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Grocery store turns to litigation over alleged infringement

Many companies in California and across the country work hard to create a recognizable brand. As part of that brand recognition, they often create a trademark that they hope will be easily connected to the company. In order to protect their brand, some companies find themselves in a position of being forced to turn to litigation in order to protect their trade and service marks from copyright infringement.

Such appears to the be case between two grocery stores, Kroger and Lidl. In a recently filed lawsuit, Kroger claims that Lidl's "Preferred Selection" logo is similar to Kroger's "Private Selection" logo in both design and look. Lidl has only recently begun doing business in this country, opening its first stores in the United States in mid-June.

News industry takes on Facebook. Will Congress intervene?

The methods used to gather news are much different today than they were ten years ago. In the past, newspapers and news broadcasts provided this information. Now, many turn to news feeds on Facebook or information posted on Google.

Although information at the push of a button is convenient, critics voice concern about accuracy. After all, Facebook and Google are not hiring reporters to review public records for corruption or to go into war zones to gather information. This type of reporting is more likely to result in accurate information. Unfortunately, it comes at a price.

MLB umpire claims discrimination, turns to litigation

Although there are a variety of different types of jobs, all workers in California likely have one thing in common -- they want to be evaluated, promoted and compensated for the job that they perform rather than for their race or gender. Despite laws in place to protect workers from these and other forms of discrimination, there are still workers who fall victim to illegal acts. For many, litigation may be only option to redress certain workplace violations.

A Major League Baseball umpire has recently taken such action against the commissioner's office and the league. He claims that his career advancement has been hindered as a result of an incident that happened years ago and involved the chief baseball officer. According to the umpire, Joe Torre -- then the manager of the Yankees -- described one of the plaintiff's officiating calls as an attempt to draw attention to himself. Torre has allegedly maintained that attitude since gaining his position in the MLB offices, impacting the his overall attitude toward the umpire as well as his evaluations.

Disability discrimination claim could lead to litigation

It is well-known that when a member of the military is deployed, he or she often does not return home in the same condition. Those in California who choose to serve in the military often suffer both physically and mentally -- effects that are often felt for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, one man in another state claims that he suffered even more because of his post-traumatic stress disorder when he became the victim of workplace discrimination. His claims could lead to litigation.

The man claims that he was mistreated and harassed by the director of his division. He alleges that her actions created a hostile work environment that he describes as intolerable. The government employee claims that the director told other people about his PTSD, allegedly warning others that he may have a tendency toward violence. Specifically, the man claims she told others that she would not be surprised if he "shot up some place." She also insinuated that he did not really suffer from PTSD but was instead using it as an excuse to miss work.

Litigation: Judge overturns copyright infringement verdict

Writers are inspired by many different aspects of life. Often, this inspiration is nothing more than the facts of historical events or a person's life. Because of the potential sources of inspiration, many people in California and other areas of the country who create a successful production, for example, are sometimes forced to defend their decisions through litigation. The creators of a hit musical, "Jersey Boys," have recently successfully argued that a verdict against them in a copyright infringement lawsuit should be overturned.

The plaintiff in the case claims that her husband worked with Tommy DeVito -- one of the founders of the Four Seasons upon which the play is based -- to create a book based on DeVito's life. Her lawsuit claims that the use of the unpublished book violated its copyright. The woman argued that the creators of the musical struggled to create their script until DeVito provided them with a copy of the book. A jury initially agreed with her claims, determining that the writers, producers and director -- among others connected to the play -- violated the book's copyright; 10 percent of the musical's success, according to the jurors, is attributable to the copyright infringement.

Is my CA business’ job application form legal?

Job applications are designed to help provide information about potential candidates for employment. These documents generally require the applicant to answer a variety of questions. It is important for employers to craft these documents carefully as certain questions can result in litigation.

What types of questions can lead to litigation? Some examples are obvious. Asking questions about an applicant’s race, religious affiliation or sexual orientation are best avoided. 

Litigation over purse between Valentino and Steve Madden

Designers in California work hard every year to create new products and designs to attract customers. Unfortunately, when one designer releases a product that is identical to another's, but significantly cheaper, the original designer could lose money. Valentino has accused Steve Madden of such a transgression; the accusation has now resulted in litigation.

Valentino reportedly created and released a product with a double purse design with accent studs and an "asymmetrical pattern stripe" with accent stones. The purse also comes with with a strap with a butterfly accent. Reports indicate that Valentino holds a copyright for both the purse design and the strap.

Cupcake results in copyright infringement litigation

The internet has opened up opportunities for new professions. For example, many people in California and across the country are able to create a full-time job out of blogging. In some cases, bloggers work hard to create new content to attract visitors to their site. Unfortunately, a blogger has turned to litigation in California, claiming that the Food Network infringed on the copyright of her how-to video by posting a similar one on social media.

The plaintiff in the case claims that she worked hard to create a recipe involving edible snow globe cupcakes. She ultimately devised a way to make snow globes through the use of translucent gelatin and small balloons. Posting the recipe in 2014 garnered multiple views and shares, ultimately creating enough traffic to crash her website.

Strawberry litigation results in ruling for California college

For many people, strawberries are a delicious, healthy snack that can typically be easy to find in most grocery stores. However, most consumers are unaware of the years of research a single strawberry may represent. It is this research that recently led to litigation as a result of a conflict between a California college and one of its retired professors.

The case involved a professor who is well-known as a strawberry researcher. Most people in California who grow strawberries benefit from the breeding program he oversaw. The 63-year-old professor, along with another professor who is now his business partner, created dozens of new varieties of strawberries that allow the berries to grow in a shorter season as well as be more robust, allowing them to better withstand transportation.

Pending lawsuit over allegedly stolen photographs

Many photographers in California work hard to produce their art. Often, their photographs are the reflection of the inner workings of a creative mind and, as such, their personal intellectual property. If other parties use their work without their permission, they may not receive proper compensation and could be seen as implicitly endorsing something with which they disagree. Such use may leave a photographer with no choice but to pursue his or her legal options. A pending lawsuit in another state accuses the Republican National Committee of copyright infringement.

The plaintiff in the case claims that she was hired to photograph an event for a political candidate in another state. After the event, she reportedly gave the candidate's political party and the candidate limited to permission to use some of the photographs. A couple of months later, a friend of the photographer informed her that her image was being used on a mailer promoting the Republican National Committee.


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