Disparagement

News & Analysis as of

McCarthy Institute Trademark Seminar 2017

One of the current challenges in trademark law addressed in Seattle last week at the Amazon Corporate Conference Center, host of the 2017 McCarthy Institute and Microsoft Corporation Symposium, is an issue we have discussed...more

“You’re Fired” – The Growing Fallout from Celebrity Rants

While the beginning of the Trump era started with debates over the size of crowds and immigration bans, last week was all about brands and their affiliation (or desire to be unaffiliated) with President Trump. Most recently,...more

Disparaging (or Maybe Not) Trademarks: The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on In Re Tam

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the Lanham Act’s provision refusing federal trademark registration to disparaging marks is invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2017

A Smooth Patch in a Rough Road? Governmental Transition and Intellectual Property - Whenever a new Congress convenes, some IP issues come to the fore while others take a back seat. Transition to a new administration in...more

CGL Coverage for False Advertising and Intellectual Property Claims: Sometimes It’s There, but You Need to Know Where to Look for...

A recent case in the Northern District of California offers two cautionary tales to policyholders. First, when buying insurance, companies should understand their risks and ensure that the policies they’re buying match those...more

The Supreme Court Tackles Disparaging Trademarks

From my title, you may think I am referring to the battle over the REDSKINS trademark. However, the In re Tam case beat the REDSKINS team to the high court. The case involving the REDSKINS mark is currently on hold until...more

2017 Intellectual Property Law Year In Review

Though politics ruled the headlines in 2016, the year still brought big changes in intellectual property law and its application, most notably in patent subject matter eligibility, inter partes review institution and appeal...more

Lee v. Tam: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On Lanham Act Section 2(a) Prohibition of Registration of Disparaging Marks

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Lee v. Tam to examine the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a). Section 2(a) prevents the registration of...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle III: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Two years ago, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits that sports fans assume IP...more

This Year’s Top Ten IP Cases

#10 Design Patent Damages § 289 - Samsung Elecs. Co., v. Apple Inc., 580 U.S. _ (Dec. 6, 2016) - In the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant article of manufacture for arriving at a damages award under...more

Trump libel win based on Trump libel loss

President-elect Donald Trump just won a libel case against a critic — for the very same reason that real estate developer Donald Trump lost a libel case against a critic, more than 30 years ago. And yes, the precedent of...more

Trademark Year In Review And What Lies Ahead: The Lanham Act’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2017

2016 is now in the rear view mirror. At the beginning of a new year, we often take a moment to reflect on the past year, while setting goals for the present. It’s a time to say, “Last year had its ups and downs, but this...more

Intellectual Property Law - December 2016

Design Patents—Supreme Court Decides Samsung v. Apple - Why it matters: On December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Samsung v. Apple, holding that, for purposes of a "total profits" damages award for infringement of a...more

When Trademark Registration is a Nice Gesture

Representations of gestures can be trademarks. For example Facebook’s Application No. 85020073 covers a depiction of a thumbs up gesture followed with the word “LIKE” in a rectangle...more

Intellectual Property Newsletter - November 2016

Patent Venue at the Supreme Court - If TC Heartland has its way, patent venue law is about to fundamentally change. Factual Background - Kraft sued TC Heartland, a limited liability company organized...more

USPTO Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Its Right to Deny “Offensive” Trademarks

I previously wrote about a Supreme Court case pitting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act against the First Amendment, the Federal Circuit, the Slants and, lurking in the...more

Supreme Court to Review Registrability of Disparaging Trademarks

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition for certiorari to consider the constitutionality of a provision of the US trademark laws directed to the registrability of disparaging...more

Trademark Law Update: SCOTUS to Decide Whether Ban on Registering “Disparaging Marks” Is Unconstitutional

Under section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may refuse to register any trademark that “[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or...more

Even Non-Union Employers Must Consider the National Labor Relations Act When Drafting Social Media Policies

While employers should enact social media policies to protect trade secrets and prevent employees from defaming the employer, employers must ensure the policies do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). Even...more

What's Happening with the Redskins Case?

For the past few years, the first question us trademark lawyers get asked at cocktail parties is, “What’s going to happen to the REDSKINS trademark?” – and now lawyers and football enthusiasts will have to wait until at least...more

MarkIt to Market® - October 2016

The October 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® newsletter provides an update on the Redskins trademark case, discusses a recent TTAB ruling regarding ownership of families of marks, and announces the new gTLD...more

Supreme Court to Decide if Disparagement Provision in the Lanham Act is Invalid Under the First Amendment

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to review Lee v. Tam, better known as “THE SLANTS” case, to assess the constitutionality of the Trademark Office’s refusal to register disparaging marks under Section 2(a) of...more

New Authentication Lawsuit Filed Against Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné

For several years the topic of litigation against appraisers and authenticators has been a controversial issue, causing a number of artists’ foundations and independent professionals to refrain from giving opinions for fear...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: The Slants, The Sims and SCAR Rifles

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies Washington Redskins' Petition to Join Proceedings - Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies...more

Lee v Tam

The Supreme Court agreed on September 29 to consider whether a provision of the Lanham Act that allows the USPTO to refuse to register “disparaging” trademarks violates the constitutional right to free speech. The case is...more

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