Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Center Square

I finally got my childhood dream to be on a form of Hollywood Squares and as the center square, no less! The Orange County Bar Association's Intellectual Property Committee invited me to participate in its Zoom version of the venerable TV game show and I'm sure the ghost of Paul Lynde was watching. We focused on the topic of trademark clearance with the determination for each team being whether or not the mark contested was infringing. Likelihood of confusion factors we used come from the analysis first seen two decades ago in the Frehling case which considered the following: 1. Type of mark 2. Similarity of mark 3. Similarity of the products the marks represent 4. Similarity of the parties' retail outlets (trade channels) and customers 5. Similarity of advertising media 6. Defendant's intent 7. Actual confusion We had local trademark practitioners from prominent firms who practice IP in Orlando, both as panelists in the squares and on teams of X's and O's. Some cases were pretty close on the question of infringement leading to an exciting game of tic tac toe. This format was inspired by the past year of essentially living on Zoom in the little squares remniscent of this cheesy 1970s game show and such shows as The Brady Bunch. Thanks to Josh Brown for conceiving of this CLE!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Celebrating 20 years as Mediator!

This month marks my 20th year as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, an Appellate mediator (since the 2001 pilot program with our 5th DCA) and a federal district court mediator. Back in the day, you had to be a Florida lawyer for five years before even becoming certified (much like a judge). I fondly recall my training with former judge David Strawn, a pioneer in the field of mediation. I am still in touch with my mediation training classmates, some of whom are also mediating full-time and even one who took the bench and now serves our business court division in Orange County. Through the years, this field of law has evolved and some rules have changed, but by and large the basics are the same, proving that a 3,000 year-old tradition of dispute resolution has a place as a means of diposing of cases in the modern court system. This year in particular has been a seismic shift in our technique due to the immediate need for a solution to continue mediating lawsuits during a pandemic. Zoom and other existing commercial online platforms became a lifesaver for most practicing lawyers and mediators. Courts seem destined to continue using technology for online hearings and my colleagues anticipate scheduling of virtual mediations well beyond the Covid-19 crisis. A massive backlog of cases has ensued requiring even more dispute resolution. Our profession as attorney-mediators has never been more strongly represented than by the Florida Bar ADR Section which is now over a decade old. At the time of section formation in 2010, I also founded the Orange County Bar Association ADR Committee to deal with local issues in dispute resolution. The discourse among the members of both organizations has never been higher with committed practitioners engaged in changing the role of neutrals for the better. While I look forward to continued advances in online dispute resolution-- which does enjoy a high success rate in producing settlements-- I also long for a return of good old-fashioned face-to-face negotiation! Schedule with me here-- https://www.uww-adr.com/biography/lawrence-h-kolin