Lanham Act

News & Analysis as of

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 06

In this issue: - “Google It”: The Search Engine’s Trademark May Be a Verb, But It’s Not Generic - You Say “Tom‘ah’to,” I Say “Tom‘ay’to”: Determining the Correct Pronunciation of Uniquely Coined...more

For the Redskins, NFL Playoff Season Means. . . Constitutionality Questions?

The NFL playoffs aren’t the only big football news happening this month! The U.S. Department of Justice recently decided to intervene in the Washington Redskins trademark litigation over the constitutionality of certain...more

Low Octane Levels? Octane Fitness’ Impact in the Trademark and Trade Secret Realms

We have previously addressed the Supreme Court’s decision in Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., 12-1184, Slip Op. at 7 (2014), which relaxed the standard for awarding attorney’s fees under Section 285 of the...more

Advertising Law - January 2015

SPECIAL FOCUS: Fifth Circuit Clarifies the Law on False Advertising Involving “Scientific Debates” - In 2013, the Second Circuit issued an important opinion in Ony, Inc. v. Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc., a false...more

The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the...

The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government. Last week, the...more

Advertiser Jumps the Gun With Brochure Touting Tests; Fifth Circuit Brushes Off First Amendment Challenge to Lanham Act Claims

Like claims for defamation or commercial disparagement, Lanham Act claims are viable only if they involve statements of fact, rather than opinion. But what happens if an advertising statement concerns an issue that is a...more

Valencia v. Universal City Studios LLC

USDC, N.D. Georgia, December 18, 2014 - District court dismisses all claims of hip-hop dancer Honey Rockwell, who alleged that films Honey and Honey 2 violated her privacy rights and trademark rights, holding that some...more

When Scientific Research Becomes False Advertising

Positive results of scientific research on a company’s products can provide a tempting topic for advertising and promotion. If an article published in a well-established, peer-reviewed journal says that your company’s...more

Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Company - USDC, S.D. New York, December 4, 2014

Following jury verdict in favor of Beastie Boys on copyright infringement and Lanham Act claims, district court denies defendant Monster Energy Company’s motions for judgment as matter of law, for new trial, and for reduction...more

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of publisher of military-action video game Call of Duty: Ghosts on trademark...more

Channeling Justice Ginsburg of U.S. Supreme Court on the Right to Register a Trademark

We sounded the alarm exactly six months ago about a trademark case of great importance to brand owners: B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case, and here is...more

Wrigley Opposes Registration of “WTF” Mark

Imagine you’re standing in the checkout aisle of your local grocery store, and as your eyes wander across the display of tasty treats and candy confections you spot the mark WTF. Would you be offended? ...more

Remember Bonds on Preliminary Injunctions

Intellectual property litigation, particularly litigation involving trade secrets and Lanham Act claims for trademark and false designation of origin, often if not usually involves seeking a preliminary injunction. As a...more

Octane Fitness Changes the Landscape for Trademark Cases Too

Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster - Addressing for the first time the application of the Supreme Court decision in Octane Fitness to trademark cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a...more

Supreme Court Told That TTAB Preclusion Raises Constitutional Concerns

As reported in our September 23 Client Alert, the Supreme Court is set to hear argument on December 2 on the issue of whether likelihood of confusion findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) are entitled to...more

Microsoft’s New Battle: Toads

It isn’t often that Forbes and Arcade Sushi are reporting on the same story. But some news is so big, so ground breaking, and so important that all media outlets cannot, in good moral consciousness, fail to comply with their...more

Pizza and the Edge of the Trademark Universe

Can you trademark a pizza flavor? A recent decision says no and offers a glimpse at the edge of the known trademark universe. The doctrines of functionality and inherent distinctiveness, like the force of gravity or tendrils...more

Beginning to Close the POM Circle? – POM Wonderful and Drug Advertising: JHP Pharmaceuticals

Earlier this year, in POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co.,[1] the Supreme Court examined the interaction between the Lanham Act’s prohibition against false advertising and the FDCA’s prohibition against food, drug and...more

October 2014: Trademark Litigation Update

Supreme Court Opens the Door to More False Advertising Claims. In a unanimous decision, Lexmark International Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1377 (2014), the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff...more

Unincorporated Associations Can Own and Enforce Trademark Rights

Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment and a permanent injunction in favor of a common law trademark owner whose marks...more

False Origin Claims Applicable to Services as Well as Goods

M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Assoc. v. Strabala - Clarifying prior Lanham Act case law related to false designation of origin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated a district court’s dismissal under...more

Pom Wonderful Drops Ninth Circuit Appeal of State Claims Filed Against Coca-Cola

On September 19, 2014, Pom Wonderful, LLC dropped its Ninth Circuit appeal of a ruling that dismissed its state deceptive advertising and unfair competition claims against Coca-Cola, a sibling case to a recent Supreme Court...more

Advertising Law - October 2014 #3

Permanent Ban From Prize Promotion Business After Sweepstakes Scam - A sweepstakes operator agreed to a permanent ban from the prize promotion business pursuant to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after...more

Brand Standards Are for Everyone

Now more than ever, it is important to understand brand standards: why they are set; how they affect franchisors, franchisees, and customers; and what the boundaries of brand enforcement policies should be....more

Attorneys' Fees Awarded to Small Business Patent Owner to Advance Considerations of "Compensation and Deterrence"

A recent case in the District of Connecticut demonstrates that courts may be more willing to award attorneys’ fees to a small plaintiff, encouraging such a plaintiff to protect its patent when it is the plaintiff’s “primary...more

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