News & Analysis as of

Lanham Act Trademarks

Tea Rose, Swiss Cheese and Slam Dunk Evidence of Infringement – The 9th Circuit Weighs in on Remote Geographic Trademark Users

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

When two different companies adopt confusingly similar trademarks and use them in different parts of the United States, complications ensue. The adjudication of the respective rights of the parties will depend on the...more

Ninth Circuit Confirms Willfulness is Required to Award Profits in Trademark Cases

by Fenwick & West LLP on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its commitment to the rule that willfulness is a prerequisite for disgorgement of a trademark infringer’s profits in Stone Creek v. Omnia Italian Design, Case No....more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2017

SCOTUS: For Patent Venue, Domestic Corporations ‘Reside’ Where Incorporated - Why it matters: On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC—rejecting...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

Three Questions from the Supreme Court’s Decision on “Offensive” Trademarks

by Dickinson Wright on

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Trademark Office may not refuse federal registration to a trademark merely because the mark is “disparaging.” The decision has attracted a lot of media attention, much of it...more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

No Trademark Genericide: GOOGLE Is Not “a Google”

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a point to remind trademark litigants of the relevant laws and policies pertaining to trademark “genericide” when it sustained summary judgment in favor of ubiquitous search...more

Supreme Court Rules Trademarks are Protected by First Amendment's Free Speech Clause

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Trademarks do not constitute government speech, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled. Instead, trademarks qualify as speech protected by the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. As a result, the government cannot reject a...more

Default Determination Highlights The Importance Of Alleging Every Element

by Jones Day on

A recent ITC decision, stemming from a default initial determination, underscores the importance of alleging every element in a complaint. 19 U.S.C. § 1337(g)(l) provides that the Commission, when making a determination on...more

Offensive Trademarks Are Protected Free Speech Under The First Amendment

by Weintraub Tobin on

Simon Tam is the lead singer of the rock group call “The Slants’, which is composed of Asian-Americans. Tam applied for federal trademark registration of the band’s name. While the term “slants” is a derogatory term for...more

Google Escapes Genericide Claim in Ninth Circuit Decision

On May 16, 2017, the Ninth Circuit rejected a petition for cancellation of the GOOGLE trademark based on a “genericide” theory that claimed Google should lose its trademark protection because the word “google” has become...more

Matal v. Tam: Supreme Court Rules USPTO Prohibition of Offensive Marks Based On Disparagement Clause Is Unconstitutional Under...

Historically, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has refused to register trademarks considered to be offensive in that they disparaged a particular person, group or institution. Now the PTO cannot deny the...more

What’s In a Name?

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

On June 19, 2017, Justice Samuel A. Alito, delivered the unanimous opinion of the United States Supreme Court (the “Court”) in Matal v Tam, No. 15-1293, Oct. Term, 2016, argued January 18, 2017. Simply stated, the Court...more

Win or Lose: Appellants of PTO Decisions in District Court Must Pay Attorneys' Fees

by Jones Day on

On June 23, 2017, the Federal Circuit held in NantKwest v. Matal that patent applicants seeking review of a decision from the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") to the district court must pay the PTO's legal...more

Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by Perkins Coie on

In a much anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017) that a provision of the Lanham Act banning the registration of marks considered disparaging to “persons, institutions,...more

Three Point Shot - June 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

"12th Man" Suit Forces Aggies to Call an Audible on Traditional Copyright Defenses - Texas A&M University's "12th Man" is at the center of a legal blitz facing the University's Athletic Department. On January 19, 2017,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statute Outlawing Disparaging Trademarks

by Akin Gump - Excubitor on

On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam that a statute banning registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court’s invalidating the statute should...more

Is Foster’s Australian for False Advertising?

While trademark infringement is the headliner for claims brought under the Lanham Act, the law also precludes false advertising and unfair competition. Most states also have laws addressing deceptive trade practices...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Trademark Registrations Are Free to Disparage

by Dickinson Wright on

Justice Alito’s summary opinion announced in Court Monday morning, in what has come to be known as the Slants case (Matel v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017), was short and sweet but the trademark applications we can expect...more

Supreme Court Rules On Disparaging Trademarks

by Revision Legal on

For decades, the USPTO has denied registration to trademarks that are disparaging and offensive to specific racial or ethnic groups under the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. The United States Supreme Court recently...more

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Say ®

On June 19, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a provision of the Lanham Act prohibiting federal registration of disparaging trademarks. The Court’s ruling in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___, No. 15-1298 (June 19,...more

Supreme Court: First Amendment Protects “Disparaging” Trademarks

Since its enactment as the basic federal law on trademarks in 1946, the Lanham Act has prohibited the registration of “derogatory” trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). On June 19, 2017, the...more

Brands that Bite - The Supreme Court unanimously rules that the First Amendment forbids the Trademark Office from refusing to...

By striking down the “disparagement clause,” a 70-year-old provision of federal trademark law, the Supreme Court’s ruling this week in Matal v. Tam has the potential to change the ways in which people conceive, market,...more

Supreme Court Holds Statute Banning Registration of Disparaging Marks Violates the First Amendment

by Brinks Gilson & Lione on

This past Monday, June 19, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). Section...more

Of Slants, Skins, And Signs: Section 2(a) Prohibition of Disparaging Trademark Registrations Struck Down!

Well, that happened! According to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Matal v. Tam, Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which purports to prohibit the registration of marks that “disparage . . . persons,” is unconstitutional. ...more

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