LEGAL NEWS ROUNDUP

Rachel MacDonald, CLS’17

Mary Jo White announced Monday, November 14 that she will be stepping down as the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of President Barack Obama’s term, three years before the end of her current term. White’s tenure resulted in more than 2,850 enforcement records, a three-year record for the SEC. White’s resignation will create room for President-elect Donald Trump to appoint his own nominee. President-elect Trump has pledged to restrict or remove the Dodd-Frank Act, a financial reform law enacted post-recession. The Washington Post reports that President-elect Trump has appointed Paul Atkins, a former SEC Commissioner under George W. Bush and outspoken opponent to Dodd-Frank, to replace White. (Source: ABA Journal)

On Monday, November 14, 2016, a federal court of appeals denied Adidas AG’s trademark challenge against Christian Faith and Fellowship Church’s “Add a Zero” fundraising slogan by ruling that the slogan had been used in interstate commerce. The Court of Appeals held that there was no de minimis exception to the Lanham Act’s use-in-commerce requirement, and that the out-of-state sale of two hats embroidered with the slogan was sufficient. Adidas brought the challenge against the church after being denied a trademark registration for its Adizero clothing line. Adidas’ trademark was denied due to possible confusion with the church’s trademark, which was registered in 2006. When registering for the trademark in 2006, the church had to certify that the trademark was to be used in interstate commerce under the Lanham Act; Adidas brought action for the cancellation of the trademark on several grounds, including lack of use in interstate commerce. (Source: Reuters Legal)

Internet Movie Database (IMDB), owned by Amazon, is suing the state of California over a law requiring the company to remove an actor’s age from its website upon the actor’s request.  IMDB argues the law, AB 1687, violates its right to free speech. While IMDB admits that age discrimination among actors is a problem worth addressing, the company claims that AB 1687 is written to unfairly target IMDB narrowly and does not ease age discrimination. A Seattle jury ruled in favor of IMDB regarding a similar issue in 2013. (Source: BBC News)