Jayaram Law Blog

Content for Innovators

By Doni Robinsondoni@jayaramlaw.com Fans of Rihanna are likely aware of her tremendously successful makeup line, FENTY BEAUTY, which launched in in September 2017. Some may even be aware that the name itself came from the star’s last name – Robyn Rihanna Fenty. As any good brand owner does, Rihanna applied for several FENTY trademarks as early as June 2014 covering everything from her beauty line, to her apparel and upcoming luxury fashion line. Rihanna’s strained relationship with her father has been something she has spoken about in the past. Thus, it came as no surprise to many that in…
By Palak V. Patelpalak@jayaramlaw.com Cloud Gate, colloquially known as the Bean, is one of the most prominent symbols of Chicago. The artist, Anish Kapoor, has gained widespread recognition for designing the iconic Millennium Park sculpture.  However, in art circles, Kapoor is known as a divisive figure due to his monopoly on the “blackest black” color. Kapoor is the sole artist that has access to Vantablack acrylic paint. Vantablack is so dark that it absorbs 99.96% of light. Kapoor uses this nearly pure black paint to create the illusion of a void. Artists have been outraged and confused as to…
By Vivek Jayaramvivek@jayaramlaw.com It’s an inevitable scenario for most large companies: an employee signs a confidential separation agreement upon being terminated.  The employee — irate — logs onto Glassdoor.com and airs her grievances (and the company’s dirty laundry) anonymously on the company’s Glassdoor page. The C-suite is fuming.  They march into the GC’s office: “didn’t we tell you to make sure the separation agreement prohibited her from saying bad stuff about us?” Hopefully, our GC included a non disparagement or “no negative statements” clause to the agreement.  If she did, then the identity of the poster is likely discoverable.…
By Julia Broder julia@jayaramlaw.com The phrase ‘work-life balance’ is slowly phasing out of the corporate lexicon as new research encourages employers to pursue holistic company policies regarding their employees’ wellness. Like the old model of “balance,” the new “effectiveness” model allows employees to prioritize their personal and professional time. Unlike the “balance” approach, it does not insinuate that employees must designate equal, in-flexible amounts of time to both areas of life. This flexibility maximizes the quality of their work product. The Catalyst Organization defines Work-Life Effectiveness as a “talent management strategy that focuses on doing the best work at the…
By Alec Schulmanalec@jayaramlaw.com Copyright. The Constitution. A sunken pirate ship. The Supreme Court. On Monday, June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court chose to hear a case involving a copyright infringement claim brought by a videographer against the state of North Carolina for publishing the plaintiff’s footage and photographs without the plaintiff’s permission. The subject of those videos and photographs?  Blackbeard’s sunken pirate ship. In short, the State of North Carolina published the videographer’s work on the internet without the author’s consent. In 2013, the parties had seemed to reach a settlement under which North Carolina would cease infringing the…
By Vivek Jayaramvivek@jayaramlaw.com Most of our clients are pretty smart and savvy.  And even though some are cost-conscious, all of them are most interested in getting competent, focused legal advice.  But I am not going to fool myself (or anyone else) into thinking that a client selects a law firm based upon the legal strategy they will ultimately implement to solve their problem.  Sure, some firms have a reputation of being more aggressive, others more conservative, but by and large sophisticated clients are going to find lawyers who will ultimately deliver to them a workable legal strategy.  Bear in…
By Wendy Heilbutwendy@jayaramlaw.com During day-to-day functions in the workplace, it is easy to see that diversity is a plus.  For example, it is great when a younger colleague is more familiar with a contemporary cultural reference, or a colleague who celebrates different holidays can remind us that clients sharing his faith won’t want to communicate on a particular day, or a colleague of a different gender identity can provide an external viewpoint and help us escape an echo chamber.  Exposure to a myriad of viewpoints challenges our opinions and allows us to learn and evolve. We’ve all heard the…
Still from Momentum Generation, All Rise Films Congratulations to firm clients Jeff and Michael Zimbalist of All Rise Films, for their wins at the New York Festivals® TV & Film Awards last month! Their film Momentum Generation, which documents the emergent careers of a group of young surfers in the 1990s, took home the Gold World Medals for Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Writing, Sports Documentary, and Feature Documentary.…
Last year, firm founder Vivek Jayaram co-founded a record label with longtime pal and Miami music industry vet Lauren Reskin and Las Nubes drummer Emile Milgrim.  Dubbed Sweat Records Records (an obvious nod to Lauren’s legendary record store, Sweat Records), the label has aspirations to showcase contemporary music emerging the tropical potpourri that is Miami. The label’s first act is Dracula, a haunting folk duo that sings in three languages and have become fast critical darlings.  Their first single, a cover of the chart-topping Selena hit “Como La Flor,” found its way onto NPR’s best tracks of 2018:  “For…
We’re proud to share that a new documentary, The Last Resort, produced and co-directed by firm client Dennis Scholl, premiered on Netflix earlier this year and is receiving wonderful reviews. The Last Resort leads viewers back to the bygone era of 1970s Miami Beach, from its boom as the hottest retirement spot for the Jewish community, to its decline as drugs and crime took over. The story is told through the lenses of American photographers Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe. The Miami Herald calls it “affectionate, thoughtful, and hugely entertaining” and the Hollywood Reporter described the documentary…
By Palak V. Patelpalak@jayaramlaw.com Gigi Hadid is a new generation influencer whose popularity is largely based on social media. With nearly fifty million followers on Instagram, each of her posts garner thousands of likes and comments in a matter of hours. Each post can have a significant impact on Hadid’s career. However, a single post can also have legal ramifications. Gigi Hadid has been sued twice for posting paparazzi photographs without a license or permission from the copyright holder. The first suit was settled out of court. The most recent case against Hadid is still pending. The complaint filed…
By Vivek Jayaramvivek@jayaramlaw.com There is usually one reason why in-house clients hire a specific lawyer: they trust the lawyer to achieve a favorable outcome to their challenge.  This is why clients don’t usually flippantly call the “best” firm in town and ask to speak with a lawyer.  Clients usually think, rightfully so, that the right lawyer is one with whom they have a connection, a relationship.  But that doesn’t mean that you alone should guide and counsel your client. I have identified 4 reasons why lawyers should be getting their clients comfortable with everyone on their team.  Doing so…
By Doni Robinsondoni@jayaramlaw.com The USPTO will reject an application if the applied for mark is merely a decorative or ornamental feature, because it fails to identify the source of the goods. This refusal for merely ornamental marks is mostly seen in clothing trademarks, where an applicant attempts to submit an application for a slogan on a t-shirt. These refusals can be seen beyond clothing as well.  Most recently, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board refused the registration of the mark I LOVE YOU for bracelets, when the specimen itself was simply a bracelet which said the words “I LOVE…
By Wendy Heilbutwendy@jayaramlaw.com The Supreme Court will rule on a trademark case it heard during this session regarding trademark licenses in bankruptcy and will soon decide if it will hear another trademark case regarding infringer’s intent when awarding damages. Mission Products Holdings Inc v. Tempnology LLC, argued February 20, 2019. In this case, the Supreme Court is looking at the question of what happens when a bankrupt party exercises its right to reject a trademark license as it goes through the bankruptcy process.  While this is a breach of contract (which is a settled area of Bankruptcy Law), because…
By Palak V. Patelpalak@jayaramlaw.com Copyrights and trademarks have been one of the fastest changing areas of law. While most copyright and trademark law has expanded to provide stronger protection to holders, there is one notable exception.  The First Sale Doctrine (17 U.S.C. § 109) allows individuals who knowingly purchased a copyrighted or trademarked work from the holder the right to sell, display or otherwise dispose of that particular work, notwithstanding the interests of the copyright owner. In the fashion market, the Doctrine essentially allows individuals to sell branded goods without having a licensing structure in place. In Kirtsaeng v.…
By Brett Manchelbrett@jayaramlaw.com In March, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down not one, but two, copyright law decisions. We’ve now got clarity on two big issues: 1) you have to have a registered copyright before you can file a lawsuit for infringement; and 2) if you prevail in a copyright suit, you can only recover costs as defined in federal law. The first question, about copyright registration (which I previously wrote about), has been looming for a while now: before SCOTUS’ ruling in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, et al., it was not clear…