Lanham Act

News & Analysis as of

2(c) or Not to See Political TM Speech?

That is the question, at least for the day. It’s also a question we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will address. In particular, does a careful focus on the USPTO’s routine application of Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act,...more

Medina v. Dash Films Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, July 14, 2016

District court dismisses trademark infringement action against Kanye West and others, finding that defendants’ film series title “Loisaidas” is protected by First Amendment because it has artistic relevance, title is not...more

The Federal Trademark Statute Assumes Hillary Can’t Win

Today’s example of unintentional sexism comes to us from Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act. On its face, the language of the statute assumes that someone other than Hillary will win the 2016 presidential election – and it won’t...more

The Olympics! Officially Protected from Zika by OFF!

The Summer Olympics are with us again, in what has been a great summer for sports. Besides the normal summer sports highlights, soccer fans have gotten a special second year in a row of the Copa America, not so great if...more

USPTO Keeps the Door Locked for Marijuana-related Services

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states, including four states that have also legalized recreational use (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington). On Nov. 8, California voters will have a chance to make their...more

Clark v. Dashner - USDC, D. New Mexico, June 30, 2016

District court dismisses author’s claims that film “The Maze Runner” and novel of same name infringed on copyright in his book The Maze, holding that similarities between works, including giant maze and robotic creatures, are...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2016

Supreme Court: Status Quo in Cuozzo - Why it matters: On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, where it rejected challenges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes...more

Extending the Reach of Octane Fitness Under the Lanham Act **WEB ONLY**

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit adopted and applied the Supreme Court of the United States’ rationale for an award of attorneys’ fees in patent cases to a trademark case. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit aligned...more

No Budding in Line Washington Redskins

In a case with special significance to our DuetsBlog crew (our founder Steve Baird started the fight to cancel the THE REDSKINS trademark registrations in 1992 – see more about the Harjo case here) and significant to...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Sham Citizen Petition Claim, Summary Judgment on False Advertising Claims **WEB ONLY**

Addressing Sherman Act and Lanham Act claims arising out of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ Sherman Act claim...more

Empire State Building Trademark Owner Vanquishes Beer Logo Design

Can you trademark a building design? You can if the building in question is the Empire State Building. In the film classic King Kong, the iconic art deco building is the site of a titanic battle between Kong and the military...more

Law Firm’s Suit against Partner over Domain Name Highlights Essential Control of Proper Registration

Partners in a business rarely title real property in the name of one individual partner. Businesses do not let employees title bank accounts for the business in their individual names. Yet, when it comes to domain names,...more

Three Point Shot - June 2016

Showtime and Top Rank Slug It out over "Fight of the Century" - Who said boxing was dead? Fight fans still bitter over the May 2015 Floyd Mayweather–Manny Pacquiao bout that was far more mega-bore than mega-brawl...more

How to Infringe a Certification Mark – The Second Circuit Counts the Ways

We blogged last week about a recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. v. Security University, LLC, in which the Court...more

Nominative Fair Use of a Trademark: The Second Circuit Weighs In

If a defendant in a trademark case uses the plaintiff’s trademark, not to identify the defendant’s own products, but rather to refer accurately to the plaintiff’s products, is that trademark infringement? Called “nominative...more

Trademark Red Tape: Incoming Fee Increases And Sweeping TTAB Rule Changes

Disparaging Marks Still Held in Abeyance. As an update to our last Trademark Red Tape, the USPTO, which has now filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in In re Tam with respect to the...more

California District Court Puts Baby In A Corner

In the United States, federal laws take precedence over state law and common law causes of action where there is an overlap. This lesson was recently learned again in Lions Gate Entertainment Inc v TD Ameritrade Services...more

Parks’ Allegations Against “Finest” Franks Not In the “Ball Park” of False Advertising Claims

On May 10, 2016, Judge Joseph F. Leeson, Jr. of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment on false advertising and trademark claims in favor of defendant Tyson Foods, Inc. and a subsidiary, the makers of...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Sibling Rivalry, Grilled Meat and Attorneys' Fees

Copyright Opinions - Sixth Circuit Upholds Siblings' Termination of Brother's Copyright Assignment: Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-5429 (6th Cir. May 16, 2016) - Sutton, J. In a declaratory...more

Nominative Fair Use: The Second Circuit Joins Neither The Third Nor Ninth Circuits In Its Approach

In an important decision delineating the boundaries of fair use of another person’s trademark, the Second Circuit announced a standard by which nominative fair use of a trademark will be evaluated in that Circuit in...more

Second Circuit Highlights Splits on Nominative Trademark Fair Use

The Second Circuit disagrees with sister circuits and rejects arguments that nominative fair use is an affirmative defense that is available even when confusion is likely and that the traditional nominative fair use analysis...more

Tyson Foods Knocks It Out of the Park in Lanham Act Dispute over Hot Dogs

Baseball parks and hot dogs are staples of Americana. So, it is no surprise that both were recently on display in a Lanham Act dispute in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The court’s...more

Generic Churrascos at the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit recently provided additional guidance concerning whether an applied-for mark is generic in In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., (May 13, 2016). This case stemmed from the United States Patent and Trademark...more

En Banc Reconsideration Sought in FLANAX Case

Belmora LLC filed a petition for reconsideration en banc of the Fourth Circuit’s FLANAX decision in Belmora LLC v Bayer Consumer Care AG, Appeal No. 15-1335 (4th Cir. March 23, 2016). As we previously have blogged...more

5th Circuit Adds Fuel to the Octane Fitness Fire in Lanham Act Cases

The prospect of recovering attorneys’ fees after notching a victory under the Lanham Act just got a bit rosier–at least if you find yourself prevailing in the 5th Circuit. The Lanham Act allows the recovery of attorneys’...more

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