March 22, 2024

The world of plush toys is not typically known as a hotbed of conflict, but that all changed last month when two big names in the industry clashed in court. The legal battle began when the parent companies of Squishmallows sued Build-A-Bear Workshop, alleging that its new “Skoosherz” line looked suspiciously squishy. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, comparing the Squishmallows original products to Build-a-Bear’s copycats speaks volumes,” said Moez Kaba, an attorney representing Squishmallows’ parent companies Kelly Continue reading

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In 2017, English pop star Ed Sheeran got hit with a legal complaint alleging that the melody of one of his most popular songs was copied from another tune. According to plaintiffs in the lawsuit, his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” resembled the Marvin Gaye classic “Let’s Get It On” to such a degree that it infringed on the latter song’s copyright. Sheeran vehemently denied any wrongdoing and challenged the suit, which lingered in court for years due to the Continue reading

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August 19, 2022

Since 1994, Rap Snacks has sold chips, popcorn, and even instant noodles featuring hip hop stars like Snoop Dogg, Migos, and Lil Baby on the packaging. The most recent addition to this lineup of talent is Nicki Minaj, who launched her “Barbie-Que Honey Truffle” potato chips earlier this summer. While Rap Snacks hoped this high-profile partnership would make a big splash on social media, the brand instead attracted the attention of an entirely different audience: the notoriously litigious toy company Continue reading

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April 4, 2019

Since launching a few years ago, the New York-based startup Peloton has grown into a $4 billion company by offering its high-end clientele a “private indoor cycling studio in your home.” For $2,000 plus a $39 monthly membership fee, customers receive a Peloton stationary bike equipped with a touchscreen that can stream more than 13,000 live and on-demand cycling classes. These workout sessions are often driven by upbeat songs from well-known artists to keep bikers peddling with enthusiasm.

But while Continue reading

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January 24, 2019

For luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, maintaining an image of elegance and sophistication is essential for success. After all, high-end consumers might not be willing to hand over huge amounts of cash to a company that has fallen out of fashion. In order to remain in control of its image, Louis Vuitton has often been quick to file lawsuits against knockoff businesses that place its signature logo onto poorly made items. Along with targeting bootleggers, however, the company also has Continue reading

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September 13, 2018

While songwriters and filmmakers can protect their intellectual property through copyrights, many fashion designers can’t do the same when it comes to their creations. The video below shows why legislators consider clothing to be different from other forms of art and how that affects designers, especially those at the high-end of the market.


  1. Why have legislators been reluctant to grant clothing designs the same protection as movies or songs?
  2. Do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright Continue reading
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August 21, 2018

Last week the legendary soul and gospel singer Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76. Her legacy includes a wide catalogue of classic hits that will long be remembered by music lovers, especially her signature song “Respect.” But while she earned millions of fans over the years with the anthemic tune, she unfortunately did not earn millions of dollars directly from it. That’s because all of the song’s radio royalties have gone to the estate of its writer, Continue reading

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February 15, 2018

For nearly a week, millions of people around the world have been tuning into the Winter Olympics broadcasting from Pyeongchang, South Korea. Like seemingly every edition of the games, figure skating has been one of the most watched events as stars like Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu take to the ice with incredible grace and skill. With everyone’s eyes on the athletes, though, your ears may have missed something new about the music that soundtracks these routines. For the first Continue reading

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February 8, 2018

Earlier this week we looked at how audiences responded both positively and negatively to this year’s lineup of Super Bowl ads. While a number of funny spots seemed to go over well with the public, a Dodge Ram ad prominently featuring a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decidedly did not. After the commercial aired, thousands took to social media to condemn the company for stealing the words of such an admired humanitarian. Of course, these critics soon Continue reading

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August 15, 2017

crocsWhether you love them or hate them, the foam clogs made by the Colorado-based Crocs are certainly distinctive. They can’t be called “unique,” however, at least according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A recent ruling from the government agency rejected the patent that Crocs has held on its signature shoes since 2006. Apparently another party had registered a similar design a year before, thus invalidating the original trademark.  

The Patent Office’s decision may finally bring an end Continue reading

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