Volume 18, Issue 2 Surveys

Herb Reed Enterprises, LLC v. Florida Entertainment Management, Inc.

736 F.3d 1239 (9th Cir. 2013)

By Courtney Cornwell

The Platters are known as one of America’s most successful vocal groups from early rock and roll. The group, which formed in 1956, experienced a dramatic rise and fall in the 1960s as, one by one, the original group members left the band. Each member, however, continued to perform under some derivation of the band’s trademarked name, which has since resulted in numerous legal disputes. In this case, Herb Reed Enterprises (“HRE”), a company that manages the business affairs of Herb Reed (an original member of The Platters), sued Larry Marshak and his company, Florida Entertainment Management, (collectively “Marshak”) over use and ownership of “The Platters” name. The dispute stemmed from forty years of multi-jurisdictional litigation over the rightful owner of the mark. The following is a brief description of the decades-long litigation that led to this case.

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NetJets Inc. v. IntelliJet Group, LLC

2:12-cv-00059 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 19, 2013)

By Noah S. Johnson

Plaintiff NetJets Inc. (“NetJets”) is an Ohio-based company that primarily offers business travelers the ability to lease private jets without the burden of jet ownership. For example, NetJets’ clients can lease a 1/16th “share” of a jet, which allows them to use an aircraft for fifty hours annually.

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Pacific Coast Marine Windshields Ltd. v. Malibu Boats, LLC

739 F.3d 694 (Fed. Cir. 2014)

By Brian Kobashigawa

In April 2006, Plaintiff Pacific Coast Marine Windshields Ltd. (“Pacific Coast”) filed a design patent application for a boat windshield. The application contained multiple designs, each with different vent hole and hatch configurations. The patent examiner determined that the various configurations represented at least five patentably distinct groups of designs and issued a restriction requirement.

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Ross v. Roberts

166 Cal. Rptr. 3d 359 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013)

By Rebecca McClain

Plaintiff Ricky D. Ross ran a cocaine trafficking operation during the 1980s. Over a number of years, he accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars and created a network of drug dealers in at least six states. During a stay in jail, Ross revealed his connection to the Iran-Contra scandal to a journalist, who subsequently published an article on the revelation. Ross, who has been recognized by the names of Rick Ross, Ricky Ross, and “Freeway” Ricky Ross, received national exposure for his involvement with the Nicaraguan Contras.

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Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google Inc.

954 F. Supp. 2d 282 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)

By Tiffany Viveros

Plaintiffs are individual authors of copyrighted books and The Authors Guild, Inc., an organization of published authors (collectively, “Authors Guild”). Defendant is Google, a corporation that provides Internet-related services and products.

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