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Welcome to the LAW FIRM OF DAYREL SEWELL, PLLC. Thank you for visiting the Blog section of this firm. We will be updating this page with information about the firm, recent legal updates, and other legal issues.

Statutory Violations Not Enough to Give Rise to a Cause of Action for Class Actions says U.S. Supreme Court

  The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TransUnion v. Ramirez has narrowed Article III standing by making it more difficult for plaintiffs to initiate class action lawsuits against corporate defendants who violate federal statutes.  Here, the Court found that violation of a federal statute alone does not give rise to the level of a “concrete injury” for a plaintiff’s Article III standing.  The plaintiff must have suffered a “concrete injury” to have Article III standing in order to seek relief in a cou Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged Article III standing, class actions, class members, concrete harm, corporate defendants, credit reporting, jurisdiction shopping, OFAC Name Screen Alert, TransUnion, | 0 Comment

PepsiCo: Serial Trademark Infringer or Coincidence?

On June 15, 2021, a food startup named Rise Brewing filed suit against PepsiCo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The startup has begun to make a name for itself by selling canned cold-brew coffee. Rise Brewing has alleged that the well-known company PepsiCo has infringed on their trademark with their recent launch of a Mountain Dew-branded energy drink called Rise.1 History of InfringementAccording to Forbes, the notorious food, snack, and soda company, PepsiCo, is valued at an astounding $18.2 billion.2 PepsiCo has had its fair share of trademark infringement cases in the past, where they have been sued by brands such as VitaminWater, Pol Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged brand marking, coffee, energy drink, infringement, intellectual property, IP, lawsuit, PepsiCo, protection, restraining order, reverse confusion, Rise Brewing, settlement, soda, trademark, | 2 Comment

Copyrighting Tattoos in Sports Video Games: Can LeBron James License His Image?

Tattoos are permanent, often complex, creative, and original pieces of work created by a tattoo artist. Recently, litigation has come up regarding tattoos on famous athletes. While most issues involving tattoos on athletes are more easily handled — such as J.R. Smith’s tattoo of the brand Supreme on his leg1 — there are questions of whether a tattoo is subject to copyright protection when it is prominently displayed and reproduced on a famous athlete in a video game. This question is at the center of a lawsuit filed by Solid Oak Sketches against Take Two Interactive Software as well as two other producers of the popular NBA 2K Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged athletes, copyright, fair use, intellectual property, LeBron James, Mike Tyson, tattoo, | 4 Comment

Trademark Parodies – Flawed or Fair use?

The reworked “fair use” defense has provoked debate because it provides excessively broad immunity to certain types of parodies and other expressive uses of trademarks.1 This Article will explore whether the Trademark Dilution Revision Act (TDRA) promotes a flawed treatment of parodies with regard to sub-clauses that provide selective shelter, and exonerating some parodies from liability while impugning others.2 The principal flaw that is discussed in this Article relates to the parody provision and its application of the trademark use test for determining whether a parody is fair. The provision is pliable in that it can be both lenient and strict on parodies.  Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged Barbie, fair use, intellectual property, Louis Vuitton, parody, TDRA, trademark, Trademark Dilution Revision Act, United States Patent and Trademark Office, | 3 Comment

Trademark Law Implications of AM General v. Activision

Video games have grown in realism since the days of pong on an Atari console.  As technology allows for higher resolutions and graphics, so does the need for attention to detail.  In certain cases, video game developers try to depict the real world.  There are legal implications when this real-world depiction goal includes trademark protected items, such as Humvees.  The federal Lanham Act governs trademarks at the federal level.  There are two basic requirements: (1) that a mark be defi Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged art, federal district court, Humvee, Lanham Act, technology, trademark, video games, | 3 Comment

Prince’s purple: without rain or color trademark protection

In October 2018, Paisley Park Enterprises filed an application with the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) for the registration of a color mark for music, live performance, and museum-related uses [1]. Paisley Park Enterprises is known for being decedent Prince Rogers Nelson's company. In August 2017, the Prince Estate and Pantone created a purple color called "Love Symbol #2" to represent Prince [2]. The Pantone Matching system is useful to define particular shades of color, and to ensure a consistent use of the same color for one company [3]. [caption id="attachment_895" align="aligncenter" width="434"] Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged color mark, Louboutin, Prince, purple, Purple Rain, Saint Laurent, secondary meaning, Supreme Court, Tiffany, trademark, UPS, USPTO, | 4 Comment

Recent Developments in Governmental Takings

Takings by the government have long been a murky area.  The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not proffer a great deal of insight into how takings were to be effected.  Recent case law adds some clarity to the murky sediment, but it remains a complex topic.  The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment exists to recompense private citizens in the event that government effects a taking of private property.  It states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”  The intent behind this was to limit government in its task of maintaining public interest rather than empower it, but it also serves also to give the private citizen recourse when government (local, State or Federal) takes physical possession of land for public use.  Over th Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged fifth amendment, New York, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, takings, U.S. constitution, wetlands, | 4 Comment

The Effect of Tax Laws on Commercial Real Estate

Recently the Supreme Court decided the case South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., in which they addressed whether remote sellers of goods and services can be required to collect and remit sales taxes imposed by the consumer’s State.[1] According to S. 106, 2016 Leg. Assembly, 91st Sess. (S. D. 2016) [hereinafter “the Act”], remote sellers are required to collect and remit sales tax to the State in which the goods are sold.[2] Plaintiff, the State of South Dakota, filed of an injunction requiring respondents to register for licenses to collect and remit sales tax.[3] Respondents Wayfair, Overstock.com, Inc., and Newegg, online merchants selling goods such as furniture an Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged Commerce Clause, interstate commerce, online, presence, real estate, sales tax, shopping, Supreme Court, tax, Wayfair, | 3 Comment

The Fashionable Supreme Court: Will They Say Yes to the Trade Dress?

Copyright Protection of Non-Utilitarian Designs under the Copyright Act of 1976 Designers in the high fashion industry face many obstacles in receiving intellectual property protection for the utilitarian aspects of their clothing. Congress has provided copyright protection only for original works of art, but not for industrial designs that embody utilitarian functions.  See 17 U.S.C. 101.  Copyright protection does not extend to utilitarian aspects of objects because it would open up a flood of litigation over exclusive monopoly rights that would “burden competition, raise prices, and also harm consumers.”  See Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., Brief for United States as Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged Balenciaga, Burberry, copyright, Fashion, Gucci, infringement, intellectual property, litigation, Supreme Court, Zara, | 3 Comment

Landlord-Tenant Battle Over NYC Rent Stabilization

  [caption id="attachment_823" align="aligncenter" width="946"] Rent Stabilization[/caption] New York’s first step towards rent regulation can be traced back to the 1920s.[1]  The history of rent control in New York has been a battle between owners and tenants for quite some time.  In general, rent controlled apartments must be in buildings of three or more units constructed on or before February 1, 1947 and tenants must have occupied their apartment since at least July 1, 1971.[2]  Under rent c Read More

Posted in Blog | Tagged apartment, commercial litigation, Landlord-Tenant, litigation, real estate, real property, Rent, Rent Stabilization, Transactional, | 1 Comment

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