News & Analysis as of

Trade Dress

Meow- Copycat Fur and Bows - Forever 21 Stares Down Puma

by Knobbe Martens on

As discussed in our previous blog post Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision, Puma sued Forever 21 for design patent infringement, trade...more

Default Determination Highlights The Importance Of Alleging Every Element

by Jones Day on

A recent ITC decision, stemming from a default initial determination, underscores the importance of alleging every element in a complaint. 19 U.S.C. § 1337(g)(l) provides that the Commission, when making a determination on...more

Sweet as Candy? Sugarfina takes Competitor to Court

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

On June 15th, Sugarfina Inc. (“Sugarfina”), a gourmet candy boutique, sued one of its competitors, Sweet Pete’s LLC (“Sweet Pete’s”), accusing Sweet Pete’s of trade dress, copyright, trademark, and patent infringement, as...more

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

Captain Morgan makes Admiral Nelson’s walk the plank

by Smart & Biggar on

Smart & Biggar prevails at trial on behalf of Diageo in trade dress case. On June 12, 2017, the Federal Court issued its 99-page decision in Diageo Canada Inc v Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc et al, 2017 FC 571. The Court...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | June 2017 #3

FDA Delays Compliance Date for Nutrition Facts Labeling - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will postpone the deadline for food companies to use a revised Nutrition Facts label on packaged...more

The Top Hits: Fashion Cases with a Big Impact

by Knobbe Martens on

Over the last year, there have been some significant trademark and copyright cases in the fashion industry. Below are summaries of recent cases all brand owners should know and understand. These cases touch on important...more

Promise to Arbitrate Claims “Arising Under” is Narrower than Promise to Arbitrate Claims “Relating to” Agreement

In Evans v. Building Materials Corporation of America, [2016-2427](June 5, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of a motion to dismiss a complaint for patent infringement and trade dress infringement....more

Have You Been Duped?

by Knobbe Martens on

In the fashion and beauty world, the copying of higher-priced brands is widespread. While in fashion, the term for copies of designer products is “knockoffs,” in beauty, the term is “dupes.” Whether it is a colloquial use of...more

A Multi-Layered Approach to Packaging Protection

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

The way in which a product looks or how it is packaged and sold can often be a driving force in the consumer’s purchasing decision. Yet, the intellectual property rights available for product designs and packaging are...more

Inadequate Disclosures Preclude Monetary Damages Recovery in Trademark Infringement Suit

by Orrick - NorCal IP Group on

Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Sazerac Co., Inc., et al. v. Fetzer Vineyards, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-04618-WHO (Judge William H. Orrick) - As any practitioner who has...more

Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision

by Knobbe Martens on

On March 31, 2017, Forever 21 was sued by Puma over its “Fenty” line of shoes. The “Fenty” label has become popular, in part, due to the influence of music artist, Rihanna as the label’s brand ambassador. In its complaint,...more

Variations on a Theme

A few attempts have been made to protect a “theme” rather than a specific mark. U.S. Reg. No. 4834592 protects “a three dimensional trade dress depicting the appearance and design of the interior of a restaurant evoking a...more

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’: Trade Dress and the Distinctive Look of a Boot Sole

by Knobbe Martens on

Airwair, the owner of the Dr. Martens brand, recently launched a series of lawsuits in the Northern District of California to enforce the trade dress of its “iconic boots and shoes.” One lawsuit was filed in October against...more

Lanham Act Cannot Be Used to Create “Species of Mutant Copyright Law”

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a district court decision granting summary judgment to a defendant that its use of digital files did not infringe plaintiff’s trademark or trade dress for its CD-Gs...more

Less Utility Than Alternatives Does Not Make Product’s Trade Dress Protectable

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court grant of summary judgment in favor of a defendant finding that a bag’s design and shape was functional because the claimed design features affect the...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: March 2017

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Legalized Drug Use Impacts the Food and Beverage Industry - In the November 2016 general election, voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota amended their state constitutions to authorize the use of marijuana for...more

IP Basics: What are “Trade Dress” and “Trade Secrets?”

In the last post, we discussed copyrights, trademarks and the difference between them. In this post, we will consider the concepts of “trade dress” and “trade secrets.” Trade dress refers generally to “the total image,...more

No Trade Dress Protection For Pink Ceramic Hip Implant Components

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado recently denied a manufacturer of ceramic medical products trade dress protection for the color pink for its ceramic hip-implant components. CeramTec sells ceramic...more

Second Circuit Upholds Parody Defense, Tosses Louis Vuitton’s Trademark Suit

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

In late December, the Second Circuit issued a ruling in Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A., v. My Other Bag, Inc., affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment for claims of trademark infringement and dilution of a...more

Drafting Franchise Agreements After Patterson v. Domino’s : Avoiding the Minefield of Vicarious Liability and Joint Employment

by Snell & Wilmer on

Lauded as one of the most important franchise cases in the recent past, Patterson v. Domino’s established a new standard for addressing vicarious liability issues in California. In reaching its decision that Domino’s was not...more

Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag

In Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag, Inc., [16-241-cv] (December 22, 2016), the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for My Other Bag that its parody bag did not infringe or dilute Louis Vuitton’s trademark...more

Court Throws Out Back Massager Trade Dress Infringement Claims on Motion to Dismiss

As the first-filed paper in nearly any litigation, the complaint is typically subject to rigorous scrutiny from the named defendant to identify any flaws that may dispatch the case via a motion to dismiss. A plaintiff in the...more

Biting the Bulleit

In a complaint recently filed in the Southern District of New York (16 CV 09747), Diageo North America, Inc., makers of BULLEIT bourbon sued Sazerac Company, Inc., alleging that Sazerac’s DR. MCGILLICUDDY’S HONEY WHISKEY...more

When Imitation Goes Beyond Flattery

In a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Missouri today, Energizer Brands complained about Spectrum Brands’ “imitation” of its packaging, raising claims of trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, unfair...more

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