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SCOTUS and the Slants: Disparagement Proscription of § 2(A) of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

A unanimous decision from the Supreme Court of the United States in Matal v. Tam affirmed an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional under the...more

No Compulsory License for Internet Retransmissions of Broadcast TV

Reversing the district court’s partial grant of summary judgment in favor of an internet streaming service, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit relied on the US Copyright Office’s interpretation of § 111 of the...more

Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ Attempt to Compel Trademark Arbitration

In a case stemming from a trademark dispute involving a beauty line owned by the Kardashian sisters, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration filed by...more

TTAB Serves It Straight Up: TEQUILA Is Not Generic

Addressing whether the word “tequila” can be registered in the United States as a certification mark, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) answered in the affirmative, dismissing an opposition alleging that “tequila”...more

USPTO Changes Pertaining to Trademark Declarations, Post-Registration Use Filings

In Depth - In efforts to enhance the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) electronic filing system and to “assess and promote the accuracy and integrity of the trademark register,” the USPTO has ushered in changes that...more

Federal Circuit Instructs TTAB to Revisit Software Services as Evidence of Use

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reviewed the issue of trademark use in commerce and, more specifically, the extent to which certain services can be...more

Ninth Circuit Joins Octane Fitness Trend for Trademark Cases

In 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Octane Fitness (IP Update, Vol. 17, No. 5), in which it examined the fee-shifting provision of the Patent Act and clarified the types of “exceptional” cases...more

Flash Drive Design May Support Copyright Infringement Claim

Addressing claims of copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the...more

Ninth Circuit Provides a Second Look at Willful Copyright Infringement **WEB ONLY**

In a case stemming from a copyright dispute over photographs of the legendary hip hop group Run-DMC, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a music...more

No Post-Trial “Bait-and-Switch” on Legal Theory

In a trademark infringement dispute, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that a district court abused its discretion in allowing the plaintiff to argue that the defendant failed to prove continuous of use of...more

Use of Rule 45 Subpoenas in TTAB Proceedings

The US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit clarified the proper discovery procedures for a Rule 45 subpoena to compel a nonparty to produce documents in a trademark dispute before the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)...more

Burning Man Bus Not a Protected Work of Visual Art Under VARA

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of a Nevada district court when it determined that the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) of the US Copyright Act did not apply to a used school bus that had...more

“Churrascos” Is Generic for Restaurant Services

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s refusal to register a stylized form of the mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services, finding that...more

First Amendment Prevents Right of Publicity Claim Arising from Film About “Issues of a Public Nature” - Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver v....

In a lawsuit involving the 2010 Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that right of publicity claims arising from expressive works, including films, are in essence...more

International News: Focus on Real Estate - April 2016

New UK Requirement to Publish Annual Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement - The United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires large commercial organisations operating in the United Kingdom to publish a “slavery...more

Re-Registration of a Domain Name Constitutes “Registration” Under the ACPA (Jysk Bed’N Linen, Inc. v. Monosij Dutta-Roy)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a district court ruling imposing a mandatory injunction requiring transfer of certain domain names to the trademark rights holder. Jysk Bed’N Linen, Inc. v. Monosij...more

Disparagement Proscription of § 2(a) Is Unconstitutional - In re Simon Shiao Tam

In the last several decades, the disparagement provision of § 2(a) of the Lanham Act has become a more frequent basis for rejection or cancellation of trademarks by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the...more

Federal Circuit: Disparagement Proscription of § 2(a) of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

In the last several decades, the disparagement provision of § 2(a) of the Lanham Act has become a more frequent basis for rejection or cancellation of trademarks by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and...more

Ninth Circuit Does an About-Face in Military Watch Trademark Dispute - Multi Time Machine, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit previously found that a jury could potentially find that online retailer Amazon.com created a likelihood of consumer confusion with the format of its product search returns when...more

“Raging Bull” and the Patent Act: Laches Still Available in Patent Cases - SCA Hygiene Products AB et al. v. First Quality Baby...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit convened an en banc panel to examine the Supreme Court’s “Raging Bull” decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. in the context of deciding whether laches remains a...more

Grrrr . . . Paw Print Trademarks Can Co-Exist - Jack Wolfskin Ausrustung Fur Draussen GmbH & Company KGAA v. New Millennium...

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Board’s decision on the issue of likelihood of confusion with regard to two parties’ paw...more

Do Amazon.com’s Search Results Constitute Trademark Infringement? - Multi Time Machine, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Holding that a reasonable jury could find that online retailer created a likelihood of consumer confusion through the format of its product search returns, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the district...more

No Copyright in Individual Contributions to a Film - 16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin

Citing the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in Garcia v. Google (IP Update, Vol. 18, No. 6), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling that...more

Copyright Law Unavailable for Removal of Anti-Islam Video - Cindy Lee Garcia v. Google Inc. et al.

Overturning a hotly debated district court decision, in a case involving numerous amicus curiae briefs, the en banc Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary...more

Federal Circuit Vacates Panel Decision on Disparaging Trademark and Orders En Banc Hearing - In re Tam

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a sua sponte order vacating its April 20, 2015, decision in In re Tam to consider the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which provides that the U. S....more

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