IP Advisor - December 2010 December 16, 2010
In This Issue

Common Scams Trademark Owners Should Be on the Lookout For

In a busy office, an official-looking piece of mail arrives from an entity with an official-sounding name, and an address in Washington, D.C.  It states that in order for the company’s trademark to be published in a “register of trademarks,” the attached invoice must be attended to immediately… 

An individual at a company receives an urgent email from a foreign entity (frequently in Asia) that claims to be either responsible for registering domain names in a particular country or an “intellectual property rights consultant organization.”  Frequently, the email is address to “the CEO.”  The email warns that a third party has sought to register the company’s name or other trademark as a domain name or purchase the mark as a search keyword, and this entity wishes to first give the company, as the lawful trademark owner, the opportunity to acquire the rights itself.  If the email is not responded to within a certain period of time, the third party’s request will be granted and the domain will be lost…

Knowing that the company’s trademarks are valuable and that a third party’s misappropriation could irreparably damage the company’s reputation, what is the receiving party supposed to do?

In most cases, ultimately, nothing.

Both of these scenarios portray common scams that owners of trademarks frequently receive.  Whether a small company with limited experience in intellectual property matters, or a large company with multiple levels of staff, trademark owners and their employees should come to recognize these common scams, so they do not fall victim to or spend unnecessary time dealing with them.

“How did this happen?”

In the United States, the data in trademark registrations are publicly available on the Patent & Trademark Office’s website.  Similarly, information on new applications is made public within a day or two of filing, to give notice to the public of the claimed rights.  These databases include the application details and the name and address of the applicant.  Many other jurisdictions, including Canada and the European Union provide similar application and registration information at no cost through their websites.  Unfortunately, this information can also be accessed by the perpetrators of scams, who then use it in an effort to make a solicitation appear as credible as possible.  Online scammers will also crawl the web to obtain email addresses of trademark and domain name owners to send their solicitations electronically.

Trademark Registry, Publication, Renewal and Monitoring Scams

In the offline world, trademark scams typically come in the form of mass-mailed solicitations to have one’s mark “registered,” “published” or “monitored” in a prestigious-sounding registry or directory.  It’s the trademark equivalent of an offer to be listed in a “Who’s Who” directory.  These solicitations generally have official-looking names (which may include terms such as “Register,” United States,” “International” “Agency” or “Center”) at the top, and are often designed to look like they have come from a government agency with an address in Washington.  Many look like invoices and will sometimes include a convenient “tear and pay” coupon, for easy remittance. 

Such notices may also contain warnings that it is up to the mark’s owner, not the Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”), to protect a registered mark from confusingly similar marks.  While true to a certain degree, such warnings incorrectly imply the importance of subscribing to the advertised registry.  In the more “honest” solicitations, buried in the small print are notices that engaging the service is not a legal requirement and does extend the validity of the underlying registration, and that the service is not affiliated with a government agency.  Frequently, however, solicitations omit any such notice.  If the advertised registry is actually published by the operator of the scam, such a publication has no value from a legal standpoint.  In many cases, however, no such publication exists.

Another variety of dubious solicitation we have seen are trademark “monitoring” services.  These mailings typically feature official-looking letterhead and names, and include dire warnings about the obligation of trademark owners to take steps to monitor their pending applications, and/or to protect their marks from infringement.  These schemes are essentially designed to get you to pay for information (about your own application or third parties’) that is available for free on the websites of the USPTO (or the Canadian Intellectual Property Office).

The third category of solicitations our clients have received involve renewals.  Entities comb the USPTO databases for marks which are approaching the filing windows for renewal or maintenance filings.  They then send official-looking notices to the owners, admonishing about the importance of renewal and providing a handy form to fill out and return to them (“Do not forget to include your check”) to renew or maintain the registration.  The scam, of course, is to deceive trademark owners into thinking they have submitted a renewal application directly to the USPTO itself.  In fact, these entities are inserting themselves as the middleman, taking on extra layers of fees, and engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. 

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the European Community trademark office (known as OHIM) have been out front in recent years, publicly identifying and denouncing these scams.  Here in the United States, our Patent & Trademark Office has been less aggressive, apparently taking the view that these are matters that should be handled at the state level.  One non-specific warning has appeared here.  Some state attorneys general have investigated some of these entities for unfair and deceptive trade practices and/or the unauthorized practice of law, but what too often happens is that an entity will shut down but then reopen shortly after with a different name or using a different address.  This nebulous existence, coupled with the difficulty of suing and enforcing judgments against what are frequently foreign entities, for relatively small sums, also frustrates the ability of individual brand owners to take legal action against the perpetrators of such scams.

Domain Name Scams

The domain name solicitations, which we see almost daily, consistently follow the same pattern, and indeed are often word-for-word identical, with just the names changed.  A typical such email goes like this:

Dear CEO,

We are a professional intellectual property rights consultant organization, mainly engaged in domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection.

We formally received an application from “______________.” On August 6, 2010, whom applied for registering the internet keywords ‘‘[YOUR COMPANY NAME]” and some related domain names with our organization.

During our preliminary investigation, we found the keyword of those domain names is identical as your trademark. Therefore, we need to confirm with you whether you consigned _______________ to register with us or not? Or, is ______________ your partner or distributor? If you don’t have any relationship with this company, they may probably have other purposes to obtain those domain names and internet keyword.

We have already suspended this company’s application temporarily due to the seriousness of this issue. In order to avoid the vicious domain name grab, please let your principal make a confirmation with me via telephone or email as soon as possible. Thank you for your support to our work!

If you have any question, please do not hesitate contact me ASAP.

In the vast majority of cases emails like these come from a person or entity in China or elsewhere in the Far East.  They typically warn of pending domain name registrations in one or more of the Asian country-code top level domains (cc-TLD) – .cn, .hk, .tw, .asia, and so on.  They often claim to be an officially sanctioned domain registrar for such cc-TLDs.  They require a response within a very short period of time (or “asap”) in order to heighten the sense of urgency, and sometimes to provoke snap responses.

The key to recognizing such domain name scams is understanding the domain name registration process.  Under current practices, in the United States and everywhere else, requests to register a particular domain name are not checked to see if the domain name incorporates a registered trademark, and no effort is thus made to contact the owner of a trademark which might be implicated.  Trademark owners are not given any sort of veto or right of first refusal on domain name registrations.  This is the “big lie” inherent in all these solicitations.

The small lies will vary.  Sometimes someone indeed has registered the domains in question – and that is typically the party sending you the email, or someone in league with them.  They will then graciously sell the domain(s) back to you.  Sometimes the sending entity is indeed an accredited domain registrar in China (or wherever), but they are simply trying to lure you into using them to register these domains (typically by tying you into an expensive long-term agreement).  Most often, however, the sender is a fly-by-night scammer who has made up the entire story, and will take your money (and credit card information) and vanish into the ether.

“What can we do?”

The best weapon against scams such as those described above is knowledge.  In the United States and most other countries, a trademark owner will not be contacted by that nation’s IP office directly regarding maintenance or renewal of its trademarks, and will never be invoiced by the official patent or trademark office.  On the domain name side, the current domain registration system does not give prior notice to trademark owners when their mark is about to be registered as part of a domain name or keyword.  When in doubt, a questionable email or piece of correspondence should be forwarded to the company’s legal department or outside counsel.

All levels of employees who could be the recipient of such a solicitation, including accounting personnel and individuals who regularly open mail, should be made aware of such scams and instructed not to be alarmed by them and not to respond to them.  Do not reply to email solicitations even to tell the sender that you are not interested.  The reply only tells them they have found a valid email address which they can then attack with all manner of spam, viruses, malware, etc.

We encourage our clients to be proactive about protecting their brands here and abroad, and have helped many clients develop and implement trademark and domain name protection strategies which provide the appropriate amount of coverage consistent with the client’s business needs.  Goodwin Procter maintains relationships with a network of reputable trademark agents and other vendors all over the world who can assist in registering trademarks and domain names, as well as monitoring and investigating third-party uses of or applications for potentially confusing or infringing marks.

Purveyors of scams can be extremely creative and resourceful in devising ways to persuade companies and individuals to hand over valuable information and money, and brand owners need to be just as creative and vigilant in trying to preclude them from doing so. 

Trademark Owners Oppose Reinterpretation of the Functionality Doctrine in Rosetta Stone v. Google

Many trademark owners believe that a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia may open the door for accused infringers to avoid liability if they can prove that they are using another’s trademark in a “functional” way. 

In Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google, Inc. (Case No. 1:09cv736), Rosetta Stone sued Google for trademark infringement and dilution based on Google’s practice of selling Rosetta Stone’s trademarks as keyword triggers in Google’s “AdWords” program.  In April 2010, the district court granted summary judgment in Google’s favor on all counts.  In one section of the court’s opinion, released in August 2010, the court held that the functionality doctrine protected Google’s use of Rosetta Stone’s trademarks because Google’s application of the trademarks “ha[d] an essential indexing function because they enable Google to readily identify in its databases relevant information in response to a web user’s inquiry.”  The court also found that Google’s use of Rosetta Stone’s trademarks affects the cost and quality of Google’s “AdWords” program because, without it, Google’s advertising model would be less efficient.  On these bases, the district court granted summary judgment of non-infringement.

Traditionally, the “functionality doctrine” prevents trademark owners from protecting as trademarks those features that are essential to the manufacture or use of a product.  In 1998, Congress amended the Lanham Act to make functionality a statutory bar to federal registration, an affirmative defense to infringement and a statutory ground for cancellation of a mark.  15 U.S.C. § 1052(e)(5) (2000).

The functionality doctrine is often raised as a defense by accused infringers in trade dress cases.  Trade dress, like a trademark, serves as a source identifier, but, unlike a trademark, trade dress may include product features such as size, shape, color, texture, etc.  Trade dress is usually found in a product’s packaging or its configuration.  Examples of well-known trade dress include the curved and ribbed shape of the COCA-COLA bottle, the design and format of TIME magazine, and the shape of WHITE CASTLE restaurants.  Trade dress that is determined to be “functional” is not registrable as a trademark, and unregistered functional trade dress is not protectable under trademark law.  In essence, the functionality doctrine draws a line between trademark and patent law and “prevents trademark law, which seeks to promote competition by protecting a firm’s reputation, from instead inhibiting legitimate competition by allowing a producer to control a useful product feature.”  Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods. Co., 514 U.S. 159, 164 (1995). 

For example, in Traffix Devices, Inc. v. Mktg. Displays, Inc., 532 U.S. 23, 32 (2001), the Supreme Court held that even though consumers associated a spring for wind-resistant road signs with a particular company, the design of the spring was not protectable as a trademark because the spring served the function of withstanding heavy wind conditions.  According to the court, a product feature is functional “if it is essential to the use or purpose of the article or if it affects the cost or quality of the article.” 

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Traffix, trial courts typically look to whether the alleged “function” of the feature/mark at issue is “essential to the use or purpose of the article [or] affects [its] cost or quality.”  If the answer is “yes” – the feature/mark is not properly considered a trademark at all and therefore cannot be infringed.  Many trademark owners consider the trial court’s ruling in Rosetta Stone to be inconsistent with this functionality doctrine as explicated by the Supreme Court.  Some have argued that the trial court turned the functionality doctrine “on its head” when it concluded that because Google’s product – the allegedly infringing product – purportedly operates better by using and selling trademarks as commercial keywords, its “use of trademarked keywords as triggers for paid advertisements is functional,” thereby “prevent[ing] a finding of infringement.” 

In August 2010, Rosetta Stone appealed the trial court’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  Multiple amici curiae – including the International Trademark Association, the UK Intellectual Property Law Society, the Association for Competitive Technology, ConvaTec and others – also filed briefs seeking reversal.  In summary, the amici comprised of trademark owners first argue that the functionality doctrine has no application to Google’s use of the Rosetta Stone word marks because the doctrine is relevant only to trade dress cases.  Second, they take issue with the trial court’s inquiry into whether Google’s use of the marks as keyword triggers made the “Adwords” program more useful.  Instead, they say, the trial court should have examined Rosetta Stone’s own use of the marks on its product, because the functionality doctrine is a defense based on the characteristics of a trademark owner’s product, not the alleged infringer’s product.  Under that analysis, Rosetta Stone’s marks are argued not to be functional because they are not essential to the use or purpose of Rosetta Stone’s language learning software.  The trademark owners also question why the trial court failed to address the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Playboy Enters., Inc. v. Netscape Comm’s Corp., 354 F.3d 1020, 1031 (9th Cir. 2004).  In that case, the Ninth Circuit rejected the same position adopted by Google, finding that the functionality doctrine has no application to an Internet search engine’s use of the plaintiff’s trademarks because, “[t]he fact that the marks make defendants’ computer program more functional is irrelevant.”

Taken to its limit, the trademark owners say, the trial court’s reinterpretation of the functionality doctrine will permit a competitor to trade on any mark if they can prove that there is some “usefulness” of that mark to the competitor’s product or service.  According to one of the amici curiae, “[i]n extending the functionality doctrine to protect Google’s use trademarked words in its ‘Adwords’ program, the court opened the door for anyone to claim that its use of another party’s famous brand name is beneficial to its business and thereby to escape liability for trademark infringement.”  This approach, they say, distorts both basic principles of trademark law and the doctrine of functionality in particular. 

A decision from the Fourth Circuit is expected in the new year.

Careful, That News May Be Hot! Digital Era Heightens Interest in "Hot News" Protection

Recent court decisions and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) proceedings demonstrate a reawakened interest in legal protection of “hot news” – not subject to copyright protection – where an online aggregator, blogger or other secondary content disseminator makes some use of news stories or other content produced by a news organization or other content provider.  “Hot news misappropriation” is a tort that has laid somewhat dormant for decades, but it is now generating greater attention as the web poses substantial legal and commercial challenges for many forms of content originators.  These court decisions and FTC proceedings are evidence of the difficulty inherent in balancing the legitimate economic interests of original content providers on the one hand, with longstanding limitations of intellectual property law on the other.  As the Supreme Court has stated, “originality is a constitutional requirement” for content to be protected by copyright, and facts do not constitute original content.  See Feist Pubs., Inc. v. Rural Telephone Serv. Co., Inc., 499 U.S. 340, 346-47 (1991) (“The distinction is one between creation and discovery:  the first person to find and report a particular fact has not created the fact; he or she has merely discovered its existence. . . . The same is true of all facts … ‘[t]hey may not be copyrighted and are part of the public domain available to every person.’”) (citation omitted).

The Hot News Doctrine:  A Primer

The hot news doctrine is a common law tort of misappropriation and an offshoot of the tort of unfair competition.  Although this tort generally has been applied in settings similar to those in which copyright law might be invoked, it is distinct from copyright protection in several important respects.

The 1918 Supreme Court decision in Int’l News Serv. v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918), recognized the basis for this common law tort distinct from copyright protection.  In that case, the plaintiff news wire service AP sued to prevent INS, another news wire service, from taking AP’s east coast stories pertaining to the war in Europe, and disseminating the same or very similar stories the same day via telegraph for publication in west coast newspapers.  Copyright provided only very limited protection for AP’s stories because they mostly recited facts about the war, and such facts are not subject to copyright protection.  As the court stated:

But the news element – the information respecting current events contained in the literary production – is not the creation of the writer, but is a report of matters that ordinarily are publici juris; it is the history of the day.  It is not to be supposed that the framers of the Constitution, when they empowered Congress “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries” (Const. Art. I, §8, par. 8), intended to confer upon one who might happen to be the first to report a historic event the exclusive right for any period to spread the knowledge of it.

248 U.S. at 234.

Further, any reader of AP’s news stories could repeat that news at will, so why, argued INS, should it not likewise be permitted to repeat that news for distribution in west coast newspapers?  Nonetheless, the Supreme Court held that there was a quasi-property right to “hot news” under the federal common law of misappropriation, and the court approved a limited injunction against INS “until its commercial value as news to the complainant and all of its members has passed away.”  Id. at 246. 

Although the Supreme Court later vitiated the concept of federal common law, many state courts would later recognize a similar cause of action pursuant to state law.  Although not all states recognize the cause of action and the elements may vary, the typical elements of a state “hot news” cause of action were set forth by the Second Circuit (applying New York state law) in Nat’l Basketball Assoc. v. Motorola, Inc., 105 F.3d 841 (2d Cir. 1996).  The five factors are:

  1. the plaintiff generates or gathers information at a cost;
  2. the information in question is time sensitive;
  3. the defendant’s use of the information constitutes free-riding on the plaintiff’s efforts;
  4. the defendant is in direct competition with a product or service offered by the plaintiff; and
  5. the ability of other parties to free-ride on the plaintiff’s efforts would so reduce the incentive to produce the product or service that its existence or quality would be substantially threatened.  Id. at 845. 

Because this tort required proof of several elements separate and distinct from those necessary for copyright infringement, the Second Circuit held that this tort survived preemption by the federal copyright statute.  Under this test, however, the court held that defendants that disseminated information from ongoing National Basketball Association (“NBA”) games via hand-held pagers had not misappropriated the NBA’s “hot news.”

Recent Applications:  Barclays Capital Inc. v. Theflyonthewall.com

The application of the hot news doctrine in the digital era is well demonstrated by a recent federal court decision involving the dissemination of time-sensitive financial research recommendations from brokerage firms.  In Barklays Capital Inc. v. Theflyonthewall.com, 700 F. Supp.2d 310 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), the accused defendant, flyonthewall.com, obtained the firms’ research recommendations and redistributed them.  The district court described the scenario:

This litigation confronts the phenomenon of the rapid and widespread dissemination of financial services firms’ equity research recommendations through unauthorized channels of electronic distribution.  This dissemination frequently occurs before the firms have an opportunity to share these recommendations with their clients — for whom the research is intended — and to encourage the clients to trade on those recommendations.  The firms contend that their recommendations are “hot news” and that the regular, systematic, and timely taking and redistribution of their recommendations constitutes misappropriation, which is a violation of the New York common law of unfair competition.

Id. at 313.

Flyonthewall.com conceded liability for copyright infringement with respect to a number of direct, verbatim copies of excerpts from research reports.  But the parties continued to dispute hot news liability with respect to defendant’s posting of headlines of the firms’ recommendations based on those research reports.  Importantly, the brokerage firms undertook considerable expense to fund the research, and the resulting recommendations were highly time-sensitive.  The firms informed large investors of the recommendations in order to prompt them to make investment decisions, for example, prior to the opening of the markets on the morning the recommendations were published.

At a bench trial the court found that flyonthewall.com had committed hot news misappropriation.  The court applied the five-factor test above, focusing on the parties’ disputes over the last three factors, namely, whether the defendant’s actions constituted “free-riding,” whether the parties were in direct competition, and whether the defendant’s actions created a substantial threat to the existence or quality of the plaintiff’s products.  In each instance the court found in the plaintiff’s favor.  With respect to free-riding, the court emphasized that flyonthewall.com did no equity research of its own, nor did it have any original reporting or analysis.  Id. at 336-37.  With respect to direct competition, the court found the element to be met even though the brokerage firms engaged in a business of making trades for its customers (not simply generating research reports), whereas flyonthewall.com did not have a brokerage business.  Id. at 339-40.  Finally, the court agreed with the plaintiff brokerage firms that flyonthewall.com’s actions would, if permitted, substantially threaten the viability of their research business.  Id. at 341-42.  The court’s decision is on appeal to the Second Circuit, where two dozen amici curiae, including entities such as Electronic Frontier Foundation, Google, Twitter and several major news organizations, have entered appearances.

In contrast, however, another district court recently held that a similar fact pattern failed to state a cause of action in Agora Fin., L.L.C. v. Samler, ___ F.Supp. 2d ___, 2010 WL 2899036 (D. Md. Jun. 17, 2010).  The court in that case noted that at least the Fourth Circuit has never adopted the NBA test, and opined that the test is incorrect in holding that a hot news cause of action is not preempted because it presents elements that are distinct from the rights protected by copyright.  Id. at *9.  The court held that because investment recommendations are not mere (uncopyrightable) facts, but rather original works, the federal copyright statute dictates the sole extent of legal protection.  Thus, “[w]hile plaintiffs may be able to protect their ‘original’ investment recommendations under federal copyright law, they cannot protect these recommendations under the ‘hot news’ misappropriation theory.”  Id. at *12.

A Duty to Consistently Enforce Hot News Protection?

One important aspect of the district court’s ruling in Barklays Capital is that the court, while finding liability, entered an injunction that was rather narrowly tailored and which seemed to impose on the plaintiffs an obligation to monitor and enforce hot news protection against others committing misappropriation.  The court noted that no entity had a monopoly on any “particular financial concept, formula, or line of business,” and that anyone, including the defendant, remained free to research and write research reports and make recommendations, as well as to disseminate publicly available information.  Id. at 345.  Likewise, public policy considerations dictated that there would be only a limited period of time under which the defendant would be delayed from disseminating the headlines.  Accordingly, the defendant was not prohibited entirely from disseminating headlines, but rather the court stated that it could not disseminate the information until several hours after its release by the plaintiff firms.

Finally, the court characterized the defendant’s practices as a “widespread phenomenon” and stated it would be unjust to enjoin defendant while others freely engaged in such practices.  Id. at 347.  Thus, the court’s opinion held, “one year from the issuance of this injunction, Fly may apply to modify or vacate the injunction in the event it can demonstrate that the Firms have not taken reasonable steps to restrain the systematic, unauthorized misappropriation of their Recommendations, for instance, through the initiation of litigation against any parties with whom negotiation proves unsuccessful.”  Id. at 347-48Although the rigor with which the court will apply this requirement remains to be seen, the court arguably has imposed a fairly significant burden on the plaintiff firms to show that they have both monitored and enforced their rights against other third parties engaging in this “widespread phenomenon.”

FTC Workshops Invite Discussion of Hot News Protection

Consideration of legal protection for hot news has not been limited to the courts.  In a series of workshops held over the past year, the FTC has examined how the news media industry has suffered economically from competition with free content distributed over the web.  In that context, the FTC staff developed a discussion draft of policy measures for consideration.  Although the discussion draft emphasizes that it is not to be taken as a recommendation or as having the imprimatur of the FTC’s support, it is notable that one of the primary issues for consideration is the scope of hot news protection.  The FTC staff report provides three proposals for consideration:  (1) amending the federal Copyright Act to specifically recognize hot news protection; (2) enacting statutory limits to fair use for aggregators and search engines; and (3) industry-wide licensing arrangements for news providers, including possible statutory or compulsory licensing.  While it must be emphasized that the FTC has not endorsed any of these approaches to date, the attention devoted to this issue in the staff report demonstrates its importance.

Conclusion

The ease with which information can now be obtained and redistributed electronically has heightened interest in the hot news doctrine, while at the same time challenging the courts to determine the boundaries of the doctrine without offense to the statutory and constitutional limitations of copyright law.  Although the scope of legal protection for hot news remains in flux, both content originators and those who aggregate and/or disseminate such content should be mindful that state law tort protection may apply.  This is particularly the case in instances where time-sensitive information is at issue, and the defendant is free-riding on the plaintiff’s information in a manner that could eliminate the incentive for the plaintiff to continue to gather that information.  The contours of this tort – and whether hot news protection ought to be embraced at the federal level – will likely receive more attention in the coming year.

Publications and Events

Events

Patent Infringement Claims, Opinions of Counsel and Attorney-Client Privilege: Best Practices for Opinion Letters After Seagate and Qualcomm 
January 5, 2011
Webinar

Thomas J. Scott, Jr. will be a featured speaker on a 90-minute CLE webinar that will offer guidance to patent attorneys on the best use of opinion of counsel letters in infringement suits in light of the conflicting Seagate and Qualcomm decisions. The panel will also discuss the impact on attorney-client privilege when using opinion of counsel letters.

New USPTO Guidelines and the Obviousness Standard for Patents: Strategies to Withstand Obviousness Rejections and Attacks on Patent Validity   
January 12, 2011
Webinar

Paul Davis  will be a speaker for this CLE webinar.  The presenters will be followed by 20 minutes of live, interactive Q&A with the audience. The webinar will be hosted by Strafford Publications, Inc.

MIT Energy Conference  
March 4-5, 2011
Boston, MA

The MIT Energy Conference frames conversation and informs debate on the most pressing global energy issues and opportunities. Each year, it brings together current and future leaders in energy technology, policy and business to participate in stimulating discussions. The engaging ensemble of events provides a chance to foster the relationships necessary in pursuit of sustainable energy systems.

The 2011 MIT Energy Conference will commence on Friday, March 4 with the free, in-depth and interactive Friday Workshops. The discussions will carry forward to the Friday Night Energy Showcase — a free exhibit of innovative and breakthrough energy technologies from industry and academia. The ticketed conference on March 5 will harness the expertise of energy leaders to engage in fact-based discussions to identify the limits and opportunities of various technologies and systems to make a significant impact on the global energy landscape.  Goodwin Procter is a sponsor.

MIT Sloan Business and Gaming (BiG) Conference
March 10, 2011
Boston, MA

What’s the Next Big Thing in store for the video game industry? What will generate the most revenue? What is destined to flop and why? The 3rd Annual MIT Sloan Business and Gaming (BiG) Conference will bring together industry leaders, game developers and designers, academics and MBAs from leading business schools for an in-depth exploration of the business side of the video game industry. Stephen Charkoudian will moderate a panel.

NYIPLA’s 89th Annual Dinner in Honor of the Federal Judiciary
March 25, 2011
New York, NY

Goodwin Procter will host clients and guests in our hospitality suite in Peacock Alley both before and after this prestigious dinner.  Hon. Arthur J. Gajarsa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, will be honored with the Ninth Annual NYIPLA Outstanding Public Service Award and the Keynote Address will be given by Hon. John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.