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Federal Circuit Confirms That Advertising Services Is Not Use in Commerce

In Couture v. Playdom, Inc., the Federal Circuit held that the use of a mark on a website to offer services is not use in commerce sufficient to support an actual-use service mark application. As a result, the Court affirmed...more

Bayer Given a Headache by Trial Court Decision in FLANAX US Trademark Dispute

On February 6, 2015, a US District Court issued a ruling which underscores the territorial nature of trademark rights and the need to seek formal protection for your marks where possible in all countries of interest. The US...more

Supreme Court Holds that Trademark Tacking Should be Decided by a Jury in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank

In a 9-0 decision authored by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court held on January 21, 2015 that trademark tacking is a question of fact, which should be decided by a jury. The case, Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, sought...more

Don’t Mess with Texas Trademarks

As a native Texan, I always feel a bit nostalgic and homesick around early March. Not only is bluebonnet season (read: spring) around the corner (if only that were true here in Boston!), but March 2 marks Texas Independence...more

Top 5 Takeaways for Trademark Owners from the Supreme Court's Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank Tacking Decision

Many commentators have weighed-in on the Supreme Court's recent Hana Financial decision, which involved two competing HANA-formative marks for financial services, including one that had been modified over the years to couple...more

Pom Wonderful Likely to Succeed in Infringement Claim Against “pom”-Branded Beverage - Pom Wonderful LLC v. Hubbard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a district court decision denying a preliminary injunction motion in a trademark infringement action, holding that the district court committed clear error...more

No Presumption, but Inference of Irreparable Harm Permissible Under Lanham Act - Groupe SEB USA, Inc. v. Euro-Pro Operating LLC

Addressing interpretation of advertising claims when the packaging or label unambiguously defines a claim term and an inference of irreparable harm where the advertisements were literally false, the U.S. Court of Appeals for...more

MarkIt to Market - February 2015

The February issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter provides takeaways from the Supreme Court's Hana Financial decision, identifies a new anti-counterfeiting tool for owners of Canadian trademarks and...more

It’s Not All Rainbows and Butterflies: YouTube’s Beauty Guru Fights Back Against Ultra Records

Michelle Phan is a YouTube celebrity and beauty guru and has garnered over 7 million subscribers and one billion lifetime views. However, not everyone is a fan of Ms. Phan. On July 16, 2014, Ultra International Music...more

Trademark Review - February 2015

Jury Decides Whether Earlier Trademark Can Be Used For Priority - In HANA FINANCIAL, INC. v. HANA BANK, No. 13-1211, the Supreme Court held that whether two trademarks may be tacked for purposes of determining priority...more

Illinois Court Finds Coverage for Advertising Injury

In Selective Insurance Co. of the Southeast v. Creation Supply Inc., 2015 Ill. App. (1st) 140152-U, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, had occasion to consider whether an insured’s in-store retail displays of...more

Summary Judgment Denied On “Fair Use” Defense In 9/11 Photograph Case

On February 10, 2015, the Southern District of New York denied Fox News’ motion for summary judgment in a copyright lawsuit involving the posting of a copyrighted image on its Facebook page. North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v....more

Food for Thought: 2014 Litigation Annual Review

Food for Thought reports on significant court decisions affecting the food industry. The focus of this edition is on several food-related cases pertaining to class certification; particularly, on district court decisions...more

Business Round-Up: Eponymous companies and use of the designer’s personal name: Mr. Alviero Martini vs. Alviero Martini S.p.A.

Alviero Martini recently decided to bring an appeal against the decision of the Court of Milan, in the proceedings brought against Alviero Martini S.p.A., which acquired the trademark “Alviero Martini Prima Classe”....more

Design Patent Case Digest: Kedem, LLC v. Team International Group of America, Inc.

Decision Date: January 30, 2015 - Court: Southern District of Florida - Patents: D686,869; D694,057 - Holding: Defendant’s motion for summary judgment DENIED - Opinion: Kedem, LLC owns U.S. Design...more

Yahoo! wins against RTI: limited liability for hosting providers

The Court of Appeal of Milan recently issued a very important decision in the Yahoo! v. RTI case. The Court overturned the First Instance decision and held that Yahoo! can rely on the hosting provider exemption under the...more

Police Your Patent Marking and Your Patent Promotion

Despite the curtailment of previously rampant patent false marking suits by the 2011 America Invents Act (“AIA”), patent owners still must mark to provide statutorily required notice of their patents in connection with their...more

Are U.S. Law Idiosyncrasies Destroying Your PCT Applications?

Suppose a business’s patent strategy makes studied use of the Patent Cooperation Treaty application: draft one master application to serve as the basis for filing throughout the world. Coverage is required in the United...more

A Circuit Split or Just a Surface-Blemish: Why Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC Doesn’t Conflict with Cariou v. Prince

Every day, attorneys argue whether appellate court opinions are wrong. But not every day do you get an appellate court criticizing the opinions of a sister court of appeals. ...more

Fraudulent Procurement Claim Dismissed: No Evidence Trademark Attorney Knew Statement Was False

It is not easy to cancel a federal trademark by way of a fraud claim. Investment services firm Navigator Investments (“NI”) found this out recently when the Rhode Island district court dismissed its fraudulent procurement...more

Will New IEEE Standards Policy Devalue Standards Essential Patents?

On February 8, 2015, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) adopted a new patent policy for standards-essential patents (SEPs) in IEEE standards. This comes in the midst of rapid developments in the high...more

YouTube Kills Viral Video for Being Too Popular, Six Year Old Sues

Sure, there are lots of viral YouTube videos.  There’s Katy Perry’s left shark, the owls dance off  and of course the kitten sup-purr bowl, but it might surprise you to learn that YouTube removed a video for being too...more

Web Developer Swipes Left on TINDER

Tinder received an early Valentine’s day note in the form of a lawsuit from a lesser known web developer named WildFireWeb. For those of you coupled folks hopefully unfamiliar with the service, Tinder is a free dating...more

Protecting Trademarks and the Likelihood of Confusion Factor

A few years ago, I wrote a column addressing a case in which Pom Wonderful LLC sued Coca Cola Company in connection with the marketing of one of its pomegranate-blueberry juice products. That case dealt with whether one of...more

"Federal Circuit Wrestles With Patent Eligibility of Internet-Based Business Methods"

When are Internet-based business methods eligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101? In 2014, the Supreme Court laid the groundwork for the Federal Circuit to grapple with this question, when it decided Alice Corp....more

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