Quiz 10: Intellectual Property Rights and the Internet


As per the stated case, XC Corp. Ltd. was found to be imitating the designs of S café locations in city S. In light of the case, three parties, that is, S, W, S Corporation have a clear standing to bring suit in country C against XC Corp. Ltd. since the company violated the US Trademark law. As per the US Trademark Law, a person, company or institution that is found imitating the trademark (symbols, designs, color, shape, size) of other company would face serious legal actions and in extreme cases may face strict imprisonment. Moreover, the plaintiff has to prove that his/her company has a valid design and they were the first one who created the designs. Hence, another's use of the same design would likely to cause confusion to consumers. In such a scenario, parties like S, W and S Corporation would be liable to bring suit against the XC Corp.

Refer to the case Cable News Network v CNNews.com (177 FSupp2d 506) Facts of case: CNN (plaintiff) broadcasts news around the world and is known in Chinese market. It has registered trademark CNN, logos, and domain names CNN.com Maya HK (a Chinese company) is owner of CNNews.com which stands for Chinese Network News, news targeted to the Chinese market. CNN sued CNNews.com for trademark infringement and dilution. The suit fell under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) , which prevented trademarks used in online domain names by unauthorized parties. Summary judgment for plaintiff. The district court claimed jurisdiction over the case as the domain CNNews.com was registered by Verisign an American company. Opinion: The defendant argued that CNNews.com is targeted towards Chinese market with purchases made with Chinese currency (RMB), hence, the domain has no effect on the American market. However, the court contend that American commerce is affected as the internet is global, the ".com" usually denotes American sites, and there are Chinese readers globally and living in the US as well. The court also found a strong likelihood of confusion as both CNN is a world known news brand and CNNews.com offered news as well, hence users may believe that CNNews.com as offered by CNN. The ACPA have safe harbors if the use of domain was not in "bad faith". The court decided that the use was in bad faith , while conceding that CNNews.com may not had an intention to sell the brand to CNN, the use of the CNNews.com likely dilute the brand and cause consumer confusion. Furthermore, the use of CNNews.com is for commercial use, not noncommercial educational purposes, hence, unprotected by fair use.

Case summary: Ms. SB hired Mr. CO to be her wedding photographer. The parties written contract granted ownership of the copyright in all images to Mr. CO. SB's wedding photographs were posted online in his website by CO. Over which SB objected and asked the removal of those photographs but CO failed to do so and was sued by SB. She stated that she had exclusive rights over these photographs. Conclusion: As per my opinion, as described in this written contract in the case between SB and CO, CO holds the copyright of the wedding images of SB and thus it is his prerogative to use these photographs in a constructive manner for the promotion of his business of photography. Thus Ms. SB has to right or control over the photographs posted by CO unless these photos have been used positively and not for any illegal or illicit way. Thus Ms. SB is incorrect when she sues CO.

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