Incontestable - June/July 2011

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In this issue: Coach, Inc. v. Gata Corp., 98 USPQ2d 1911 (D.N.H. 2011); Voice of the Arab World, Inc. v. MDTV Med. News Now, Inc., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 10882 (1st Cir. May 27, 2011); Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc., 98 USPQ2d 1633 (TTAB May 5, 2011); U.S. Customs IP Seizures at Record Highs; Trademark Protection in the New Online Frontier; The Legal 500 U.S. Ranks Finnegan Among Top Firms in IP for 2011; Finnegan Recognized as a Leading Intellectual Property Law Firm by Chambers USA for 2011; IAM Recognizes Four Finnegan Attorneys Among the World’s Leading IP Strategists for 2011; and UNREGISTRABLE: Summer Solstice Sounds.

Excerpt from 'Coach, Inc. v. Gata Corp...':

The District of New Hampshire denied defendant flea-market operators’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s contributory-trademark-dilution claim arising out of defendants’ operation of a flea market in which counterfeit merchandise was sold by third-party vendors, finding that contributory trademark dilution is a valid cause of action. The court held that although the contributory-dilution cause of action is not well established, the limited jurisprudence on the subject makes clear that such a cause of action exists.

Plaintiff Coach, Inc. (“Coach”) manufactures and sells high-end purses, handbags, and other luxury goods. Coach brought suit against defendant Gata Corp. and its owner Martin Taylor (collectively “Gata”) based on Gata’s operation of a flea market in Derry, New Hampshire, where counterfeit Coach merchandise was allegedly sold by third-party vendors. Coach brought a number of claims against Gata, including contributory trademark infringement, contributory trademark dilution/tarnishment, and contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Gata filed a motion to dismiss Coach’s vicarious copyright infringement and contributory-trademark-dilution claims. With respect to the contributory-dilution claim, Gata based its motion to dismiss on the premise that such a cause of action does not exist.

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