Likelihood of Confusion

News & Analysis as of

Trademark Review - December 2014

The TTAB Sets the Rules for Pleading Abandonment of a Section 66(a) Registration - VENM seeks registration of the mark VENM for dance costumes. Dragon Bleu opposed registration of VENM’s mark based on 3 earlier...more

Practice Tips For Determining Likelihood of Confusion – Factors to Consider When Assigning Similarity of Trademarks

When reviewing any new trademark application, one of the first issues an Examiner will address is whether or not there is a “likelihood of confusion” between the new mark and any other mark that is already registered with the...more

Trademark Trends: Back-to-Back Arguments in Trademark Cases at SCOTUS

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in trademark cases on consecutive days this month. On December 2, 2014, the issue of whether a finding by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of likelihood of confusion precludes...more

An Energized Trademark Monster?

Three months ago we discussed a “trademark bullying” allegation against Monster Energy, detailed in a declaratory judgment complaint filed in Montana federal district court by energy-drink competitor Victory Energize....more

Supreme Court Corner: Q4 2014

KIMBLE V. MARVEL ENTERPRISES, INC. Patent Licensing - Cert. Pending - Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., which held “a patentee’s use of a royalty agreement that projects...more

The Great Bottle Battle – Coke vs Pepsi

On 28 November 2014, the Federal Court of Australia (Court) dismissed claims of trade mark infringement, misleading or deceptive conduct and passing off made by The Coca-Cola Company (Coke) against PepsiCo Inc, PepsiCo...more

Trademark Tacking – A Question Of Law Or Fact

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank (Docket No. 13-1211), pertaining to the doctrine of trademark tacking. Tacking allows a company to create a revised,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Over the Preclusive Effect of Administrative Trademark Determinations on Future...

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument last week in a much anticipated trademark matter, B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc. et al. The primary question presented was whether a likelihood-of-confusion...more

A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer: Our 2014 Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages

If you are hosting or attending a party this holiday season, you probably need to pick up something to drink. This year, why not pick up a conversation starter as well? See if your local liquor store (in our neck of the...more

Channeling Justice Ginsburg of U.S. Supreme Court on the Right to Register a Trademark

We sounded the alarm exactly six months ago about a trademark case of great importance to brand owners: B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case, and here is...more

Wrigley Opposes Registration of “WTF” Mark

Imagine you’re standing in the checkout aisle of your local grocery store, and as your eyes wander across the display of tasty treats and candy confections you spot the mark WTF. Would you be offended? ...more

Look Beyond the Registration to Determine Likelihood of Confusion

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's recent decision in Anthropologie, Inc. and Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc. v. Happy Green Company LLC is a good reminder of why, when...more

MarkIt to Market - November 2014

The November issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter includes a case study on bona fide intent to use, a resolution to Anthropologie's opposition to the mark, and an updated list of the Sunrise periods...more

Trademark Review: Nationstar, L.A.M.B., and Cinderella (November 2014)

Post Bose: The TTAB Cancels a Registration on the Ground of Fraud - Nationstar opposed an application for NATIONSTAR filed by an individual named Mujahid Ahmad. Nationstar claimed Mr. Ahmad committed fraud on the U.S....more

Trademark Cases Pending Before the U.S. Supreme Court

In December, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments on two trademark cases: B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. and Hana Financial v. Hana Bank. These cases address the issues of whether a...more

Federal Government Wins Trademark Battle to Shut Down “Voice of America” Website with “Undeniable Governmental Aesthetic”

Since its first broadcast on February 1, 1942, the Voice of America radio service (VOA) has aired countless hours of programming in dozens of languages to what is currently an estimated global audience of over 100 million...more

Supreme Court Told That TTAB Preclusion Raises Constitutional Concerns

As reported in our September 23 Client Alert, the Supreme Court is set to hear argument on December 2 on the issue of whether likelihood of confusion findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) are entitled to...more

Will Montana-Based Victory Energize Win Its “Trademark Bully” Charge Against Monster?

Last week more allegations of “trademark bullying” appeared in the headlines. This time, Victory Energize, an energy drink company based in Missoula, Montana, is calling out Monster Energy for sending a cease and desist...more

Second Circuit Clarifies the Use of Legal Presumptions of Consumer Confusion and Injury in Certain Lanham Act Cases

On Tuesday, July 29, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “clarified certain aspects of [its] false advertising jurisprudence” and held that, where literal falsity and deliberate deception have been...more

Dethroning a Right to Register a Trademark?

Last month, you will recall we wrote about the important difference between the right to register a trademark and the right to use a trademark...more

Supreme Court To Decide Preclusive Effect of TTAB Decisions on Subsequent Court Actions

Last week the Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether decisions of the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) concerning likelihood of confusion preclude relitigating that issue in subsequent infringement...more

UPDATE: U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide What Preclusive Effect, If Any, Should Be Given to Likelihood of Confusion Findings by the...

As we reported in our May 29 client alert, the Solicitor General submitted an amicus brief recommending that the Supreme Court grant a petition for certiorari seeking a determination of whether likelihood of confusion...more

Flummoxed By FLANAX: TTAB Cancels Trademark Registration Based On Misrepresentation As To Source Despite No Use In U.S. By...

In an interesting precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) canceled a registration for FLANAX despite the fact that the petitioner, Bayer Consumer Care AG, did not use FLANAX in the United States,...more

STONE LION CAPITAL Likely to Cause Consumer Confusion with LION and LION CAPITAL

Stone Lion Capital Partners, L.P. v. Lion Capital LLP - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decisions sustaining an opposition to registration of the mark...more

Bait-And-Switch Trademark Case Defines Limits Of Initial Interest Confusion

In its recent decision in Sussman-Automatic v. Spa World, the Eastern District of New York dismissed a plaintiff’s trademark infringement claims, while allowing its claims for false advertising based on the same conduct to...more

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