The State of Information Technology Law - 2011: Trademarks




1. U.S. Supreme Court

a. Tiffany (NJ) Inc. v. eBay Inc. 81 BNA’s PTCJ 141

The U.S. Supreme Court on November 29, 2010 denies a petition for a writ of certiorari in a case appealing the Second Circuit’s ruling that online auction site operator eBay Inc. is not liable for trademark infringement or dilution – either directly or secondarily – based on some sellers’ listing of counterfeit Tiffany jewelry, because it takes action when it has knowledge of fraud with regard to any specific listing.

2. U.S. Courts of Appeal

a. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. v. Tabari 80 BNA’s PTCJ 336

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held on July 8, 2010 that an auto brokerage service was entitled to make at least some use of the car marker’s “Lexus” trademark in its Internet domain name.

b. Stayart v. Yahoo!, Inc. 80 BNA’s PTCJ 760

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on September 30, 2010 that a woman dismayed to find links to “shameful” websites and advertisements upon doing a Yahoo search for her name lacked standing to sue the search engine for trademark infringement.

c. Inc. v. AOL Advertising Inc. 96 USPQ2d. 1310

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on August 3, 2010 that infringement defendants are likely to prevail on their claim that plaintiff’s “” mark is generic for internet advertising services, since the term “advertising” is concededly generic, and “.com” is top-level domain indicator that refers generically to almost anything connected to business on internet, since extensive precedent supports conclusion that combination of “.com” and “advertising” does not result in descriptive mark, since “” does not appear to represent “rare instance” in which addition of TLD to generic term results in distinctive mark...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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