智慧財產相關案例分享
知名連鎖服飾遭同行提告違反商標法,律師協助協助獲不起訴處分

知名連鎖服飾遭同行假藉違反商標法提告,經律師協助迅速取回遭查扣數萬件服飾並獲不起訴處分。

▲蘇狀師談營業秘密法

淺談祖傳藥方的智財權保護 文/蘇思鴻律師 ▲各位是否知道世界上最貴的商標是什麼? 答案是可口可樂。而可口可樂的配方屬於營業秘密,它的價值在世界上也是數一數二,可見智慧財產權的威力是何等強大,現在這個時代是屬於知識經濟的時代。 我們常在不管是藥房或是夜市,常會見到祖傳祕方這幾個字,例如在中藥房老闆常會拿出幾帖藥方,稱說這是其幾代前所留下專治某某病的祖傳秘方,或是在夜市賣仙草茶或綠豆湯的阿婆,稱說他的仙草茶或綠豆湯與他人的不同,因為她所賣的加入了祖傳秘方。暫且不管係宣傳花招或噱頭,我們現在聚焦於智慧財產權的討論。 就上述祖傳藥方而言,若你是該祖傳藥方的傳人,你會選擇受那一種智慧財產權的保護?首先,該藥方涉及那些智慧財產權? 依我之見,此涉及專利權及營業秘密,至於要受那種智慧財產權的保護,端視權利人的選擇。 如果權利人選擇受專利權保護,首先要提出申請,同時要指明申請那一種專利。藥品屬於物的發明,應申請發明專利。若通過審查,則取得二十年排他的權利。若選擇受營業秘密保護,則無庸申請,而營業秘密則永久保護。(暫且不管藥物需取得許可方面的管制性法令)如果一個人透過藥物成分解析,得知該祖傳藥方的成分,進而做成口服藥在市面上銷售,此不侵害營業秘密,人透過科學之解析或還原工程去製造營業秘密所保護的標的,是被允許,此和專利不同,專利權人可排除他人製造其已取得專利權的發明、新型或設計。另外提醒一點,專利權和營業秘密是互斥的,只能選擇其一受保護。  

▲蘇狀師談娛樂法(專屬及非專屬經紀契約)

Acting Agents – Exclusive and non-exclusive contracts 當職經紀人–專屬及非專屬契約 Exclusive An Exclusive contract with a talent agent means that your agent represents you for pretty much everything regardless of where the gig is. He represents you in New York, Los Angeles, Wichita…. where ever you go and whatever you do. Most exclusive agreements entitle the agent to their commissions even if they did not get you the gig or have anything to do with it. 專屬經紀契約意指不管你身在何處你的經紀人均係你的代表,不管你身在何處如紐約、洛杉磯、威奇托,亦不管你為何事,經紀人均代表你。絕大部分之經紀契約使經紀人都能獲取傭金,即便他們未能使藝人獲取酬勞或者使藝人後取酬勞而無所作為。 Non-Exclusive非專屬契約 This is the more popular type of contract and it is less restricting than the Exclusive contract. A Non-Exclusive agreement basically states that you can have more than one agent and is a popular choice for actors that work out of different cities. You can have one agent for New York and another for Los Angeles. The agent that gets paid is the one who sent you to the audition. 此種非專屬經紀契約係較受歡迎之契約態樣與專屬經紀契約相比,係較不受限制。非專屬經紀契約基本上規範你可以有一個以上之經紀人,同時此種模式也較受藝人歡迎。 Exclusive An Exclusive contract with a talent agent means that your agent represents you for pretty much everything regardless of where the gig is. He represents you in New York, Los Angeles, Wichita…. where ever you go and whatever you do. Most exclusive agreements entitle the agent to their commissions even if they did not get you the gig or have anything to do with it. 專屬經紀契約意指不管你身在何處你的經紀人均係你的代表,不管你身在何處如紐約、洛杉磯、威奇托,亦不管你為何事,經紀人均代表你。絕大部分之經紀契約使經紀人都能獲取傭金,即便他們未能使藝人獲取酬勞或者使藝人獲得酬勞與經紀人所為無因果關係,亦不生影響。   Non-Exclusive非專屬契約 This is the more popular type of contract and it is less restricting than the Exclusive contract. A Non-Exclusive agreement basically states that you can have more than one agent and is a popular choice for actors that work out of different cities. You can have one agent for New York and another for Los Angeles. The agent that gets paid is the one who sent you to the audition. 此種非專屬經紀契約係較受歡迎之契約態樣與專屬經紀契約相比,係較不受限制。非專屬經紀契約基本上規範你可以有一個以上之經紀人,同時此種模式,也較受藝人歡迎,同時提供藝人身處於不同城市一個不錯之選擇。你可以在紐約有個經紀人,同時在洛杉磯也有個經紀人。可獲得報酬之經紀人是可以使你大量曝光的那個推手。 Contract terms契約期限 Contracts are normally signed for period of a year even though sometimes longer terms are used. Many people are afraid of contracts and beginning actors sometimes get the misconception that they are now in someway “owned” by the agent. With most contracts that is not the case and the contract is a way to make sure that you pay the agency if you got the gig they sent you on. 契約正常以1年為期,即使有時會長於1年。許多人懼怕契約同時一些剛起步之藝人有時誤解他們為經紀人“所有”。契約是你獲得報酬將之提付與經紀人酬勞的一種方式。 A contract is nothing to fear. It spells out the agreement between both sides and what each side provides the other.  If you believe your agency is not doing its job you can request to end the agreement in writing. If an agency is unhappy with your performance, they will simply not send you to auditions and you may never get anything in writing from them. 無需懼怕契約,契約是雙方明確規範雙方權利義務之一種書面協議。倘若你認為你的經紀人不能勝任的話,你可以書面終止經紀契約。假如你的經紀人對你的表現不甚滿意,他們將不會為你力爭試鏡機會,同時也不會以書面方式告知你。

▲蘇狀師談娛樂法(商標爭議篇)

Central Manufacturing, Inc. v. Brett et al. 492 F. 3d 876 (7th Cir. 2007)  Central Manufacturing, Inc. (“Central”), the registrar of the “Stealth” trademark for baseballs, brought a Lanham Act and state law infringement action against Brett Brothers Sports (“Brett Bros.”), a baseball bat manufacturer that produced a bat of the same name. Brett Bros. is owned in part by Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment which Central subsequently appealed. The issues on appeal are whether the evidence presented by Central was sufficient for a finding of infringement, whether the district court abused its discretion by ordering cancellation of the registration, and whether the granting of attorney’s fees to Brett Bros. was warranted. The district court’s judgment was affirmed. Central製造公司是有關棒球相關製品“Stealth”商標之所有人,其對Brett Brothers Sports公司,該公司係由棒球名人堂成員George Brett部分持股,提起聯邦商標和州法商標侵權訴訟。美國伊利諾州北區地方法院准予即決判決,Central製造公司隨後提起上訴,上訴的爭點在於,Central所提呈的證據是否足以認定對造侵權,法院是否濫用裁量為撤銷商標註冊令,是否判決應給付Brett Brothers律師費係有正當理由,二審維持一審之判決。 An action for trademark  infringement can only succeed if the plaintiff owns the mark. Registration provides prima facie evidence of ownership that can be rebutted by competent evidence. More importantly, the mark must be used in commerce to ensure that entrepreneurs do not reserve brand names, making their competitors’ products more costly. If a court decision raises doubts about the validity of a trademark registration, a court may cancel the mark, so long as there is no abuse of discretion. Attorney’s fees and other costs may be awarded to the prevailing party “in exceptional circumstances.” 一個商標侵權訴訟,只能在原告擁有該商標時勝訴。商標註冊只是證明商標所有權之初步表面證證,其是可被有利的證據所推翻。更重要的是,商標需確保企業無保留於商業上使用該品牌名稱,使其競爭對手之產品更昂貴。假如法院對商標註冊之有效性生疑。只要無濫用其裁量權,法院可撤銷該商標註冊。在特別的情狀下,律師費及其他費用可判賠給勝訴之一造。 In 1984, Central’s owner and sole shareholder, Leo Stoller registered the Stealth mark for a variety of sporting goods and registered the mark for baseball bats in 2001. Brett Bros. sold its first Stealth bat in 1999 and has sold 25,000 since.Stoller has licensed the mark and sent various cease-and-desist letters to business such as Kmart, Panasonic and even the stealth bomber.Similarly, Stoller sent a letter to Brett Bros. demanding $100,000. Brett Bros. argued that the mark was never used in commerce and requested that Stoller produce evidence to the contrary. The district court found that no valid evidence was produced that the mark was ever used in commerce and the court of appeals agreed. The court of appeals also found that there was no abuse of discretion in cancelling the mark as the registrant’s asserted rights to the mark were invalid.Finally, the court of appeals determined that under the Lanham Act there was no clear error in awarding attorney’s fees as Central’s actions in bringing the case were oppressive. The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s finding that Central produced no evidence of trademark infringement in that no documents were filed, that Stoller mislead the court with his testimony, and that his documents made a mockery of the proceeding. Therefore, the cancellation of the mark and the grant of attorney’s fees were justified. 1984年Central公司的所有人兼唯一股東Leo Stoller將Stealth標記申請註冊於運動用品,同時於2001年將該標記申請商標註冊於棒球棒。 Brette Bros於1999年售出印有Stealth第一枝棒球棒,從那時起共賣出25,000枝。Stoller有將該商標予以授權,同時發出警告信予諸如像Kmart, Panasonic ,甚至像stealth bomber等廠商。同樣地,Stoller對Brette Bros.發出警告函,要求100,000的賠償金。Brette Bros爭執該標記從未用於商業使用,要求Stoller提出證據。地方法院判決無任何有效證據可證該標記曾用於商業,上訴審亦同此見解。終審法院亦認定撤銷商標註冊無濫用裁量,商標權人主張就該標記有商標權,是無效的。最終,終審法院認定Central's提起本件訴訟判予律師費係苛刻的,在藍能法下並無明顯錯誤。 終審法院確認地院判決Central公司提不出商標侵害之證據,而Stoller用其證詞誤導法院,同時其文件對訴訟程序無助。是故,撤銷該商標及判賠律師費予以判決確定。

▲蘇狀師談娛樂法(名氣權;藝人之知名度於其死後之保護)

ven 50 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe continues to remain relevant.  In a strongly worded Opinion (available here)  last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Estate of Marilyn Monroe does not have the right to stop others from using Marilyn Monroe’s name and likeness.  At issue in the case was whether Monroe’s Estate inherited a right of publicity in Marilyn Monroe’s name and likeness under California law. 在強而有力以文字載述下來的見解,第九巡迴上訴法院上週判決瑪麗蓮夢露遺產管理人無權去禁止他人利用其姓名及樣貌。本件之爭點是,瑪麗蓮夢露遺產管理人依照加州法是否繼承瑪麗蓮夢露之知名度(名氣權)。 Background:  For the past 50 years—since Monroe’s death in August 1962—Monroe’s Estate (and its successor, Monroe, LLC) has been asserting that it inherited Monroe’s right of publicity, claiming to own Monroe’s images, voice, likeness and biographical information—rights that were worth $27 million in 2011. 背景:從夢露1961年去世50年來—夢露之繼承人,夢露股份有限公司主張其繼承夢露之知名度,宣稱其對夢露的圖像、聲音、樣貌、自傳資料擁有權利,這些權利在2011年值2千7百萬美元。 New York or California?  Rights of publicity vary from state to state: though most states recognize the right during a person’s lifetime, only a few states extend those protections after death.  Though in California individuals have a posthumous publicity right, which can be bequeathed, in New York, the right of publicity is extinguished at death.  Monroe died at a house she owned in Brentwood, California, though she also maintained her prior residence in New York City.  Thus, the issue before the court was clear: if Monroe was a California resident at her death, the Monroe Estate would have inherited control of her name and likeness; if she was a New York resident, those rights would have expired when Monroe died. 紐約或加州:知名度這個權利之適用法各州不同,雖然大部分的州承認在人生存期間有知名度這個權利。僅有少許之州擴張至人死後仍擁有該權利。雖然加州人承認死後名氣權,可以繼承;但在紐約州名氣權於人死時消滅。夢露死於其位於加州Brentwood的房子內,雖然她亦主張在紐約市有住所。因此審理法院很明確地了解到本案爭點係,假如夢露死時是加州居民,那麼夢露遺產管理人將取得支配其姓名及樣貌之權,反之,夢露死時若是紐約州居民,上開權利將於其死亡時消滅。 Prior Proceedings.  After her death, Monroe’s lawyer and executor, Aaron Frosch, asserted to both the New York Surrogate’s Court and the California tax authorities that Monroe died a domiciliary of New York.  This allowed the Monroe Estate to avoid substantial California estate, inheritance and income taxes.  And in 1994, the Monroe Estate faced a claim by Monroe’s alleged daughter, Nancy Miracle, who sought 50% of the Estate under a provision of California law, which was not available under New York law.  The Estate defeated that claim by alleging that Monroe died a New York citizen. 於夢露死後,前訴訟程序中,夢露的律師同時亦是遺產執行人Aaron Frosch在紐約Surrogate's Court 和加州稅捐機關皆主張夢露是紐約州居民。這使得夢露的遺產可規避大筆的遺產稅和所得稅。1994年由一位宣稱是夢露女兒者Nancy Miracle依據加州法律對夢露遺產起訴請求50%的遺產,惟該法律為紐約州所無。最終判決認定夢露死時是紐約居民適用紐約州法,夢露遺產獲得保全。(待續) The Current Lawsuit and the May 2007 Ruling.  The lawsuit was brought in March 2005, when the Marily Monroe, LLC (the successor to the Estate) sued Milton Greene Archives, Inc., claiming ownership of Monroe’s right of publicity and alleging that the defendant unlawfully used Monroe’s image and likeness.  In May 2007 the district court granted summary judgment, holding that Monroe LLC did not own Monroe’s right of publicity because at the time of Monroe’s death neither New York nor California recognized a descendible, posthumous right of publicity.  As the District Court explained, the California law that made publicity rights inheritable was only passed in 1984, decades after Monroe’s 1962 death. The California Legislature Overturns the Court.  In direct response to the Distict Court’s 2007 ruling, the California legislature passed a bill later that year, which said the publicity rights inheritance law was retroactive and applied to all those who had died prior to 1984.  The new law made the right of publicity freely transferable, descendible and able to pass through the residual clause in the will of the deceased personality   The law was explicitly designed to abrogate the 2007 ruling. The District Court’s Second Ruling.  Monroe LLC later sought reconsideration of the district court’s ruling.  Although the district court granted Monroe LLC’s motion for reconsideration, it found that Monroe LLC was “advanc[ing] a position inconsistent with that taken by the estate in the prior proceeding[s].”  The District Court thus ruled that judicial estoppel would preclude Monroe, LLC from now taking an inconsistent position. Ninth Circuit Ruling.  The Ninth Circuit agreed with the district court that judicial estoppel prevented Monroe LLC from taking the position that Monroe died domiciled in California when it had prevailed in earlier suits on the premise that Monroe was a domiciliary of New York: “This is a textbook case for applying judicial estoppel. Monroe’s representatives took one position on Monroe’s domicile at death for 40 years, and then changed their position when it was to their great financial advantage,” the appeals court said. Thus photographers, artists, and others will be able to exploit images without authorization from the estate.  As the Ninth Circuit explained: “We observe that the lengthy dispute over the exploitation of Marilyn Monroe’s persona has ended in exactly the way that Monroe herself predicted more than 50 years ago: ‘I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.”