Trade Dress

News & Analysis as of

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Wine, Vodka and a Little Karaoke

Copyright Opinions - Eleventh Circuit Seeks Florida High Court's Guidance on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings: Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., No. 15-13100 (11th Cir. June 29, 2016) - Anderson, J. In a suit...more

How Trade Dress Can Help Game Developers Level Up

As game developers continue to face both the threat of having their games cloned and accusations that they too are cloning games, it is increasingly important for developers to understand the safeguards that intellectual...more

Corporate Logos and Copyright: Another Bite at the IP Apple

Can a corporation protect its logo by copyright as well as by trademark law? Traditionally, when one thinks of works protected by the law of copyright, one thinks of substantial works of authorship such as a novel, a...more

Can You Identify Your Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a type of trademark intellectual property right that can protect almost any unique identifying aesthetic design used by a company, from the shape of a product, to the appearance of a website, to the decor of a...more

Modtruss Stumbles on “Same” Problem with Battlefrog Obstacles - Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief Denied

This post follows up on this post on Judge Ross’s Order of June 6, 2016, in which she allowed Modtruss, Inc. (“Modtruss”), to clarify its intent with regard to a prior motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary...more

Service Trade Dress?

When most people of think of trade dress protection they primarily think of a good. Generally, protecting a product’s configuration, which can never be inherently distinctive, or a product’s packaging, which can be inherently...more

Business Litigation Reporter - June 2016

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Design Patents and Trade Dress

I often get asked by clients to discuss the differences between design patents and trade dress. Both are intellectual property protections that protect similar aspects of a product—the appearance and aesthetic features. Last...more

Cal PUC Issues New Rules for TNCs

At the voting meeting on April 21, the California Public Utilities Commission approved new regulations impacting the operations of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Lyft and Uber, within California. The “Phase...more

Ninth Circuit Decision Finds Side-By-Side Medical Results Charts Arguably Non-Functional and Protectable Trade Dress

The Ninth Circuit recently considered whether the layout of a medical report can be protected as trade dress under the Lanham Act, or whether the layout of a report is merely functional. The subject case, Millennium...more

Drilling Down: Court Invalidates Design Patent on Wellbore Centralizer Due to Lack of Ornamentality

In an unusual patent claim construction order on March 2nd, a federal district court held a design patent invalid for functionality. This is a relatively rare outcome because claim construction in design patent cases is often...more

New York Court Holds Insurer Not Entitled to Pro Rata Allocation of Defense Costs

In its recent decision in High Point Design, LLC v. LM Ins. Corp., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12690 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2016), the United State District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to consider how and...more

Acquired Distinctiveness of Trademarks in the United States

Business enterprises often prefer to adopt trademarks that describe the company’s goods or services because they require less of an investment to develop the brand and educate the target consumer. This is in contrast to...more

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles

On December 2, 2016, Pepperidge Farm sued Trader Joe’s for infringement and dilution of the “famous and unique Milano® cookie configuration trademark. Civil Action 3:15-cv-0174-AWT in the District of Connecticut. While the...more

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

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