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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Marriott attempts to curtail trademark abuse through new policy

According to Travel Weekly (free registration required), Marriott International recently announced "sweeping new policies to curb what it sees as abuse of its trademarks. The move will alter the way online and offline travel sellers market the chain’s rooms."

The new “Standards & Guidelines for Online Marketing Using Marriott Trademarks,” effective November 1, stipulate that:

  • An online travel company may not use any Marriott trademark in the text or title of any paid search ad;
  • An online travel company may not bid on keyword terms containing Marriott trademarks, whether alone or in conjunction with other terms;
  • Web sites and Web pages must comply with Marriott’s Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee and are barred from using Marriott trademarks in tandem with such phrases as “substantial discounts,” “online exclusive rates,” “lowest prices,” “special rates” and “save 70%;”
  • An online travel company may not ‘screen scrape’ (i.e., programmatically evaluate and extract information from a Web page) any page(s) on Marriott.com.
  • An online travel company may not use any Marriott trademark in a Web address; and
  • Web sites may not use “keyword stuffing” -- repeatedly using Marriott keywords on their Web pages so those pages will show up higher in unpaid search results.
Under the guidelines, Marriott will provide notice to violators before pulling authorization to sell Marriott accommodations, withholding commissions and/or filing infringement lawsuits. The guidelines apply to the Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, Springhill Suites, Marriott Vacation Club, Ritz-Carlton, ExecuStay and Marriott Executive Apartments brands.

Hat tip: Franchise Law Blog


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's Cheerioke Time!

Listen to me sing (if you can stand it), then make your own version. Maybe my fellow blogger can record their versions and we can have our own American Idol (I'll be William Huang). (Tip: Here's how I got the link to my Cheerioke: I e-mailed the song to a "friend" (me), then copied the URL from the e-mail.)

This is an nice example of marketing on the web and buildin brand awareness. I think I'm going to go out an buy some Cheerios.

Oddcast press release.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Movie Outsourcing a Boon for Lawyers

Law.com article: Movie Outsourcing a Boon for Lawyers

As Hollywood filmmakers increasingly shift production abroad, they're creating myriad opportunities for U.S. entertainment lawyers. While the so-called "runaway" productions are bleeding thousands of U.S. industry jobs, the migration is a boon for entertainment law practices that thrive on the international legal complexities.


Alito on Copyright, First Amendment and Cyberlaw

Copyfight links to Derivative Work's extensive and developing post on how Judge Alito may rule on issues dealing with copyright, the First Amendment and cyberlaw.


Alito's Princeton Student Project on Privacy

EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has posted a copy of the final report (pdf) prepared by Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito for a 1972 conference on "the Boundaries of Privacy in American Society." EPIC summarizes that the "paper proposes far-reaching protections for the right of privacy, and specifically addresses such topics as the use of census data, polygraphs, domestic surveillance, communications privacy, computer security and encryption, consumer protection, and homosexuality."

Peter Swire however says that the report is not very informative regarding Judge Alito's personal views of privacy. Professor Swire writes to Declan McCullagh:

Hi Declan:

A few comments on the privacy report from Judge Alito's college days.

First, I was in the same major at Princeton as Judge Alito, several years behind him. These "policy conference" reports were emphatically group efforts, usually with negotiation, joint drafting, and the other hallmarks of a group project. The final report provides little evidence of any one participant's views.

Second, the hot-button part of the story is this recommendation: "The Conference voted to recommend that the current sodomy laws be changed. The Conference believes that no private sexual act between consenting adults should be forbidden." Note the language "the Conference voted." That is the only indication of voting in the report, suggesting that a minority objected. Also, note that this seems like a proposed legislative change --vote to change the laws. So there is no indication of a position on the constitutional right of privacy.

Overall, the report is an impressive student effort to analyze the issues. Many of its recommendations have become law through the Privacy Act, the Church Commission recommendations, the anti-polygraph law, and soon.

The report suggests that Judge Alito studied these issues intensively. It does not tell us what he believed then, or believes now.


It would be interesting to hear recollection from other members of group regarding Judge Alito's thoughts back then.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Don Sparkman of Sparkman + Associates, Inc. has placed his book, Brand-Aid: How to Develop an Effective Branding System (PDF), online. Also available are Sparkman's BrandAidFYI newsletters.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Dilbert creator Scott Adams has a new blog. Damn him! The "Dilbert Blog" is already getting more mentions than the "MT Law Blog," according to IceRocket. If only I were a talented and funny cartoonist, I could drive more traffic here.