News & Analysis as of

Likelihood of Confusion

Captain Morgan Defeats Admiral Nelson in a Rum Branding Battle

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The victory in the fight between two rum competitors demonstrates that unregistered trade dress rights are alive and well in Canada, admissible survey evidence remains a useful tool for proving confusion, and a competing...more

4 Common Reasons for a Trademark Registration Refusal

by Revision Legal on

When someone applies for a federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is possible for the trademark registration application to be refused. While this is often disappointing,...more

How Much Fame Is Enough?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In its recent decision in Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit clarified the proper interpretation of the fame of the mark factor in determining whether there...more

Speedy Justice: Ttab Reverses Refusal To Register CROSBY QUIC-TAG

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in In re The Crosby Group LLC, Serial 86780353 (April 17 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the applicant’s CROSBY QUIC-TAG...more

Color Run Sues Competitive Race for Trademark Infringement

by Reed Smith on

Running-event company The Color Run, LLC filed suit last week against rival company My School Color Run, LLC for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin. Color Run asserts that My...more

Eagles Ltd. v. Hotel California Baja, LLC: Any Time Of Year, You Can Find Infringement Here

by Weintraub Tobin on

Recently, Eagles Ltd. (the “Eagles”), the entity in control of legendary rock band The Eagles’ business affairs, filed a lawsuit against Hotel California Baja, LLC for trademark infringement. While I’m sure most of us are...more

There are Few Absolutes In Likelihood of Confusion; Apparently Fame isn’t one of Them

In Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, [2016-1089] (May 24, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision denying cancellation of Fairmont’s Reg. No. 4213619 on the mark...more

Distillations: Respect Thy Neighbor (on the Shelf)

by Fish & Richardson on

Although it has refused to acknowledge a default rule, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) continues its recent trend of concluding that beer, wine, liquor, and other alcohol-based consumables are related for purposes...more

Evidence of Actual Confusion Is Not Determinative in Trademark Infringement Cases

by Bennett Jones LLP on

To succeed in a trademark infringement case, a plaintiff must prove a likelihood of confusion—that a casual consumer would likely be confused into thinking the source of the defendant's products or services is the same as or...more

Irish Butter Shortage Spreads Trademark Battle in Wisconsin

by Reed Smith on

A Wisconsin federal judge issued a temporary restraining order last month against a Wisconsin creamery for their use of the “Irishgold” Irish butter trademark and associated packaging. Irish dairy distributor Ornua Foods...more

Popcorn Makers Fight Over Use of “Skinny”

by Reed Smith on

Last month, snack food company Snyder’s-Lance filed a declaratory judgment action in North Carolina against Amplify Snack Brands and its SkinnyPop popcorn. Hours later, Amplify brought suit against Snyders-Lance in Texas,...more

Cava v. Champagne: A Trademark Lawyer’s Guide

Those of you attending the annual International Trademark Association conference in Barcelona may be drinking a glass of Cava right now and wondering: what makes sparkling wine different from regular wine, and what is the...more

The Katten Kattwalk | Issue 12

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Please see full Newsletter below for more information....more

Court Finds Infringement of THE KRUSTY KRAB Mark

by BakerHostetler on

In Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC, 2017 WL 1037294 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 17, 2017), Viacom successfully asserted common-law rights in the trademark THE KRUSTY KRAB for a fictional restaurant, which...more

MLB: A Monopoly on “Baseball”?

The weather is finally getting warmer up here in Minnesota and it’s a great time to watch baseball, as I’ve been doing frequently of late. It’s been fun watching my home team, the Twins, enjoy a strong start to the season...more

10 Trademark Cases About Yo Mama

Anna Jarvis led the efforts to establish the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1908, during which she honored her own mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, a Civil War-era social activist. But about a dozen years after...more

You Can’t Fake Confusion: A Lanham Act Lesson in Consumer Survey Design

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In Phelan Holdings, Inc. v. Rare Hospitality Management, Inc., a federal court in the Middle District of Florida recently held that consumers were unlikely to be completely at sea when distinguishing between two trademarks...more

Is This “The End” for Unicorn Beverages? Starbucks Sued Over Unicorn Frappuccino

by Fish & Richardson on

On May 3, 2017, a New York-based coffee and beverage shop by the name of The End Brooklyn filed suit in the Eastern District of New York against Starbucks Corporation asserting that the recent phenom UNICORN FRAPPUCCINO...more

Studios Fire Back: Fictional Publication Depicted in a Movie is Privileged Expressive Use

Following up a previous post about the February 2017 lawsuit filed by the Sporting Times against Orion Pictures for depicting a fictional magazine of the same title in a movie about the life of Bill “Spaceman” Lee, MGM has...more

Fearless Girl Must Stay

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In honor of International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors installed a statue of a Fearless Girl standing in front of Wall Street’s Charging Bull. The statue by artist Kristen Visbal was an overnight sensation,...more

No Marijuana in Margaritaville: TTAB Rejects Proposed “Marijuanaville” Mark

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent decision in an opposition proceeding before the TTAB demonstrates that the leisure industry is sometimes anything but laid back. Rights holders who may be wasting away in paradise can be roused to action when their...more

Non-Trademark Use is a Non-Infringing Use

In Oaklawn Jockety Club, Inc. v. Kentucky_Downs, LLC, [16-5582] (Sixth Circuit April 19, 2017), the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court dismissal of plaintiff’s trademark infringement action because defendant’s use of...more

Policing the Trademark Playground and Calling Out Bullies

The prevailing defendant in Louis Vuitton v. My Other Bag, LLC (previously blogged about in Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag), in a Motion filed on April 7 in the Southern District of New York (Case 1:14-cv-03419-JMF...more

Marijuanaville v. Margaritaville: Registering Trademarks For Chemically Induced Mental Paradises

Although marijuana is becoming legal to varying degrees in an increasing number of states, your chances of getting a marijuana trademark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are still grim. In...more

Why Brand Owners Need to Keep a Paper Trail

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Good evidence wins cases. In a trademark opposition, evidence demonstrating how and for how long a mark has been used in commerce (for example, on hangtags, labels, packaging, signage, invoices and online platforms) can be...more

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