Trade Dress

News & Analysis as of

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

No IP Holes in this Crystal Head

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink here over the past several years discussing the protection of non-traditional trademarks. We’ve also written about the importance of layering various intellectual property rights (trademark,...more

Why is Intellectual Property Important?

In This Presentation: - Intellectual Property (IP): •Refers to a category of exclusive rights created by statute, including: –Copyrights –Trademarks –Trade Secrets –Utility Patents –Design...more

Design Patent Case Digest: Weber-Stephen Products LLC v. Sears Holding Corporation

Decision Date: October 20, 2014 - Court: Northern District of Illinois - Patents: D564,834 and D609,045 - Holding: Defendants’ proposed claim construction is REJECTED - Opinion: Plaintiff...more

A Familiar Riff: Gibson's Trade Dress Application Once Again Asks Whether a Guitar Body Shape Can Indicate Source

In the same way that Rock and Roll will never die (according to Neil Young) it would appear that battles over the protection of trade dress embodied in the shape of guitars will likewise never die. In the latest installment...more

When is a Flavor/Taste Trademark Possible?

Are your intellectual taste buds craving more discussion of non-traditional trademarks? It’s not every day we have the opportunity to write about a restaurant’s claimed trademark protection for the flavor or taste of certain...more

“Look and Feel” of a Website can Constitute Protectable Trade Dress

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in Ingrid & Isabel, LLC v. Baby Be Mine, LLC, --- F. Supp. 3d ----, 2014 WL 4954656 (N.D. Cal. 2014), in reviewing the arguments before it, attempted...more

Will Montana-Based Victory Energize Win Its “Trademark Bully” Charge Against Monster?

Last week more allegations of “trademark bullying” appeared in the headlines. This time, Victory Energize, an energy drink company based in Missoula, Montana, is calling out Monster Energy for sending a cease and desist...more

Python Safety Files Trade Dress and Patent infringement Complaint Against Ty-Flot

On June 18, 2014, Python Safety, Inc. (“Python”), of Woodstock, GA filed a complaint against Ty-Flot, Inc. (“Ty-Flot”), of Manchester, NH, alleging federal trade dress infringement and unfair competition, infringement of US...more

A Powerful New Trademark for Apple?

All eyes were on Apple on Tuesday, September 9th as Apple unveiled a new line of products. The new line includes the iPhone 6 as well as the long awaited, expected, and rumored Apple watch (which, after years of speculation,...more

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