Likelihood of Confusion

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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