Lanham Act

News & Analysis as of

Competitors Push Back With False Advertising Laws

In a time when the “disruptive” label is far from viewed as pejorative and, in fact, deemed essential for many new business models, existing market participants looking to fight back are turning to powerful federal and state...more

Texas Hospital Strikes Back at Aetna

On February 23, 2015, Aetna filed suit in Texas federal court against Robert A. Behar, M.D. and North Cypress Medical Center (North Cypress), alleging that Dr. Behar, the CEO of North Cypress, offered impermissible ownership...more

Trademark Review | August 2015

The Redskins Lose Again (Off the Field)- A federal District Court affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) ruling that “Redskins” cannot be registered as a trademark for use in connection with a...more

Summary Judgment Ruling Not a Pretty Picture for Massachusetts Copyright Plaintiff

A recent decision from the District of Massachusetts demonstrates the difficulties that can arise when attempting to protect copyrighted works displayed on the internet. The July 29, 2015 order issued by the Honorable Patti...more

Pushing the Envelope on Initial Interest Confusion Claims — Multi Time Machine, Inc. v. Amazon.com

Consider this: You are shopping online and you type in the name of a brand of wristwatch. Perhaps you wanted to purchase that exact brand of watch, or perhaps you were looking for a selection of watches that included the...more

Uber Ordered to Buckle Up for Litigation: Taxicab Plaintiffs Ride out (in part) Uber’s Motion to Dismiss False Advertising Claims

A group of California taxicab companies sued Uber in federal court in San Francisco for falsely advertising the safety of Uber rides and for disparaging the safety of taxi rides. Uber moved to dismiss plaintiffs’ Lanham Act...more

In Trademark Dispute, New Hampshire School Website Address Not Taken For Granite

New Hampshire is commonly referred to as the Granite State. In one recent trademark infringement case, however, a federal court in New Hampshire did not find a likelihood of consumer confusion between website addresses for...more

Contributory False Advertising Liability Is Officially a Thing in the Eleventh Circuit

On August 7, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling on a question that the Court determined to be one of first impression, has ruled that a cause of action for contributory false advertising can be maintained under...more

Attorneys' Fees May be Easier to Obtain in Lanham Act Cases Post-Octane Fitness

Intellectual property litigation is expensive for both the plaintiff and defendant. However, because defendants are required to defend themselves in a lawsuit—in comparison to a plaintiff who has the choice to file and...more

IP Law Tracker Docket Review

Each month, we review significant intellectual property decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District and Western District of Michigan. Below is the...more

What Does the Trademark Registration Say?

Remember a while back when many were humming to the tune “What Does the Fox Say“? Today, I’m asking, what does the trademark registration say? Not, what does the trademark say — that is a different and more complicated...more

Timing Is Everything—Objective Evidence of Bona Fide Intent to Use Necessary at the Time of Filing Application - M.Z. Berger & Co....

Addressing what constitutes sufficient evidence of “bona fide intent” to use a trademark in commerce, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB or Board) decision...more

Disparaging Trademarks and the Constitutionality of Refusing Registration Under the Lanham Act

Disparaging trademarks have been the subject of vocal debate for over twenty years, but this debate has come to a head recently over the cancellation of the registration of the infamous "Redskins" trademarks belonging to the...more

Octane Fitness Changed the Standard for Attorney’s Fee Award, but Has Anything Changed?

It’s no secret, lawsuits can be expensive. That’s why parties frequently consider the availability of recovering attorney’s fees when deciding whether to pursue (or defend) a lawsuit. While attorney’s fees have been available...more

B&B Hardware: The Preclusive Effect of TTAB Decisions in Court

Introduction - Issue preclusion is a familiar concept to most practicing attorneys. Under this doctrine, “later courts should honor the first actual decision of a matter that has been actually litigated.” Charles Alan...more

The Meaning of Falsity in Misrepresentation Cases

When a consumer sues a product manufacturer over an allegedly false advertisement, what must the consumer allege to state a claim that the advertisement is false?...more

A Couple of Law Review Articles We Actually Like

The last couple of times we’ve commented on new law review articles, we haven’t liked what we’ve seen very much. We’re gluttons for punishment, however, and this time we were rewarded. We found a couple of recent law review...more

Despite Cancellation, the Washington Redskins' Trademark is Not up for Grabs

As of Wednesday, July 08, 2015, the Washington Redskins have lost a long-fought batter to maintain its federal trademark registrations covering “REDSKINS.” Back in June of 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

Chipping Away at the Dead Wood and Other Registered-But-Unused Marks

An ongoing issue faced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been the number of trademark registrations granted or retained for over-inclusive identifications of goods and/or services where the...more

Watch Out! Split Ninth Circuit Panel Rules Amazon Search Results May Violate Watchmaker’s Trademarks

The Ninth Circuit recently held that online retailer Amazon.com could be liable for infringing the trademarks of a watch manufacturer based upon Amazon’s product search results when shoppers search for the manufacturer’s...more

Alert: Federal Court Upholds Cancellation of REDSKINS Trademark Registration

On July 8, 2015, a federal district court in Virginia upheld a ruling canceling six federal trademark registrations incorporating the term REDSKINS owned by the Washington, D.C. football team. The court agreed with the...more

No Attorneys’ Fee Award Based On Dismissed Counterclaim - Burford v. Accounting Practice Sales, Inc.

In an appeal between two parties to a contract for marketing and selling defendant’s accounting practices in various states, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit addressed whether the defendant breached the...more

IP Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Federal Circuit Abandons “Strong” Presumption That a Limitation Is Not Subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, Paragraph 6 - Supreme Court Rejects Belief of Invalidity Defense for Inducement in Commil...more

The B&B Hardware Case and its Potential Impact on Trademark Litigation

Trademark disputes can often play out in a number of forums. Trademark disputes often start off in the marketplace, with a confused consumer, and then proceed to litigation in several tribunals including the Trademark Trial...more

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