Likelihood of Confusion

News & Analysis as of

Trademark Review | June 2015

Is PRETZEL CRISPS a Generic Term? Federal Circuit Resets Standard for Genericness - In an earlier precedential decision, the TTAB held there was a dichotomy in the standard for determining whether an applied-for mark...more

No Coke, Pepsi. No Infringement, Summary Judgment?

2015 was the 40th anniversary for the NBC comedy series, Saturday Night Live (SNL). After 40 years, a television show is bound to have a cultural impact. And one of the series’ most well known sketches involves Olympia...more

Going YARD with the VARO Brand for Batters?

Time spent with my boys in Omaha at the College World Series is hard to beat. Although, last year, Father’s Day weekend was hard to beat too. And, the archives indicate five years ago was pretty wonderful as well. Basically,...more

May Court Decision Round-Up

Nedschroef Detroit Corp. v. Bemas Ents. LLC, Case No. 14-10095, 2015 WL 2453511 (E.D. Mich. May 22, 2015). U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff Nedschroef Detroit Corp...more

IKEA Wins in pimpmyikea.com and Thirty Other Domain Name Challenges

Ikea Systems BV of the Netherlands filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the transfer of multiple domain names registered by Michael Herman, an individual located in North Carolina. These domains...more

The Adoption of a Competitor's Trademarks as Search Terms In Google AdWords May Not Be Such a Great Idea

Google AdWords and similar services display highly prioritized links as search results when someone enters a predetermined search term into a search engine. It wasn’t long after such services became available that companies...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q2 2015

B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. Trademark - Holding: A Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruling refusing registration on likelihood of confusion grounds can have preclusive effect on a district...more

Chinese Court Stuns New Balance with $16 Million Verdict: Lessons on Doing Business in China

On April 24, 2015, Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in south China’s Guangdong Province stunned Xinbailun Trade (China) Co., the local sales company for the well-known U.S. sports brand New Balance, with a $16...more

Facebook vs. DESIGNBOOK: Is Anybody Watching?

One might assume that Facebook, the ubiquitous social media platform that aggregates and analyzes nearly 1 billion users‘ data, would know every nook and cranny of the USPTO trademark database. Apparently, that’s not quite...more

Heinz Seeks “Smart” De Novo Review In Light Of B&B Hardware

H.J. Heinz Co. (“Heinz”) filed a federal lawsuit recently against Boulder Brands USA (“Boulder”) seeking to vacate and reverse a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision finding that Boulder’s SMART BALANCE trademark is not...more

Changes in Russian Trademark Law

Brand owners interested in protecting their intellectual property in Russia should be aware of two recent important changes to Russian trademark law. A win for senior trademark rights holder: Publication of trademark...more

Supreme Court Holds that Issue Preclusion May Apply to TTAB Decisions

In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court held on March 24, 2015, that issue preclusion may apply to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decisions. The case, B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries,...more

Skype and Sky trademark: does the ruling of the General Court of the EU really end the dispute?

Recently, the General Court of the European Union dismissed Skype action against the decision of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) confirming that there is a likelihood of confusion between the...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

Likelihood of Preclusion: Fallout From the Supreme Court Ruling on Likely Confusion

Move over likelihood of confusion, there is another sheriff in town, at least when it comes to looking for guidance on best practices and strategic considerations for a brand owner’s clearance, registration, protection and...more

The Bryant Park Hotel Denied Preliminary Injunction in Trademark Dispute

The Bryant Park Hotel has been using its registered trademarks, including the well-known mark THE BRYANT PARK HOTEL, in connection with hotel, restaurant, and bar services since 2001, but U.S. District Judge Rakoff found that...more

SCOTUS Opts Not To Remand Case Raising Preclusion Question Answered in B&B Hardware

On April 27, the Supreme Court surprisingly denied certiorari in Escamilla v. M2 Tech., Inc., U.S., No. 14-1012 rather than remanding the case for further consideration in light of the High Court's recent decision in B&B...more

Mattel v Zynga – Court of Appeal rules in SCRABBLE dispute

The English Court of Appeal recently overturned a High Court decision and found that Mattel’s SCRAMBLE Community trade mark is valid and had been infringed by Zynga’s use of SCRAMBLE and SCRAMBLE WITH FRIENDS as signs for...more

Trademark Review | April 2015

The Supreme Court Rules TTAB Findings May Have Preclusive Effect in Later Federal Court Proceedings - B&B and Hargis have long contested each other’s rights in the mark "SEALTIGHT" for fasteners. B&B was the first to...more

Chicago Cubs Make News Again with Trademark Lawsuit

The Chicago Cubs have been in the news lately relating to its legal battle over its new advertising signs with the surrounding rooftop bars and investors. However, the Chicago Cubs have also initiated a brand new lawsuit...more

Supreme Court Holds that TTAB Decisions May Have Preclusive Effect, Raising Stakes for Trademark Agency Proceedings

On March 24, the US Supreme Court issued a decision that is likely to raise the stakes of proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). In B&B Hardware, Inc.v. Hargis Industries, Inc., No. 13-352 (March 24,...more

Britto v. Apple: Utilizing the IP Kitchen Sink

Can an artist’s particular style of art constitute both copyrightable expression and trade dress? Brazilian artist Romero Britto has filed suit against two artists known as “Craig & Karl” for copyright infringement —...more

Supreme Court Decision Gives Preclusive Effect to TTAB Rulings

Opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) may take on additional significance after the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries, No. 13-352,...more

Why Trademark Owners Should Care about the B&B Hardware Decision

On March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court decided the case of B&B Hardware v. Hargis Indus. This case represented a long-standing trademark battle brought in both federal court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...more

Supreme Court’s B&B Hardware ruling creates the potential for court deference to the TTAB — but will it happen?

Did TTAB proceedings — until now considered a relatively obscure branch of IP litigation, conducted before an administrative body of which most attorneys are blissfully unaware — just assume greater importance? That seems...more

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