Lanham Act Trademarks

News & Analysis as of

Pushing the Envelope on Initial Interest Confusion Claims — Multi Time Machine, Inc. v. Amazon.com

Consider this: You are shopping online and you type in the name of a brand of wristwatch. Perhaps you wanted to purchase that exact brand of watch, or perhaps you were looking for a selection of watches that included the...more

In Trademark Dispute, New Hampshire School Website Address Not Taken For Granite

New Hampshire is commonly referred to as the Granite State. In one recent trademark infringement case, however, a federal court in New Hampshire did not find a likelihood of consumer confusion between website addresses for...more

Contributory False Advertising Liability Is Officially a Thing in the Eleventh Circuit

On August 7, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling on a question that the Court determined to be one of first impression, has ruled that a cause of action for contributory false advertising can be maintained under...more

Attorneys' Fees May be Easier to Obtain in Lanham Act Cases Post-Octane Fitness

Intellectual property litigation is expensive for both the plaintiff and defendant. However, because defendants are required to defend themselves in a lawsuit—in comparison to a plaintiff who has the choice to file and...more

IP Law Tracker Docket Review

Each month, we review significant intellectual property decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District and Western District of Michigan. Below is the...more

What Does the Trademark Registration Say?

Remember a while back when many were humming to the tune “What Does the Fox Say“? Today, I’m asking, what does the trademark registration say? Not, what does the trademark say — that is a different and more complicated...more

Timing Is Everything—Objective Evidence of Bona Fide Intent to Use Necessary at the Time of Filing Application - M.Z. Berger & Co....

Addressing what constitutes sufficient evidence of “bona fide intent” to use a trademark in commerce, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB or Board) decision...more

Disparaging Trademarks and the Constitutionality of Refusing Registration Under the Lanham Act

Disparaging trademarks have been the subject of vocal debate for over twenty years, but this debate has come to a head recently over the cancellation of the registration of the infamous "Redskins" trademarks belonging to the...more

Octane Fitness Changed the Standard for Attorney’s Fee Award, but Has Anything Changed?

It’s no secret, lawsuits can be expensive. That’s why parties frequently consider the availability of recovering attorney’s fees when deciding whether to pursue (or defend) a lawsuit. While attorney’s fees have been available...more

B&B Hardware: The Preclusive Effect of TTAB Decisions in Court

Introduction - Issue preclusion is a familiar concept to most practicing attorneys. Under this doctrine, “later courts should honor the first actual decision of a matter that has been actually litigated.” Charles Alan...more

Despite Cancellation, the Washington Redskins' Trademark is Not up for Grabs

As of Wednesday, July 08, 2015, the Washington Redskins have lost a long-fought batter to maintain its federal trademark registrations covering “REDSKINS.” Back in June of 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

Chipping Away at the Dead Wood and Other Registered-But-Unused Marks

An ongoing issue faced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been the number of trademark registrations granted or retained for over-inclusive identifications of goods and/or services where the...more

Watch Out! Split Ninth Circuit Panel Rules Amazon Search Results May Violate Watchmaker’s Trademarks

The Ninth Circuit recently held that online retailer Amazon.com could be liable for infringing the trademarks of a watch manufacturer based upon Amazon’s product search results when shoppers search for the manufacturer’s...more

Alert: Federal Court Upholds Cancellation of REDSKINS Trademark Registration

On July 8, 2015, a federal district court in Virginia upheld a ruling canceling six federal trademark registrations incorporating the term REDSKINS owned by the Washington, D.C. football team. The court agreed with the...more

IP Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Federal Circuit Abandons “Strong” Presumption That a Limitation Is Not Subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, Paragraph 6 - Supreme Court Rejects Belief of Invalidity Defense for Inducement in Commil...more

The B&B Hardware Case and its Potential Impact on Trademark Litigation

Trademark disputes can often play out in a number of forums. Trademark disputes often start off in the marketplace, with a confused consumer, and then proceed to litigation in several tribunals including the Trademark Trial...more

Federal Circuit: Lack of Bona Fide Intent to Use at the Time of Filing Fatal to Trademark Application

In a recent ruling the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) sustaining an opposition against a trademark application on the grounds that the applicant failed to prove that it...more

Protection of Identities Not Identical Under Lanham Act §§ 43(a) and 2(a)

In Tartell v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s finding that the plaintiff’s personal name had acquired distinctiveness as a trademark and that the defendant...more

WD-40 Squeaks By On Appeal Of Its Summary Judgment Win On “Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor”

In Sorensen v. WD-40 Company, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that the use of the term “inhibitor” for a rust-inhibitor product was not trademark infringement and constituted a descriptive fair use. ...more

In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for...more

Appealing a Trademark Registration Refusal? Win or Lose, You May Have to Pay the USPTO’s Legal Fees

The federal Trademark Act (the Lanham Act) instructs that if an unsuccessful trademark applicant appeals a refusal to register in federal district court, the applicant must name the Director of the U.S. Patent & Trademark...more

Walt Disney's TM Case Could be Heard by the Supreme Court

Back in February of 2014, Walt Disney Co. (“Disney”) successfully upheld its cancellation proceeding of a registration for a rival PLAYDOM mark on the grounds that the owner, David Couture (“Couture”), was not using the mark...more

Party Over for Claimed Mardi Gras Bead Dog Trademarks - Nola Spice Designs, L.L.C. v. Haydel Enterprises, Inc., et. al.

Addressing issues of trademark validity and substantial similarity in a copyright infringement claim, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a district court’s grant of summary judgment that the challenged...more

NOPALEA Mark Merely Descriptive of a Product Derived from Nopalea Cactus - In Re TriVita, Inc.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB’s) decision that the trademark NOPALEA was descriptive of TriVita’s products, which contain juice from the nopal cactus....more

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