News & Analysis as of

Likelihood of Confusion

Mark Madness: Avoiding Trademark Landmines in College Sports

by Patrick Law Group, LLC on

Recently, the Washington Post reported on a Maryland high school’s thwarted attempt to expand its use of a green hornet mascot logo which resembles Georgia Tech’s famous “Buzz” mascot trademark. The Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets...more

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

The Ninth Circuit Writes the Script on Pleading and Proving Reverse Confusion Claims

by Fenwick & West LLP on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit clarified the requirements for pleading and establishing a trademark infringement claim under a “reverse confusion” theory in Marketquest Group v. BIC, Case No. 15-55755 (9th...more

Fame of a Mark Must Be Considered Along a Spectrum

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the standard for fame of a trademark, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, finding that the TTAB used an incorrect standard in its...more

You Are Suspended...Now What? Four Strategies for Dealing with Trademark Office Suspensions

It’s happened to the best of us -- the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") suspends action on an application based on a potential likelihood of confusion with a prior filed/pending application, essentially...more

PayPal v. Pandora: Is Music Streaming Related to Financial Services?

PayPal, one of the world’s largest online payment companies, has brought a trademark infringement suit against Pandora Media, Inc., the provider of an online music streaming service and application. PayPal alleges that its...more

Is Someone Illegally Using Your Trademark? The 8 Factor Trademark Infringement Test

by Revision Legal on

A court will apply the “likelihood of confusion” test in a trademark infringement suit. This is actually an umbrella term for several tests employed by the various federal circuits. However, most courts use a group of similar...more

It Started With A Mouse: TTAB Reverses Refusal Of Application By Me And The Mouse Travel

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in In re Me and the Mouse Travel LLC, Serial 76717725 (April 21 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that a mark combining the word ‘Mouse’ with the depiction of a narrow arm...more

United Airlines Grounds Complaint Website

by Bennett Jones LLP on

A joke does not work if it needs to be explained. While some complaint and parody websites may constitute fair dealing, close copying of trademarks and copyrighted works, combined with mean-spirited commentary, will not fly....more

Captain Morgan Defeats Admiral Nelson in a Rum Branding Battle

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The victory in the fight between two rum competitors demonstrates that unregistered trade dress rights are alive and well in Canada, admissible survey evidence remains a useful tool for proving confusion, and a competing...more

4 Common Reasons for a Trademark Registration Refusal

by Revision Legal on

When someone applies for a federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is possible for the trademark registration application to be refused. While this is often disappointing,...more

How Much Fame Is Enough?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In its recent decision in Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit clarified the proper interpretation of the fame of the mark factor in determining whether there...more

Speedy Justice: Ttab Reverses Refusal To Register CROSBY QUIC-TAG

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in In re The Crosby Group LLC, Serial 86780353 (April 17 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the applicant’s CROSBY QUIC-TAG...more

Color Run Sues Competitive Race for Trademark Infringement

by Reed Smith on

Running-event company The Color Run, LLC filed suit last week against rival company My School Color Run, LLC for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin. Color Run asserts that My...more

Eagles Ltd. v. Hotel California Baja, LLC: Any Time Of Year, You Can Find Infringement Here

by Weintraub Tobin on

Recently, Eagles Ltd. (the “Eagles”), the entity in control of legendary rock band The Eagles’ business affairs, filed a lawsuit against Hotel California Baja, LLC for trademark infringement. While I’m sure most of us are...more

There are Few Absolutes In Likelihood of Confusion; Apparently Fame isn’t one of Them

In Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, [2016-1089] (May 24, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision denying cancellation of Fairmont’s Reg. No. 4213619 on the mark...more

Distillations: Respect Thy Neighbor (on the Shelf)

by Fish & Richardson on

Although it has refused to acknowledge a default rule, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) continues its recent trend of concluding that beer, wine, liquor, and other alcohol-based consumables are related for purposes...more

Evidence of Actual Confusion Is Not Determinative in Trademark Infringement Cases

by Bennett Jones LLP on

To succeed in a trademark infringement case, a plaintiff must prove a likelihood of confusion—that a casual consumer would likely be confused into thinking the source of the defendant's products or services is the same as or...more

Irish Butter Shortage Spreads Trademark Battle in Wisconsin

by Reed Smith on

A Wisconsin federal judge issued a temporary restraining order last month against a Wisconsin creamery for their use of the “Irishgold” Irish butter trademark and associated packaging. Irish dairy distributor Ornua Foods...more

Popcorn Makers Fight Over Use of “Skinny”

by Reed Smith on

Last month, snack food company Snyder’s-Lance filed a declaratory judgment action in North Carolina against Amplify Snack Brands and its SkinnyPop popcorn. Hours later, Amplify brought suit against Snyders-Lance in Texas,...more

Cava v. Champagne: A Trademark Lawyer’s Guide

Those of you attending the annual International Trademark Association conference in Barcelona may be drinking a glass of Cava right now and wondering: what makes sparkling wine different from regular wine, and what is the...more

The Katten Kattwalk | Issue 12

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Please see full Newsletter below for more information....more

Court Finds Infringement of THE KRUSTY KRAB Mark

by BakerHostetler on

In Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC, 2017 WL 1037294 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 17, 2017), Viacom successfully asserted common-law rights in the trademark THE KRUSTY KRAB for a fictional restaurant, which...more

MLB: A Monopoly on “Baseball”?

The weather is finally getting warmer up here in Minnesota and it’s a great time to watch baseball, as I’ve been doing frequently of late. It’s been fun watching my home team, the Twins, enjoy a strong start to the season...more

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