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Brands may now register for “scandalous” trademarks, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last Monday. Erik Brunetti, a streetwear designer and head of the brand “FUCT,” filed to federally register its brand with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in 2011.  The PTO rejected the application because of the phonetic pronunciation and offensiveness of the word.

This article first appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal on January 25, 2019

Capital comes in many forms. Generally, it can take the form of debt (personal and bank loans, credit card debt) or equity (common stock, preferred stock, etc.). Debt is based on an obligation to repay; equity is a piece of the action.

This article appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal on October 5, 2018.

My last article on the blood-testing firm Theranos explored how and why so many people could have been deceived by a business strategy and technology that proved to be entirely dependent on deception. Since that article appeared last spring, the unraveling of Theranos has accelerated, and we can now glean some additional learnings.

This article appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal on July 20, 2018.

The vast majority of companies in the United States are small, privately owned, with fewer than 500 employees. Many are family-owned, some are venture-capital-backed, others are supported by private equity.

This article originally appeared in Medical News on June 27, 2018.  

There is a recent trend of physician practices partnering with private equity firms (PE Firms) as hospitals and other large health systems have curtailed their acquisition of physician practices.

Should video game publishers have to pay or seek permission to use copyrighted tattoos on their characters, or is it allowed under the fair use doctrine? That’s the question before a federal judge in a novel copyright lawsuit in Manhattan. Video game makers as well as other media producers that may include tattoos in their work should be closely watching the outcome of this case.

The U.S. Copyright Office replaced its paper-based system for designating agents for receipt of claims of copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) with a new electronic system.  As part of this process, website operators and other online service providers must designate agents under the new electronic system by December 31, 2017, or risk losing protection under the DMCA.

Indiana, in particular the Indianapolis region, is drawing the attention of private equity firms and venture capitalists from around the country.  The city, with a growing industry focus in technology and healthcare, as well as a variety of local start-ups, is well positioned to not only peak the interests of these funding organizations, but to create investment opportunities that will draw in a variety of investors.

A federal court in California recently rejected a motion by the San Diego Comic Convention and will hear whether the mark COMIC-CON is generic. 

Background

The San Diego Comic Convention (“SDCC”), a non-profit corporation, has been celebrating comic art, books, and other aspects of popular culture in San Diego since 1970.  The organization’s eponymous “Comic-Con” convention has grown in popularity with attendance exceeding over 135,000 attendees in 2016.   SDCC applied for and obtained a federal trademark registration for the mark COMIC-CON in connection with “education and entertainment services, namely, organizing and conducting conventions in the fields of animation, comic books and popular art.”  However, while SDCC may be the largest gathering of comic fans, it is not the first and certainly not the only entity using the phrase “Comic Con.”

Public Session Date Rescheduled for October 11, 2017

The Surface Transportation Board has set a new date for the public listening session to review CSX Transportation’s rail service problems and recovery plans. The session will take place October 11, 2017, at the Board’s offices in Washington, D.C.  The session will be open for public observation, although anyone wishing to speak must file an intent to participate with the Board no later than September 29, 2017.

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