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You Be the Judge: Pretzel Snack Time

What’s in a name? When it comes to trademarks, one small snack company is out to prove that their brand deserves its moniker.

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You Be the Judge: Cute Kim Lookalike

When a jean commercial casts a celebrity doppelganger, has the original icon’s likeness been exploited?

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You Be the Judge: Photographing a Mardi Gras Indian

New Orleans festivities parade vibrant creativity from street to street, but how would you rule in this case about artists’ rights?

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You Be the Judge: Turkey for Dinner

How many ways can one succinctly communicate the keeping and heating up of a turkey? You hold the gavel in this dispute over gravy rights.

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You Be the Judge: Art Polarizes a Property Dispute

In Detroit, a mural by the English artist Banksy exposes a complicated legal conundrum. Chime in with your two cents.

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Fan Art and Fair Use: One Truth and Five Myths

As we can see from You be the Judge articles, news stories, and even Law and Order, there are at least two sides to every legal dispute. Sometimes a seemingly clear cut case can get turned on its head by a legitimate excuse, which makes the behavior perfectly legal. In the case of an allegation…

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Passover Sweet Tooth

It’s no secret, I have a sweet tooth. At Etsy, I’m known for my well-stocked candy or cookie stash. Need a sugar fix? Just find me! But what about Passover? Passover is the Jewish holiday commemorating our ancestors’ flight from Egypt. We had to leave in such a hurry, that our bread didn’t even have…

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You Be the Judge: What’s the Situation?

My father promised to stop claiming reality TV was “rotting my brain” when I passed the New York State Bar Examination. Many years later he had to keep quiet when MTV introduced the world to a high quality and extremely educational documentary series known as Jersey Shore. Dad, hope you’re proud that I found a…

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You be the Judge: What’s an iPad?

First, the iPod, next the iPhone, and then, on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, the world stood still as Steve Jobs announced Apple’s latest soon-to-be-must-have-product, the iPad.  What’s an iPad?According to Apple, the iPad is “our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” This You Be the Judge post will…

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You be the Judge: Chocolate Kisses

I’m sitting in my Etsyified office on a beautiful spring afternoon eating some delicious Hershey’s Kisses and researching a newsworthy and entertaining pending issue for the Etsy community to judge.  I’m in heaven! I unwrap the silver foil from the bite-sized tear-drop chocolate morsel and pop it into my mouth.  Although this treat is delicious,…

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Personal Passover Traditions: Afikomen

Last year I shared my grandmother’s version of my mother’s Matzah Ball Soup. This year, instead of sharing a food memory, I’ll share my favorite Passover custom: the hiding (and seeking) of the Afikomen. In a nutshell, at the beginning of the Passover Seder, half of the middle of three pieces of Matzah (called the…

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Etsy, I See Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is a hot topic on Etsy and in the media. As we see in the You be the Judge series, there are always at least two side to any infringement story. Many artists, lawyers and even judges may disagree as to what constitutes copyright infringement and alternatively what should be deemed fair use…

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You Be the Judge: Sweet Trademarks

Most of us may associate the word “trademark” with certain products (like the logo on a sneaker, the design on can of cola, or a symbol handbag) and these trademarks help identify the creator of the product.  In this “You Be the Judge,” we investigate the trademark of a delicious sugary cupcake decoration. Sprinkles Cupcakes is a…

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You be the Judge: a “TM” on a “W”

When thinking about trademarks, you may think of a word, name, or symbol to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.  You may have visions of the Apple logo, or Louis Vuitton’s monogram trademark, but what about…

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About Us: Sarah aka SarahSays

Sarah Feingold aka SarahSays is Etsy’s in-house attorney with real panache for the legal side of being an artist; in fact, she wrote a book on the subject called Copyright for Artists: Quick and Easy Copyright Protection. She works hard to ensure that Etsy is always shaking the hand at the end of the long…

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You be the Judge: Vuitton and Darfur

This article was originally published on May 6, 2008. We are reviving it as part of the Best of the Storque series. Enjoy! I’ll admit it: as Etsy’s in-house attorney, I love reading legal disputes and thinking about what important issues each side should stress.  I especially like to analyze pending copyright, trademark, and patent…

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You be the Judge: Judging Pretty Woman

Sometimes in order to play judge and fully investigate a situation, I have to acquire evidence. And so, many times when I read an intellectual property dispute regarding a musical work, I purchase and listen to the music at issue. Yes, truth be told, I have an “infringement” section on my MP3 player. Unfortunately, more often…

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You be the Judge: Garfield Minus Garfield Minus Lawsuit

As a well-seasoned judge of intellectual property infringement, you’ve judged cases regarding apple logos, a Danish design, chocolate ads, and a final resting place.  For today’s case docket, it’s time to decide the fate of a missing feline. Garfield is a daily-syndicated comic strip created by Jim Davis.  The comic, which features the life of the title character Garfield, a cat, his owner,…

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Handmade Weddings: Diamond Setting

I love jewelry.  I love designing jewelry, making jewelry, wearing jewelry, and looking at jewelry.  And as a bride-to-be, I was so excited (and lucky) to have the opportunity to design a ring around the most beautiful diamond I have ever seen. I was initially drawn to “Cherish – precious topaz” by Al Krafcik aka…

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Another Perspective on Inventions and Patents

Although SarahSays is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of New York, she is *not* a patent attorney.  However, she does understand patent law a bit better than most of us.  This article examines U.S. patent law and provides some fun examples from the entrepreneurial and creative field of U.S. patents. The Constitution of the United States…

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You be the Judge: Naked M&Ms

I’ll admit it: as Etsy’s in-house attorney, I love reading legal disputes and thinking about what important issues each side should stress.  I especially like to analyze pending copyright, trademark, and patent cases.  I daydream about what points I would argue if I were the lawyer for each side and then I put on my…

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