Disparagement

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Corner: Q3 2016

CASES WE ARE WATCHING - Lee v. Tam TRADEMARK – Cert. Pending Pro-Football, Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse, et al. TRADEMARK – Cert. Pending ISSUE: Whether the Lanham Act’s disparagement clause violates the...more

Fall Is In The Air: Are The Justices Getting Ready For The Gridiron?

The Washington Redskins Ask The Supreme Court To Block Fourth Circuit From Participation In Important Trademark Cases Another Labor Day is behind us, kids are back to school, and fall has unofficially arrived (it will...more

Repercussions of Retaliation: EEOC Revises its Guidance on Retaliation

For the first time in 18 years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued revised guidance (the Guidance) regarding retaliation. The Guidance, which broadens and clarifies the definition of protected...more

NLRB Ruling in Social Media Case Provides Useful Guidance for Employers

Drafting a social media policy in compliance with Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “the Act”) has become increasingly challenging for employers, as the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “the...more

District Court Precludes Defendant from Making Disparaging Remarks Directed at Patent and Trademark Office in Front of Jury But...

Core Wireless Licensing ("Core Wireless") filed a patent infringement action against LG Electronics, Inc. ("LG"). As the matter approached trial, both parties filed motions in limine. Core Wireless filed a motion to prevent...more

2(c) or Not to See Political TM Speech?

That is the question, at least for the day. It’s also a question we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will address. In particular, does a careful focus on the USPTO’s routine application of Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act,...more

No Budding in Line Washington Redskins

In a case with special significance to our DuetsBlog crew (our founder Steve Baird started the fight to cancel the THE REDSKINS trademark registrations in 1992 – see more about the Harjo case here) and significant to...more

Intellectual Property Law - June 2016

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: An Overview - Why it matters: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was signed into law on May 11, 2016 and gives trade secret owners a federal cause of action for injunctive...more

Trademark Red Tape: Incoming Fee Increases And Sweeping TTAB Rule Changes

Disparaging Marks Still Held in Abeyance. As an update to our last Trademark Red Tape, the USPTO, which has now filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in In re Tam with respect to the...more

Non-Disparagement, The Magna Carta And Yelp

Disparagement isn’t what it used to be. In the good old days, disparagement meant a marriage to a social inferior. The word itself is derived from the Old French word Old French, desparagier, meaning to degrade. The...more

News of Note in IP

Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories...more

Brandmarking - Volume 5, Number 1 - May 2015

THEY CAN’T REGISTER THAT AS A TRADEMARK -- CAN THEY? Ronda Rousey, the famous Mixed Martial Arts fighter has filed several applications to register a trademark that presumably reflects her feelings about her detractors....more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - May 2016

SPECIAL FOCUS: California Proposes Emergency Prop 65 Regulation for Products Containing BPA - Why it matters: BPA remains prevalent in the packaging of food and beverage items sold by retailers throughout California....more

Advertising Law - May 2016

Kanye's Promise of Exclusivity a Siren Song, Suit Says - Kanye West's latest drama involves the courtroom—specifically, a putative class action complaint alleging false advertising, unfair competition, and unjust...more

A Hail Mary to the U.S. Supreme Court? Owner of REDSKINS Marks Petitions for Hearing on Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the...

Pro-Football, Inc., the owner of multiple U.S. service mark registrations for REDSKINS, REDSKINETTES, and WASHINGTON REDSKINS, took the somewhat unusual step last week of petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of...more

In re Tam Redux Redux: Redskins Petition for Certiorari, Trying to Skip 4th Cir.

In response to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) petition for writ of certiorari in to the U.S. Supreme Court In re Tam (“THE SLANTS” case), the owners of the Washington Redskins filed their own...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The March To The Supreme Court

This week saw developments in the two cases challenging the application of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act to their registration: In re Tam and Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc....more

Food and Beverage Law Update: April 2016

Finance - PACA Liens Could Impact Financing Terms - The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) is a federal law enacted in 1930 with the goal of protecting suppliers and sellers of agricultural goods from...more

Washington Redskins’ Hail Mary Pass: Petition SCOTUS to Sack USPTO

INITIAL CALL ON THE FIELD - In June 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) stripped the Washington Redskins (Washington) of their federal trademarks, finding the term “Redskins” was disparaging under Section...more

Washington Football Franchise Calls an Audible, Tries to Score at the Supreme Court

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) in Lee v. Simon Shiao Tam, asked the United States Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the United States Federal Circuit, which held that trademark law’s...more

The Slants and the Future of Disparaging Trademarks

Trademark and copyright law are in a constant struggle with the right of free expression guaranteed under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This is unavoidable. Copyright laws were enacted to protect authors of...more

Pro Football Calls SCOTUS Audible

As we noted here last week, the Director of the USPTO filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that it review the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision, In re Tam. That decision held Section...more

In re Tam Redux: The PTO seeks Certiorari

On April 20, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Federal Circuit seeking Supreme Court review of that Court’s decision in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1001...more

USPTO to SCOTUS: SOS on the Lanham Act ASAP

On April 20, 2016, the USPTO made it official: It formally requested the U.S. Supreme Court to review the en banc Federal Circuit decision that held Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. At issue...more

Supreme Court Battle Set Over Prohibition of Disparaging Trademarks

Section 2(a) of the Lanham act bars the registration of “scandalous, immoral or disparaging trademarks.” The USPTO has used this applied this provision to refuse the registration of marks such as F**K PROJECT, PORNO JESUS,...more

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