Lanham Act Trademarks

News & Analysis as of

Are Things Getting Nutty at the USPTO?

As we enter the Thanksgiving and holiday season this year, it is particularly apropos to ponder the following question: Is the TTAB going nuts? Congress tells us that the PTO cannot register trademarks that are scandalous...more


In appealing the cancellation of six trademarks, the Washington Redskins filed their opening brief in the Fourth Circuit this week. Cancellation of the team’s REDSKINS trademarks was upheld by a federal district court in...more

TTAB Makes Double Brown Ale Open to Nut Sack Mark

In a ruling bound to please 15 year-old boys everywhere, the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) reversed the Examining Attorney’s refusal to register the trademark NUT SACK DOUBLE BROWN ALE (in standard character...more

Amazon Wins Ruling on Results for Searches on Brands It Doesn’t Sell

On October 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled that online retailer Amazon does not violate the Lanham Act when, in response to a search for a brand it doesn’t sell, it returns a results page that fails to disclose that fact...more

Federal Labor Officials Step Into the Lion’s Den

Two top federal labor officials engaged in a spirited dialog with two franchise lawyer moderators at the American Bar Association’s annual Forum on Franchising in New Orleans on October 16.  The topic: whether the National...more

Is There Hope for the Washington Redskins' Trademarks After All?

We’ve been following the Washington Redskins’ trademark battle pretty closely, writing about it several times already. You may remember that the team had its federal trademark registrations cancelled last summer under Section...more

Reality Check: What Marcus Lemonis Learned About Purchasing Intellectual Property That Your Business Should Too

Entrepreneur and reality television star Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s The Profit, has learned a tough lesson about contract law. With a business strategy that makes every lawyer cringe, Lemonis prides himself on having made...more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 08

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Letter From the Editor - Fashion Week has come and...more

Conflicting State and Federal Laws May Result in Crippling Blows to Business in the Marijuana Industry

As of October 2015, four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The recreational marijuana movement—although slow in terms of states following by legalizing use—has had...more

Of Slants, Skins and Signs: The Coming First Amendment Showdown

Are we heading for a constitutional showdown over Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act? Will the Supreme Court strike down this prohibition on disparaging marks as an abridgement of First Amendment rights? It is certainly...more

Third Circuit Deciphers Proper Standard for Evidence of Actionable Confusion - Arrowpoint Capital Corp. v. Arrowpoint Asset Mgmt.,...

Addressing the standard for actionable confusion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction for limiting what constitutes actionable...more

Proof of Confusion Essential for Trademark Injunction - Arborjet, Inc. v. Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements, Inc.

Addressing the likelihood of success requirement for injunctive relief, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated an order requiring trademark attribution where the district court had not found a likelihood of...more

Washington Redskins Continue to Fight Cancellation of its Federal Registration

The Washington Redskins are putting up a serious fight against the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (“TTAB”) decision to cancel its federal registration for the mark ‘REDSKINS’ because of the mark being disparaging in...more

Can a Google Search Save Your Company $5 Million?

It sounds like a scam, but I swear, there is some truth to this headline. Just ask Hasbro, Inc., the owner of the Littlest Pet Shop line of toy animal figurines. If you have never seen one before, below is an example of two...more

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

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

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