Lanham Act

News & Analysis as of

Supplemental Registrations – Actually Worth a Hill of (Coffee) Beans

The potential defensive value of a registration on the Supplemental Register is highlighted in a recent opinion of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, In re Morinaga Nyugyo Kabushiki Kaisha. While we often think of...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

Houston (College of Law) Has a Problem

A trademark problem, that is, as reported by the Texas Tribune on Friday of last week. Lest you be fooled by the above reference to Houston College of Law being established in 1923, the name has only been around since...more

Website Listing of Tequila Client Work Gets PR Firm a Trademark Shot

Can the owner of renowned tequila brand Patrón prevent a former marketing and PR firm from listing it as a client on its website and discussing the services it provided? Patrón believes it can and has sued its former...more

Music Played by Karaoke Machine Is Not “Tangible Good” for Purpose of Trademark Infringement **WEB ONLY**

Addressing the “tangible good” requirement of trademark infringement, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the district court’s decision to dismiss a case because defendants’ playing of unauthorized copies...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

District Court Adopts “Weak” Test of Ascertainability, Certifies Class of Corn Producers in Suit Against Syngenta over...

A District Court in Kansas added to an increasing debate in the federal courts over class ascertainability when it certified a class of 440,000 U.S. corn producers in a suit against Swiss global agribusiness Syngenta AG...more

Trader Woes: Lanham Act Applies Extraterritorially to Canadian Resale of US Grocery Chain’s Products

A recent case from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit illustrates how the Lanham Act may be applied extraterritorially to foreign activities that affect US commerce. Trader Joe’s v. Michael Norman Hallatt, Case No....more

Supreme Court Denies Cert To Review 2d Cir. Stoli Decision

The Supreme Court denied review of the 2d Circuit decision on the Stolichnaya trademark....more

Advertising Law - October 2016

Suit Over Block Voting on Reviews Moves Forward - A Lanham Act suit brought by a competitor over a company's efforts to minimize negative consumer reviews will move forward, a Utah federal court judge has...more

Don’t Be Offended: Supreme Court Set to Decide Whether Offensive Trademark Ban Violates First Amendment

The United States Supreme Court, on September 29, 2016, granted certiorari in a case involving petitioner Simon Tam, his band, The Slants, and the band’s attempt to register their band name as a trademark. Commentators...more

Supreme Court Benches Dan Snyder’s Team

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Simon Tam’s arguments and review the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s majority decision striking as unconstitutional Lanham Act Section 2(a)’s bar against the...more

False Advertising Liability for Affiliate Marketing

The proliferation of e-commerce websites along with the rise of social media, blogging, and online communities has greatly increased the importance of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing allows an affiliate to earn a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Redskins’ Petition to Join SLANTS Case

Further to our post last Friday on the SLANTS trademark case, the U.S. Supreme Court today, without comment, refused the Redskins’ Petition to join the SLANTS case challenging the U.S. Trademark Office’s ban on “offensive”...more

Supreme Court Set to Settle Dispute over Washington Redskins Trademark Registration

There has been another twist in the story of the long battle by Native American interest groups to obtain revocation of the U.S. registration of the infamous Washington Redskins trademark. This is another step in the 20-year...more

Supreme Court Update: Order List (9/26/16)

Greetings, Court fans! It's (still) the first Monday in October, which means the Supreme Court (and the Update) are back in action. Actually, The Eight dug in a bit last week, issuing cert grants from their September...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert. in USPTO Appeal of Slants Decision: Whether The Ban On Offensive Trademarks Violates The First...

The Supreme Court granted the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s petition for certiorari in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1101 (Fed. Cir. 2016). In that case, the USPTO denied registration of an application to register the...more

The SLANTS Trademark Will Play One More Gig: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the U.S. Trademark Office can deny registration of offensive trademarks or whether such prohibition violates the First Amendment. The dispute affects the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The Supreme Court Grants Certiorari

We have been following the course of In re Tam as it has progressed through the PTO and the courts. To recap, at issue is whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of marks that may disparage...more

Will anyone be offended if the Supreme Court finds the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act invalid?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it has granted certiorari in Lee v. Tam, a case closely followed by trademark law gurus. Lee is before the Court after the United States Court of Appeals for...more

“Disparaging” Federal Trademark Registrations: Gearing Up for the Main Event

Today the Supreme Court agreed to decide an ongoing conflict, pitting a trademark registrant’s First Amendment rights against longstanding law precluding trademark registration of “disparaging” marks....more

Supreme Court to Review Whether “Offensive” Names Can Be Trademarked

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review the Federal Circuit’s decision to strike down the Lanham Act’s ban on “disparaging” trademarks. The case, Lee v. Tam, No. 15-1293, involved an Asian American dance-rock band’s...more

In What Way is False Advertising False and Why it Makes a Difference

What is the difference between an advertisement that is literally false by necessary implication and one that is impliedly false? It may seem like a fine (and somewhat opaque) distinction, but determining the particular way...more

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

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: RunDMC, Stem Cells and Pirates

Copyright Opinions - Unauthorized Copying Not an Element of Prima Facie Infringement Case: Ali v. Final Call, Inc., No 15-2963 (7th Cir. Aug. 10, 2016) - Wood, J. In a suit alleging copyright infringement through...more

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