Lanham Act Trademarks

News & Analysis as of

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’: Trade Dress and the Distinctive Look of a Boot Sole

Airwair, the owner of the Dr. Martens brand, recently launched a series of lawsuits in the Northern District of California to enforce the trade dress of its “iconic boots and shoes.” One lawsuit was filed in October against...more

Use It or Lose It: USPTO to Conduct Post-Registration Trademark Use Audits

Trademark owners take note: Affidavits to renew your U.S. trademark registrations may be getting a closer look. On March 21, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a new rule aimed at...more

USPTO launches new proof of use audit program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a new program that will require some trademark owners to submit more “specimens” (i.e., proof of use) and information than was required in the past. As a...more

Lanham Act Cannot Be Used to Create “Species of Mutant Copyright Law”

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a district court decision granting summary judgment to a defendant that its use of digital files did not infringe plaintiff’s trademark or trade dress for its CD-Gs...more

The PARIS BEACH CLUB Trademark. Get It?

En route to Paris for the spring conference of the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group, I am contemplating trying to pay a visit to the PARIS BEACH CLUB. Paris Beach Club! Get it? It’s a joke because, as everyone of course...more

Standing to Enforce Foreign Trademark Rights After Belmora v. Bayer Certiorari Denial

On February 27, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, 819 F.3d 697 (4th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, __ S. Ct. __, 2017 WL 737826 (U.S. Feb. 27, 2017) (No....more

The Five Year Divide: Limited Recourse to Cancel Registrations, Even Those Void Ab Initio

The Sixth Circuit recently issued an opinion in NetJets Inc. v. IntelliJet Group, LLC Inc. (unpublished), holding that where a trademark registration is incontestable, it may not be cancelled on the ground that it was void ab...more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)/Political Question Doctrine/Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA)/ Act of State Doctrine - District Court Dismisses ATS Claim Where Alleged Conduct in US was not Directly Linked to Injuries...more

Sexual Harassment Parody Commercial Held Not To Violate Lanham Act

Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act prohibits false or misleading statements in commerce that are likely to cause confusion as to a person’s affiliation, approval or sponsorship of someone else’s commercial activities. Here’s an...more

McCarthy Institute Trademark Seminar 2017

One of the current challenges in trademark law addressed in Seattle last week at the Amazon Corporate Conference Center, host of the 2017 McCarthy Institute and Microsoft Corporation Symposium, is an issue we have discussed...more

Disparaging (or Maybe Not) Trademarks: The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on In Re Tam

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the Lanham Act’s provision refusing federal trademark registration to disparaging marks is invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2017

A Smooth Patch in a Rough Road? Governmental Transition and Intellectual Property - Whenever a new Congress convenes, some IP issues come to the fore while others take a back seat. Transition to a new administration in...more

Advertising Law - February 2017

SPECIAL FOCUS: Current State of the FTC: Three Top Priorities - On February 2, Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Maureen Ohlhausen, addressed the ABA 2017 Consumer Protection Conference in Atlanta and...more

What's in a Name?: An Overview of the TTAB's Recent Surname Decisions

Barr. Aldecoa. Hechter. Adlon. Kepler. Butterfields. What do these words have in common, you may ask? They were all recently found to be "primarily merely a surname," and refused registration by the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

Lee v. Tam: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On Lanham Act Section 2(a) Prohibition of Registration of Disparaging Marks

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Lee v. Tam to examine the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a). Section 2(a) prevents the registration of...more

NASCAR Brand Gasoline at a Pump Near You?

With the Strafford Publications webinar later today discussing the Lanham Trademark Act’s “Use in Commerce” requirement, with some of my favorite panelists no less, the topic has been on my mind, even when pumping gas into my...more

McNees 2016 In Review – Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents

The year 2016 saw interesting and diverse developments in trademark, copyright, trade secret, and patent law. Not only has intellectual property news been in the headlines, but these areas have made it to the Supreme Court....more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle III: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Two years ago, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits that sports fans assume IP...more

Second Circuit Upholds Parody Defense, Tosses Louis Vuitton’s Trademark Suit

In late December, the Second Circuit issued a ruling in Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A., v. My Other Bag, Inc., affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment for claims of trademark infringement and dilution of a...more

This Year’s Top Ten IP Cases

#10 Design Patent Damages § 289 - Samsung Elecs. Co., v. Apple Inc., 580 U.S. _ (Dec. 6, 2016) - In the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant article of manufacture for arriving at a damages award under...more

Pizza! Pizza!: Little Caesar’s Repeated Term Slogans Are Not a “Family of Marks”

Although most people will recognize the ubiquitous PIZZA! PIZZA! slogan mark owned by the pizza chain Little Caesar’s, the company’s collection of repeated term marks does not rise to the level of a “family of marks”...more

Another IP Lesson from Bikini Bottom: What “The Krusty Krab” Teaches Us About Trademark Protection for Fictional Places

In a previous post we discussed what SpongeBob SquarePants can teach us about trademark licensing. Now, more IP lessons are bubbling up from the fathoms below thanks to our absorbent, yellow and porous friend. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on January 18, 2017 in “The Slants” Case.

As we reported to you last September, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case involving the constitutionality of the provisions of the Lanham Act upon which the U.S. Trademark Office relied to deny registration of the...more

Satisfaction of Lanham Act Use “in Commerce” Requirement Does Not Require Much

In a decision addressing the use “in commerce” requirement under the Lanham Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision cancelling a trademark...more

Trademark Year In Review And What Lies Ahead: The Lanham Act’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2017

2016 is now in the rear view mirror. At the beginning of a new year, we often take a moment to reflect on the past year, while setting goals for the present. It’s a time to say, “Last year had its ups and downs, but this...more

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