Andrew T. O'Connor

Andrew T. O'Connor

Associate
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Andrew T. O'Connor

Blog Posts: Retail Law Advisor

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This blog keeps you connected to timely developments and emerging issues in retail law and covers a wide range of topics related to the retail, restaurant and consumer industry. We invite you to learn more about Goulston & Storrs and our Retail, Restaurant & Consumer Group.

Protecting the Popular Brand: Considerations to Avoid Genericide

When it comes to trademark registration, there is such a thing as being too popular. Marks such as Aspirin, Fiberglass, Zipper and Flip Phone became so ubiquitous that they were found to be generic—a commonly used name or description of a kind of product. When a trademark becomes so...
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New Massachusetts Trade Secret Laws Effective October 1, 2018

The retail industry closely guards customer and distribution lists, the software and code for the operation of its websites and downloadable mobile apps, and, in many cases, algorithms used to evaluate and monitor sales trends. In many cases, these valuable assets are not protected by patent, trademark or copyright law. As...
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A Trademark Licensee’s Rights after its Licensor’s Bankruptcy May Vary Depending on the Venue of the Bankruptcy Case

In this tumultuous retail climate , a string of recent conflicting court decisions remind retailers that the potential impact of a licensor bankruptcy on a trademark licensee’s rights may vary dramatically depending on the location of the licensor’s bankruptcy proceedings.  In some jurisdictions a licensee may be entitled to...
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A World of Trademarks at INTA 2018 Annual Meeting in Seattle

During the week of May 20, 2018, members of the Goulston & Storrs  Intellectual Property Group  joined over 10,500 attendees from around the world for the 140th Annual Meeting of the  International Trademark Association (INTA) . Held in Seattle, Washington, the INTA 2018 Annual Meeting attracted an incredibly diverse...
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Supreme Court Removes Patent Litigation from the Heartland of Texas

For years, patent assertion entities have filed patent lawsuits against retailers in federal court in Texas.  The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC may give retailers the ability to insist they defend such lawsuits on their home turf. Deep In the Heart...
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Supreme Court Says ‘Give Me a ©’ to the Fashion Industry

A recent U.S. Supreme Court copyright decision analyzing cheerleader uniforms may have a profound impact on retailers, and on the fashion industry in particular. On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. that original design elements that are separable from the...
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The Newly Enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Retailers Should Know

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the DTSA), creating the first Federal civil cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. The DTSA overlaps substantially with, and does not preempt, the trade secret acts already existing at the state...
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INTA 2015 Annual Meeting Recap

Last week, members of Goulston & Storrs joined over 9,900 attendees from around the world who converged on San Diego for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA) .  This 137th meeting of INTA was its largest ever and assembled a remarkably diverse group of brand...
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Recent Guidance on Geographically Descriptive Trademarks May Help Brand Owners

Brand owners frequently adopt geographic terms to describe the origin or a characteristic of goods, such as NANTUCKET NECTARS for beverages from Nantucket and HYDE PARK for high end apparel.  They may also adopt such terms to describe the origin of services, such as CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN for restaurant...
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Who Is Alice and Why Is She Invalidating Patents?

On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International , clarifying what it means to be patentable subject matter. With one stroke of the pen, the Supreme Court effectively invalidated thousands of patents that claim a known business method...
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Enhanced Brand Protection Under China's New Trademark Law

On May 1, 2014, China’s highly anticipated amendments to its trademark laws went into effect. After decades of international criticism over the lack of enforcement and protection measures, China’s newly amended trademark laws seek to deter trademark hijacking through stronger enforcement measures and provisions aimed at removing bad faith...
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