Lanham Act

News & Analysis as of

Stopping The Sale of Gray-Market Medical Devices

On November 3, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit approved an injunction against about 200 importers and sellers preventing them from importing and selling gray market blood-glucose test strips. The case was...more

Ninth Circuit Joins Octane Fitness Trend for Trademark Cases

In 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Octane Fitness (IP Update, Vol. 17, No. 5), in which it examined the fee-shifting provision of the Patent Act and clarified the types of “exceptional” cases...more

Federal Circuit Clarifies What Constitutes Use “In Commerce” Under the Lanham Act

On November 14, 2016, the Federal Circuit clarified confusion regarding what is necessary to satisfy the registration requirement that a mark be used “in commerce.”...more

A Tale Of Two Hats: Trademark “Use In Commerce” Expanded In A Potentially Game-Changing Decision

Our readers no doubt understand that trademark use is the basis for trademark protection in the U.S. But all use is not created equal, and sometimes it’s not so easy to tell whether a trademark is actually used in a manner...more

Second Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction of "Identical" Gray Goods

Earlier this month in Abbott Laboratories v. Adelphia Supply USA et al, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of a preliminary injunction halting the alleged sale of gray-good diabetes test strips made by...more

The World in US Courts: Orrick's Quarterly Review of Decisions Applying US Law to Global Business and Cross-Border Activities

Alien Tort Statute (ATS)/Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA)/Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) - District Court Dismisses ATS Claim Where Alleged Conduct in US Was Not Directly Linked to Injuries Claimed in Other Countries...more

Second Circuit Affirms Ruling that SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics Falsely Advertised Clearblue Weeks Estimator Home Pregnancy...

In an important recent false advertising decision in a suit brought by home pregnancy test manufacturer Church & Dwight against its principal competitor SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, a Second Circuit panel unanimously...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. v. X One X Productions, dba X One X Movie Archives, Inc. - USCA, Eighth Circuit, November 1, 2016...

In dispute over merchandise with images taken from old posters and lobby cards for “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz,” Eighth Circuit affirms $2.57 million award to Warner Bros. for copyright infringement and...more

Ninth Circuit Expands the Octane Fitness Attorneys’ Fee Standard to the Lanham Act

Following several other circuits as well as patent law precedent, in SunEarth, Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently made it easier for Lanham Act litigants to recover...more

Some Like It Infringed? Monroe Estate Continues Intellectual Property Battles Despite Lack of Publicity Rights

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 the estate of Marilyn Monroe filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against Fashion Central. The Monroe Estate claims that Fashion Central infringes its intellectual property...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

“Use in Commerce”: Look Before You Leap

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, With Leave to Amend, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, LLC, et al. v. Treasury Wine Estates Americas Co., 16-cv-04922-RS (Judge Richard Seeborg) - Plaintiffs in trademark cases may be tempted to...more

Top Takeaways: 2016 American Bar Association Forum on Franchising

Marc Lieberstein - Marc Lieberstein, Kilpatrick Townsend partner in the firm’s New York office, was honored to participate in the “Mine is Better Than Yours! The Risks and Rewards of Conducting Comparative Advertising”...more

Tiffany Wins the Generic Battle, and the Spoils of War are Significant

In February of 2013, high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. sued Costco Wholesale Corp. in the federal court for the Southern District of New York for using the designation “Tiffany setting” since 2007 in the sale of two styles of...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

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Who’s on First?, Virtual Lockers and Lanham Act Fee-Shifting

Copyright Opinions - Second Circuit Permits Distribution of Cloud-Based Samples, But Declines to Consider “Novel” Cloud Storage Infringement Issue: Smith v. Barnesandnoble.com, LLC, No. 15-3508 (2d Cir. October 6,...more

Puttin’ on the “Ritts”: Political Speech and Fair Use

Leaving aside the outcome of election day (and indeed I confess I wrote this before the polls closed), I couldn’t help but notice these ads in downtown Minneapolis...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

Ninth Circuit Retires Fee-Award Standard, Imports Octane Fitness to Trademark Cases

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit joined a majority of appellate courts that have rejected rigid tests for attorneys’-fees awards in favor of flexible discretion at the district court level. The...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

Ninth Circuit Extends Octane Fitness Attorneys’ Fee Analysis To Lanham Act Cases

In the 2014 case of Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc. (and a companion case), the Supreme Court articulated a standard for courts to use when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees in patent cases. As we...more

The 9th Circuit Injects Some “Octane” into the Lanham Act Attorneys’ Fee Provision

In the immortal words of the most recent Nobel Laureate in literature, “the times they are a changin.’” Section 35(a) of the Lanham Act provides that “[t]he court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to...more

New Questions Raised by Judge Rakoff: Misuse of the ® Symbol and Literal Falsity Examined

Judge Rakoff is back at it in Classic Liquor Importers, Ltd. v. Spirits International, B.V. We previously blogged about the dangers inherent in sending a cease and desist letter without the concurrent appetite for...more

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