Stephen S. Wu-- SL: Legal Writer,, (408) 573-5737, 50 W. San Fernando St., Ste. 750, San Jose, CA 95113

Update on Minsky Trademark Infringement Suit

Since my last blog entry concerning Richard Minsky’s Second Life trademark infringement case, Mr. Minsky asked the Court to drop the John Doe defendant -- an avatar named Victor Vezina -- from his case. The Court granted Mr. Minsky’s request on December 3, 2008. In addition, on December 8, 2008, the Court denied Mr. Minsky’s motion regarding Linden Research’s compliance with the temporary restraining order in the case.
On July 29, 2008, artist and art critic Richard Minsky filed suit against against an avatar named Victor Vezina (named as a John Doe defendant), as well as Linden Research, Linden Chairman Philip Rosedale, and former Chairman Mitch Kapor in a New York federal court. Mr. Minsky is ArtWorld Market in Second Life, and he is attempting to enforce his SLART federally registered trademark used with his art magazine. He has now dropped Victor Vezina from the suit, and therefore is focusing his efforts on the remaining defendants.

In late September 2008, Mr. Minsky filed a motion seeking a Court declaration that Linden Research had failed to comply with the temporary restraining order (TRO) in the case by failing to take action against someone using the name “SLart Show Viewer” in connection with an advertising on Second Life. The Court found no violation, stating that the “plain language of the TRO clearly and unambiguously identifies uses that are infringing as those employing “‘SLART’ as one work with all letters depicted in a uniform size, font and color.” In addition, the Court found that the motion was moot because the Defendants were no longer able to find the advertising present at the location identified by Mr. Minsky.

Copies of the most recent filings in the Minsky case appear on the Minsky v. Linden Research documents page.