s attire to the Annual Met Gala. The scandal was twofold, first, Perry’s gown featured an avant-garde graffiti design when the Gala theme was clearly “Chinese exhibition,” and secondly, the graffiti design was taken and used without the artist’s permission, constituting copyright infringement. Ergo; our last post focused on the legality of graffiti, as a clearly copyrightable work, framed in terms of the public sphere versus the public domain, and moral rights. Rime, who created the stolen work, sued Italian luxury fashion house Moschino, and now Moschino has formally responded.

Yeesh.

Katy Perry in the gown at the 2015 Met Gala with the Moschino Creative Director

What did the Five Fingers Say to the Face? SLAPP!

On December 7, 2015, Moschino filed a motion to strike the entire complaint pursuant to California’s Anti-SLAPP statute. SLAPP stands for Continue reading

Claiming Problems, Not Solutions: Why Mark Cuban has a Point about Software Patents, and Why the Constitution Impliedly Mandates the Supreme Court Decisions in Bilski and Alice.

Guest Post by Charles A. Lutzow, III

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

For years, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ignored patent law, either because they felt patent law was in a good place, they trusted the Federal Circuit (which has exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals), they forgot about it because there were no circuit splits, or because of a general desire to stay out of the much more technical patent field. In any case, starting with KSR v. Telefax Co. in 2007, SCOTUS has taken a much greater interest in patent law, much to the dismay of a significant portion of the patent bar.

Mark Cuban: Anti-Patent Crusader

On November 10, 2015, Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank TV star, and billionaire Mark Cuban gave an interview with IP Watchdog regarding his ideas on the current state of patent law, software patents, patent trolls, and patent reform. The interview was conducted by Gene Quinn, founder of IP Watchdog, a prominent patent attorney, and a known critic of SCOTUS’s recent §101 precedents. The interview contains an illuminating exchange on Cuban’s thoughts on patent law, but possibly none more than this: Continue reading

Fireball Whisky and Trade Dress Protection, Straight Up

This past August, Sazerac, the distillery behind Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, sued Stout Brewing Company over Stout’s malt liquor brand, Fire Flask. And Sazerac does not play around; in 2012 it sued Hood River Distillers over the packaging and branding of its SinFire Cinnamon Whiskey, and in March of 2014 sued Crosby Lake Spirits Co. over its Bison Ridge Canadian whisky, claiming it was confusingly similar to Sazerac’s Buffalo Trace. Sazerac’s Fireball is credited with sparking the wave of cinnamon-flavored liquors across the U.S., and is celebrated at college parties everywhere. Continue reading

POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola: False Advertising and Business Implications

Pomegranate juice is a trendy, health conscious drink, but are all pomegranate drinks equal?  Pom Wonderful sued Coca-Cola under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act claiming that the beverage giant was misleading consumers about the amount of pomegranate juice in its MINUTE MAID “Pomegranate Blueberry Juice.”  Although pomegranate seemed to be the selling point, the drink was actually comprised of 99.4% apple and grape juices.

Rather than substantively address this Lanham Act claim, Coca-Cola (“Coke”) sought to dismiss the suit as precluded by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. This past June (2014), the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) unanimously held that the regulatory provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) do not preclude or limit the statutory private right of action provided in the Lanham Act. Instead, they are complementary statutes that provide greater protection to consumers in combination than either could alone.

What You Need to Know about the Case

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