Trade Dress

News & Analysis as of

The Who, What, and "Wares" of Wearable Technology - Protect Your Morphing Products

In years past, "wearable technology" was pretty much limited to wristwatches and miners' headlamps. Today, wearable technology is one of the fastest growing segments in the technology marketplace. Countless consumer products...more

Adidas Means Business: Sues Skechers for Copycat Sneakers

Just coming off the heels of the lawsuit it filed against Marc by Marc Jacobs on April 8, 2015, adidas America, Inc., adidas AG, and adidas International Marketing B.V. (collectively, “adidas”) filed suit against Skechers...more

Comparison of Design Patent and Trade Dress Protection in Light of the Federal Circuit’s Decision in Apple v. Samsung

In a decision authored by Chief Judge Sharon Prost, the Federal Circuit held that while design patents covering product configurations – that is, “a product feature or a combination or arrangement of features” – can protect...more

Apple Takes Us Back to PENCIL and PAPER

If you are a member of the Cult of Apple, like tech, or even just watch the news, you’re probably aware that yesterday was Apple’s big fall event where they announce new product launches and updates. The event showcased a...more

Lego Adds a “Brick” to its Enforcement Strategy

The Danish Lego Group is no stranger to trademark disputes. Understandably, Lego enforces its rights in the LEGO mark against third-parties who use LEGO without their permission. Lego also claims trade dress rights in product...more

Business Litigation Report - August 2015

Extradition for U.S. Antitrust Crimes: An Anomaly or the New Normal? - In April 2014, Germany extradited Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national, to the United States to face criminal charges related to his alleged...more

August 2015: Trademark/Copyright Litigation Update

Federal Circuit Invalidates Apple’s iPhone Trade Dresses as Functional. On May 18, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a judgment of the Northern District of California that Samsung had diluted Apple’s...more

Two Prong Protection is the Best Approach for Product Configuration

It has long been possible to use both trade dress and design patent rights to protect three-dimensional designs that function as trademarks. One strategy has been to rely on design patent protection while a three-dimensional...more

Individual Inventor Alleges Eli Lilly and BDA Overdosed on Patented Dosage Adherence Tool

In the latest chapter of a year-long battle between an individual inventor and two companies, Lisa Duer (“Duer”), a resident of Woodstock, Georgia, filed her Third Amended Complaint alleging patent infringement, trademark...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - July 2015

The July issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter explains why two pronged protection is the best approach for product configuration, discusses the importance of coordination between legal and marketing...more

No “Apportionment” Requirement for Design Patent Damages - Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc.

Addressing the issue of damages for trade dress and design patents, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the bulk of Apple’s roughly $930 million damages award, noting that there is no apportionment...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

Design Patent Case Digest: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Decision Date: May 18, 2015 - Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - Patents: D593,087; D604,305; D618,677 - Holding: Judgment of trade dress dilution REVERSED; judgment of patent validity and...more

Trade Dress Updates: “Beauty” does not cut it

A recent decision of the US Federal Court (see: Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. May 18, 2015) reviewed the jury decision in Apple’s famous infringement lawsuit against Samsung. You may recall that Apple’s 2011...more

Political Speech, Trademarks And The Definition of “Goods or Services”

Last month witnessed the resolution of two trademark infringement cases involving the relationship between political activities and the definition of “goods or services.” On May 18, 2015, State Senator Steve Hershey gave up...more

Apple v. Samsung: Trade Dress Functionality and Total Profits without Apportionment

The highly publicized Apple v. Samsung litigation saga began in April 2011 when Samsung alleged various infringements of patents and trade dress related to Apple’s iPhone. A jury awarded more than $1 billion in damages. In a...more

Apple-Samsung Trade Dress Case Demonstrates Potential Value of Design Patents

A jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages after finding that smartphones sold by Samsung diluted Apple's trade dress and infringed Apple's design and utility patents. After a partial retrial limited to determining...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

No Acquiescence Defense in Fifth Circuit Without Significant Investment in Reliance - Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. v. Miller Oil &...

Clarifying that undue prejudice is a distinct requirement of the acquiescence defense, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s finding of acquiescence where the defendants failed to show...more

Single Color Mark — Functionality Does Not Necessarily Preclude Protectability

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Moldex-Metric, Inc. v. McKeon Products, Inc. clarifies that even when a single color trade dress has a function, and even when the color is marketed as such, this fact alone does not...more

MarkIt to Market | March 2015

The March issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter provides 5 considerations for prioritizing your global trademark protection, identifies takeaways from a recent trade dress decision, and provides an updated...more

Will #TheDress Impact Color Trademarks?

#TheDress phenomenon is about to shape the future of color trademarks and trade dress rights. You may recall, we have written a great deal on the subject of non-traditional trademark protection of colors, especially...more

Would You Feel Friendly Toward Freddy?

As the brand manager or trademark counsel for Friendly’s, would you be friendly toward Freddy’s? I remember the Friendly’s restaurant chain when we lived in Columbia, Maryland, back in the days when I clerked for a...more

Trademark Review | January 2015

Diageo Enforces Trade Dress Rights in its CROWN ROYAL Drawstring Bag - Diageo owns a registration for the mark CROWN ROYAL for whiskey. Diageo has sold its CROWN ROYAL whiskey in a purple drawstring bag for many...more

Apple Turnover Trade Dress Totally Flipped

As if we all haven’t already indulged a little too much over the holidays, we chose our first day back to write about non-traditional trademark protection for the configuration of single-serving apple pie pastries. It’s OK,...more

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