Likelihood of Confusion

News & Analysis as of

Use of Competitors’ Trademarks as Google AdWords is not Infringement

The British Columbia Supreme Court has decided that the use of a competitor’s trademarks in Google AdWords does not constitute infringement. In Vancouver Community College v Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc.,...more

B&B Hardware v. Hargis – What it Means and How it will Affect TTAB Litigation

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a decision that may significantly impact how Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) cases are litigated and whether potential litigants elect to forego TTAB litigation in certain...more

No More Pussy-Footing Around: Consider Marks as a Whole in Light of Third-Party Uses

In Jack Wolfskin Aurrustung for Fraussen GmbH & Co. LGAA v. New Millennium Sports, S.L.U, [2014-1789] August 19, 2015, the Federal Circuit affirmed that New Millennium had not abandoned its mark by making changes to its...more

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

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

A Handmade Dismissal for Maker’s Mark

A recent decision from the Southern District of California demonstrates the uphill battle consumer lawsuits face when challenging “handmade” or “handcrafted” labels on alcoholic beverages. On July 27, 2015, in Nowrouzi et...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

Advertising Law - August 2015 #2

FDA Wants to Pour Some Sugar on the Nutrition Label - Adding to the proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label—the first tweaks in 20 years—the Food and Drug Administration has suggested yet another: adding the...more

Trademarks in the Crosshairs: Non-Trademark Use of a Descriptive Term - Sorensen v. WD-40 Co.

Addressing likelihood of confusion and the fair use defense in a trademark infringement suit pertaining to corrosion inhibitors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment...more

Business Litigation Report - July 2015

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

Peace, Love, and Lawyers

In Juice Generation, Inc. v, GS Enterprises, LLC, [2014-1853] (July 20, 2015), the Federal Circuit vacated a TTAB decision sustaining GS Enterprises’ opposition to Juice Generation’s application to register PEACE LOVE AND...more

Air Jordan Grounded in China

Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Beyond his five MVP trophies and six NBA championship rings, however Jordan also was the one of the most widely marketed athletic...more

Trademark Review | July 2015

Applicant’s Application for Concurrent Use Registration of DELMONICO’S is Denied Due to Likelihood of Confusion with Other Restaurants - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) refused Southwestern Management’s...more

"Want Coke? Buy Pepsi!” Is This Confusing?

Suppose you walk into a greasy cheeseburger joint and ask for a Coke®. A cook who looks remarkably like the late John Belushi doesn’t say, “No Coke; Pepsi.” Instead, he says, “You want Coke? Have a Pepsi!” and you buy the...more

At The Corner of Trademarks and Confusion

Even in the age of the Internet, the geographic use of a trademark is an important consideration in determining whether your mark is likely to confuse consumers as to the source of your goods or services. Geographic...more

Trademarks on the Internet: Are Consumers Really this Clueless?

Are you unaware of the difference between search engine searches and the search results? Do you believe that a search engine can read your mind and return exactly (and only) the results you expect to receive? Is this your...more

Trademark Owners Sue Amazon for Showing Competing Products

On July 6, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled, in a published opinion,  that Amazon will have to go to trial in a trademark lawsuit for what many have alleged are confusing search results. In Multi...more

Evidence of Likelihood of Confusion: A Brief Overview

When attempting to prove a trademark infringement claim the fundamental inquiry is whether the defendant’s use of its mark is “likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive.” 15 U.S.C.A. § 1114(1). The...more

Advertising Law - July 2015

Try, Try Again: Lawmakers Reintroduce Do Not Track Kids Act - A group of federal lawmakers reintroduced the Do Not Track Kids Act, a bill to amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), with some changes...more

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

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