Likelihood of Confusion

News & Analysis as of

The Second Circuit Re-Visits Dawn Donut and the Geographic Scope of Injunctive Relief in Trademark Cases

More than half a century ago, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an influential decision in Dawn Donut Co. v. Hart’s Food Stores, Inc., concerning the proper scope of injunctive relief in a trademark...more

How to Infringe a Certification Mark – The Second Circuit Counts the Ways

We blogged last week about a recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. v. Security University, LLC, in which the Court...more

Intellectual Property Law - June 2016

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: An Overview - Why it matters: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was signed into law on May 11, 2016 and gives trade secret owners a federal cause of action for injunctive...more

Eight is Not Enough: Second Circuit Adopts Eleven Factor Nominative Fair Use Test in Certification Mark Case

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (known as ISC2) is a non-profit organization that owns a registered certification mark for the term CISSP® (meaning “Certified Information Systems...more

Nominative Fair Use of a Trademark: The Second Circuit Weighs In

If a defendant in a trademark case uses the plaintiff’s trademark, not to identify the defendant’s own products, but rather to refer accurately to the plaintiff’s products, is that trademark infringement? Called “nominative...more

Fighting Over “Nothing”: The Trademark Battle Over Zero

Several big beverage makers recently took each other on in a consolidated proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In the case of Royal Crown...more

Amazon’s clear labelling defeats MTM trademark claims

The US Supreme Court has denied certiorari for the Ninth Circuit decision in Multi Time Machine Inc (MTM) v Amazon.com Inc on February 29 2016, which held that Amazon did not infringe MTM’s trademark in its presentation of...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Sibling Rivalry, Grilled Meat and Attorneys' Fees

Copyright Opinions - Sixth Circuit Upholds Siblings' Termination of Brother's Copyright Assignment: Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-5429 (6th Cir. May 16, 2016) - Sutton, J. In a declaratory...more

Second Circuit Highlights Splits on Nominative Trademark Fair Use

The Second Circuit disagrees with sister circuits and rejects arguments that nominative fair use is an affirmative defense that is available even when confusion is likely and that the traditional nominative fair use analysis...more

Second Circuit Weighs in on Nominative Fair Use

The federal courts of appeals have split as to how to apply the doctrine of nominative fair use in trademark infringement cases. Last week, the Second Circuit endorsed the nominative fair use factors used by the Ninth and...more

Law à la Mode: Whose Name is it Anyway?

Designing under your own name is a natural, even intuitive choice for many designers and is an established practice in the fashion industry. ...more

Trademark Litigation Keeps Getting Cheaper (If You Win)

Slowly but surely, the extension of the Supreme Court’s 2014 Octane Fitness v. LLC v. Icon Health and Fitness, Inc. decision to trademark claims is gaining traction among federal appellate courts. The Octane Fitness decision...more

Trademark Review | April 2016

Broad JAWS Registration Devours JAWS Cooking Channel - Mr. Recipe’s applications to register the marks JAWS and JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER were refused based on the earlier registration for JAWS, the movie. Mr. Recipe’s...more

Is Evidence of Confusion Really Necessary to Succeed in a Trademark Infringement Case?

It is not every day that a massive international TV hit show is found to infringe a trade mark. A decision of the English High Court, approved recently by the Court of Appeal, held that the popular 20th Century Fox teenage...more

Panera and Great Harvest Argue over Tagline

Panera Bread and the Great Harvest Bread Co. will not be breaking bread together anytime soon. To the contrary, Great Harvest recently filed a trademark lawsuit against Panera over Panera’s “food as it should be” campaign,...more

Adblock, Generic for Ad Blocking?

AdBlock Plus doesn’t seem to think so. Though they apparently also do think so (more on that below). Adblock Plus was successful in registering the ADBLOCK PLUS mark. Now they’re using that registration to issue take down...more

Court Silences Sound Spark Studios’ Trademark Claims

In the summer of 2012, Jeremy Southgate applied with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register a design mark for “Sound Spark Studios.” A little over a year-and-a-half later, Southgate formed Sound Spark...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: FLANAX, Fishing Tackle, Football Players and More

Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions - Trademark Opinions - Owners of Foreign Marks May Sue Under Lanham Act Without Using Marks in the US: Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,...more

T.T.A.B. Emphasizes the Fame of the Movie ‘Jaws’ in Its Refusal to Register a Cooking Show’s Mark

On March 16, 2016, the TTAB affirmed the refusals of an applicant’s mark, JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER, for online streaming cooking shows, holding that it is confusingly similar to the registered mark from the movie JAWS. Though...more

SEC Alleges LLC Names Were “Deceptively Similar”, But What Would The California SOS Do?

Yesterday, the SEC announced that it had filed a complaint against a securities professional alleging that he had defrauded “two institutions he solicited to invest in a shell company he controlled whose name was deceptively...more

Trademark Review | March 2016

TTAB Finds a Consent Agreement Failed to Tip the Balance - Bay State Brewing Company’s intent-to-use application to register the mark TIME TRAVELER BLONDE for beer was rejected based on the previously registered mark...more

CARRERA’s Trademark Reputation: “Luxury, High Tech, High Performance and Success”

The German carmaker, Porsche AG, which designed the iconic 911 Carrera sports car, owns the European Union and German “CARRERA” word mark, registered for “automobiles” in class 12. How far beyond automobiles does the...more

Drilling Down: Court Invalidates Design Patent on Wellbore Centralizer Due to Lack of Ornamentality

In an unusual patent claim construction order on March 2nd, a federal district court held a design patent invalid for functionality. This is a relatively rare outcome because claim construction in design patent cases is often...more

Similar Marks Used for Wine & Beer – Confusing or Not?

After a few of either, the likelihood of confusion may no doubt increase. But in a recent sober judgment, the U.S. Trademark Office ruled that REUBEN’S BREWS for beer is not likely to be confused with RUBENS for wine....more

TTAB Relents: Board Agrees to Vacate Likelihood of Confusion Finding at District Court’s Direction

Last week, the TTAB agreed to vacate a precedential decision at the direction of a district court judge putting an end (for now) to a stand-off between the administrative body and the federal judiciary. As we have previously...more

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