Julia R. Lissner

Julia R. Lissner

Julia Lissner represents public and private companies and individuals in a wide range of business disputes in state and federal courts nationwide. She has extensive experience in preparing cases for bench trials, jury trials, arbitrations, and mediations; handling appeals; and conducting internal investigations.

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Application or Registration? Eleventh Circuit Widens Circuit Split

The Eleventh Circuit has widened the circuit split on whether a copyright application or completed registration is required before filing a copyright infringement lawsuit. In Fourth Estate Public Benefit v. Wall-Street.com, the Eleventh Circuit held that a pending application to the Copyright Office is not sufficient. As a result, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the Southern District of Florida’s dismissal … Continue Reading

First Circuit BAP Protects Trademark Licensees In Bankruptcy Despite Section 365(n)

The First Circuit recently issued an important interpretation of bankruptcy law that directly impacts trademark licensing rights. In In re Tempnology LLC, 559 B.R. 809 (1st Cir. BAP 2016), the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel held that a debtor-licensor’s rejection of a trademark licensing agreement “did not vaporize” the licensee’s contractual right to use the debtor’s mark and logo.  … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit “Strikes A Pose” For Madonna And Music Sampling In “Vogue” Copyright Dispute

In a copyright decision that rocks the music industry and splits from the Sixth Circuit, the Ninth Circuit recently held that Madonna’s mega-hit “Vogue” did not violate copyright rights by sampling a 0.23-second horns segment of the 1980’s song  “Love Break.” In VMG Salsoul v. Ciccone, the divided appellate court affirmed the Central District of California’s ruling that “de … Continue Reading

First Sale Defense Blocks “Slam Dunk” Copyright Violation

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed the burden of proof applicable to the first sale defense to a copyright infringement claim. That defense provides that, once a copy of a work is lawfully sold or transferred, the new owner has the right to sell or otherwise dispose of that copy without the copyright owner’s permission. In Adobe Systems, Inc. v. ChristensonContinue Reading

“BRING IT ON!”: Sixth Circuit OKs Copyright Claims for Cheerleader Uniform’s Design

On August 19, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y” for the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of cheerleader uniforms in its copyright infringement lawsuit against another cheerleading gear company. In a 2-1 decision, in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, the appellate court held that the colors, stripes, chevrons, and similar graphic designs of the … Continue Reading

Trademark Specimens: Singular or Plural Matters

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently re-designated as precedential its May 12, 2015 decision that affirmed refusal to register a mark because the applicant’s specimens – showing the proposed mark in plural form, rather than in singular form – did not show the mark’s use in connection with any of the services specified in its application.… Continue Reading

“California Gurl” Katy Perry Not Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in Missouri

The Eastern District of Missouri recently dismissed copyright infringement claims against pop-star Katy Perry, rapper Juicy J, and other individuals for lack of personal jurisdiction, in Marcus Gray p/k/a Flame v. Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson p/k/a Katy Perry.  The lawsuit alleged that Perry’s song “Dark Horse” infringed the plaintiffs’ copyright in their Christian Gospel hip hop song “Joyful Noise,” which … Continue Reading

Watch Out! Split Ninth Circuit Panel Rules Amazon Search Results May Violate Watchmaker’s Trademarks

The Ninth Circuit recently held that online retailer Amazon.com could be liable for infringing the trademarks of a watch manufacturer based upon Amazon’s product search results when shoppers search for the manufacturer’s trademarked watches that Amazon does not carry.  In a 2-1 decision intersecting trademark law and technology, the Circuit in Multi Time Machine, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. reversed the … Continue Reading

Owners of Celebrity Fan Sites Still in the Spotlight for Copyright Liability Without DMCA Safe Harbor

The Southern District of New York recently stressed the importance for internet service providers (“ISPs”) to comply with “safe harbor” requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in order to be shielded from copyright infringement liability.  The court, in BWP Media USA Inc. v. Hollywood Fan Sites LLC, found that the defendants, who owned and operated more than … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Finds that First Amendment Trumps Trademarks

The Fourth Circuit recently ruled that a Defendant’s online article entitled “NAACP: National Association for the Abortion of Colored People” did not violate the trademark rights of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  It, therefore, vacated the Eastern District of Virginia’s injunction against the Defendant for its article criticizing the NAACP’s stance on abortion.  The … Continue Reading

US Polo Ass’n Wins Its Latest Polo Match in the Second Circuit

The Second Circuit recently vacated a contempt order entered against the U.S. Polo Association for selling sunglasses with its logo depicting two mounted polo players vying for a ball. The Second Circuit found that the Southern District of New York failed to apply a “market-by-market analysis” to determine whether the U.S. Polo Association’s logo was confusingly similar to Ralph Lauren’s … Continue Reading

In Mardi Gras Tradition, Fifth Circuit Tosses IP Rights in Bead Dog

In Nola Spice Designs L.L.C. v. Haydel Enterprises, Inc., the Fifth Circuit recently cancelled a New Orleans bakery’s word and design trademarks for “Mardi Gras Bead Dog” – the bakery’s mascot based on the Mardi Gras tradition of parade-goers twisting their plastic beads into the shape of a dog. The appellate court also affirmed the Eastern District of Louisiana’s … Continue Reading

Slep-Tone and Karaoke Redux: Under Dastar, Bar Must Face the Music For Trademark Infringement

The Northern District of Illinois recently held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23 (2003), did not protect a karaoke bar from claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition based on the bar’s knowing use of unauthorized recreations of karaoke tracks. In Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp. v. Sellis Enterprises, … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Dispenses Comity and Limits Relief in Paper Towel Dispute

The Fourth Circuit recently ruled on several important issues regarding the scope of relief that may be granted for trademark infringement.   The backdrop for the decision in Georgia Pacific Consumer Products LP v. Von Drehle Corp. was a 2012 jury verdict that a North Carolina company was liable for contributory trademark infringement for designing and selling paper towels to fit … Continue Reading

California Court SLAPPs Down Pandora’s Motion to Strike Copyright Lawsuit, But Finds that Free Music Furthers Free Speech

In Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Pandora Media, Inc., the Central District of California recently refused to apply California’s anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit against Pandora, a leading operator of internet radio service. Although the court found that Pandora was furthering its First Amendment right to free speech by streaming the plaintiff’s music to Pandora’s internet … Continue Reading

“First Sale” in Foreign Jurisdiction Leaves Omega Watch Out of Time for Copyright Claim

In Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., a global luxury watch company sued an American discount warehouse club based on the defendant’s importation into the United States of a line of the plaintiff’s luxury watches without the permission of the plaintiff copyright holder. Applying the Supreme Court’s decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Ninth … Continue Reading

“‘Cause You Can’t, You Won’t and You Don’t Stop” the Statutory Damage Award for the Beastie Boys

In Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Company, 2014 WL 6845860 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 4, 2014), the Southern District of New York found that the jury’s award of $1.2 million in statutory damages to the plaintiff group on their copyright infringement claim was “not so high as to ‘shock the conscience.’”  The court, therefore, rejected the defendant beverage company’s request to … Continue Reading

Should Rule 9(b) Govern Pleading of Lanham Act False Advertising Claims?

In Cocona, Inc. v. Singtex Industrial Co., Ltd., 2014 WL 5072730 (D. Colo. Oct. 9, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado joined the ongoing debate about whether heightened pleading is required for Lanham Act false advertising claims. Noting the absence of any prior authority from the Tenth Circuit or the District of Colorado, and acknowledging … Continue Reading

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