Lanham Act

News & Analysis as of

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles – Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment in Favor of “Empire” TV Series

On February 1, 2016, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ruled that Twentieth Century Fox Television’s (“Fox’s”) use of the term “Empire” in the network’s hit TV series was protected by the First Amendment. Judge Anderson...more

Federal Circuit Rejects Disparaging Trademarks’ Ban on First Amendment Grounds

A December ruling by the Federal Circuit emphasized the value of commercial speech through trademark registration, and the case may have implications for the Washington Redskins. The NFL team’s Super Bowl dreams may be over,...more

Supreme Court Decision In B&B Hardware V. Hargis Industries: Potential Impact on Trademark Prosecution and Enforcement...

In March 2015, the United States Supreme Court delivered an important decision in trademark law. In B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., No. 13-352, slip op., 575 U.S.____ ; 135 S.Ct. 1293 (2015) (“B&B Hardware”),...more

2015 U.S. Trademark Developments Every Food and Beverage Lawyer Should Know

In 2015, U.S. courts provided trademark practitioners with several issues to discuss and debate. Identified and summarized below are the top five most discussed issues....more

Katy Perry, Last Year’s Super Bowl, and a Shark with a Mark

With Super Bowl 50 quickly approaching, it’s a perfect excuse to check in on one of the IP issues that made big waves at last year’s “Big Game.” You may recall that the Super Bowl halftime show last year featured Katy Perry...more

Court Issues Sanctions for Manipulation of Email Evidence, Addresses New FRCP 37(e) (New York)

CAT3 v. Black Lineage, 2016 WL 154116 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2016) - In this trademark infringement case, the plaintiff asserted rights to a domain name to sell its clothing products, in addition to an online website and...more

City Fitness Attempts to Exercise Service Mark Rights

In a decision dismissing plaintiffs’ claims of service mark infringement, the District of Massachusetts held that the plaintiffs’ transfer of “goodwill” in an asset purchase agreement also transferred plaintiffs’ rights to...more

2015 IP Law Year In Review

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (May 26, 2015) - ..Does a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement? NO - ..Inducement requires...more

The Door Is Open To Disparaging Trademarks

Federal Circuit Rules § 2(A) of tThe Lanham Act Unconstitutional - Refusal to Register Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional - On December 22, 2015, the Federal Circuit in In re Simon Shiao Tam ruled that Section...more

Trademark Review | January 2016

Federal Circuit Holds Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the...more

Black Ops Mission Accomplished by Federal Trademark Registration

A recent district court decision granting a preliminary injunction in The Brooklyn Brewery Corp. v. Black Ops Brewing, Inc. demonstrates the advantage of owning a federal trademark registration when products bearing the...more

Does Louis Vuitton’s Loss to a Parody Defense Justify an Award of Attorney Fees?

Earlier this month the Southern District of New York granted the defendant’s Motion for Summary in Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. My Other Bag , Inc. The fashion giant had brought suit against a California company over its...more

Louis Vuitton and My Other Bag – Do You Get The Joke?

In a recent post, we discussed the trademark parody defense in the context of a California district court decision holding that the owner of the Superman “S” logo had adequately stated infringement claims asserted against a...more

Celebrity Trademark Watch: Who Owns Marilyn Monroe’s Image? – Right of Publicity vs. Trademark Rights

In her posthumously published autobiography, My Story, screen legend Marilyn Monroe wrote: “I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to...more

Stolichnaya: Comity or Confiscation; and Is That For US Courts to Decide?

The Second Circuit recently issued its latest ruling in a long-running legal battle over the trademark rights to the STOLICHNAYA trademark. In this latest decision in the 12-year dispute, the Court ruled that an agency of the...more

[Webinar] Registration of 'Disparaging' Trademarks After 'The Slants' - January 27, 12:00-1:00pm, EST

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars registration of marks that “disparage” a group of people, is an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment free speech...more

Louis Vuitton’s Other Lawsuit Was a Winner, but Loses to a Parody Defense – Again.

Louis Vuitton is no stranger to trademark disputes. As a a manufacturer of handbags, wallets, and other luxury goods, the company has its hands full just addressing counterfeit products. However, like any other company, there...more

In re Simon Shiao Tam - USCA, Federal Circuit, December 22, 2015

In case with potentially far-reaching effects, including on Washington Redskins’ ongoing legal battle to maintain federal trademark registration, Federal Circuit sitting en banc strikes down federal statute that permits...more

Branding Checklist: Boom Or Bust 2016

2016 is already upon us! Now is a good time to thoroughly review your business’ branding, advertising and trademark portfolio. Your trademark represents the goodwill of your business, and therefore proper procurement,...more

Acquired Distinctiveness of Trademarks in the United States

Business enterprises often prefer to adopt trademarks that describe the company’s goods or services because they require less of an investment to develop the brand and educate the target consumer. This is in contrast to...more

Belmora v. Bayer: Does the Lanham Act Protect An Owner of a Well-Known Foreign Mark From Intentional Misuse of the Mark in the...

In Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is faced with novel issues about the reach of the Lanham Act. The case arose from Bayer’s filing of a petition to cancel Belmora’s...more

The Federal Circuit Breathes Life into the Redskins’ Appeal

If you’re a fan of intellectual property or the National Football League, you may have heard about last July’s ruling in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. There, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee...more

Federal Circuit: Lanham Act “Disparaging” Mark Prohibition Unconstitutional

On December 22nd the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its sua sponte en banc In re Tam decision regarding the constitutionality of the “disparaging” marks bar under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. A Federal...more

Trademark Wars: The First Amendment Strikes Back – Lanham Act’s Disparaging Trademark Registration Ban Struck Down as...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, en banc, has ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act precluding “disparaging” trademark registrations is unconstitutional, rejecting the argument that trademark...more

Alert: Federal Circuit Strikes Ban on "Disparaging" Trademarks

On December 22, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, overturned decades of case law by holding that a statute barring federal registration for trademarks that "may disparage" people,...more

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