Trademark Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Trademark Bully Or Responsible Trademark Owner?

Travelers Cos., a large property-casualty insurer, sent a cease and desist letter to a small consulting firm in Anchorage, AK demanding that it stop using the image of an umbrella in connection with its business. Travelers...more

For Game of Thrones Beer, Quoth the RAVEN “Nevermore”

The HBO show “Game of Thrones” is a popular show for nerds and non-nerds alike. And if you also happen to be a beer nerd, Brewery Ommegang has been making a series of Game of Thrones-inspired beers in a collaboration with...more

Pretzel Logic: Federal Circuit holds that TTAB Failed to Consider Mark as a Whole

An application to register PRETZEL CRISPS as a mark will live another day, thanks to a Federal Circuit opinion reversing a TTAB decision that had canceled the mark on grounds of genericness....more

Supreme Court Holds that Issue Preclusion May Apply to TTAB Decisions

In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court held on March 24, 2015, that issue preclusion may apply to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decisions. The case, B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries,...more

IP Dispute Resolution Review Newsletter, Spring 2015

In This Issue: - The New “Clear Error” Standard of Review in Patent Infringement Mediation - Trademark Trial Appeal Board Decisions Now Have Preclusive Effect - Engaging Panelists for Neutral Analysis Provides...more

SCOTUS Opts Not To Remand Case Raising Preclusion Question Answered in B&B Hardware

On April 27, the Supreme Court surprisingly denied certiorari in Escamilla v. M2 Tech., Inc., U.S., No. 14-1012 rather than remanding the case for further consideration in light of the High Court's recent decision in B&B...more

Fourth Circuit Cleans Up Damages Award in Paper Towel Dispute and Sets Standard for the Award of Fees in Trademark Cases

In Georgia-Pac. Consumer Products LP v. von Drehle Corp., ___ F.3d ___, 2015 WL 1404765 (4th Cir. Mar. 30, 2015), as amended (Apr. 15, 2015), the Fourth Circuit reversed a damages award and clarified the standard for damages...more

Supreme Court Holds that TTAB Decisions May Have Preclusive Effect, Raising Stakes for Trademark Agency Proceedings

On March 24, the US Supreme Court issued a decision that is likely to raise the stakes of proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). In B&B Hardware, Inc.v. Hargis Industries, Inc., No. 13-352 (March 24,...more

Coke Walks Tightrope in ZERO Branding

As you may recall, last September we wrote about Coca-Cola’s Significant Interest in Zero Marks, discussing Coca-Cola’s defense of a trademark infringement suit brought by an individual named Mirza Baig, who claimed rights in...more

Trademark/Copyright Litigation Update - March 2015

Supreme Court Confirms Jury Role in Trademark “Tacking.” Issuing its first substantive trademark decision in a decade, the Supreme Court unanimously held in January 2015 that the question of whether two trademarks are legal...more

An Empirical Lesson on Bluffing in Trademark Disputes

While it’s a great song, Kenny Rogers’ classic The Gambler doesn’t provide much guidance on winning a game of poker....more

Supreme Court Rules That TTAB Decisions Can Have Preclusive Effect in Infringement Actions

The ruling creates new risks to assess in TTAB litigation strategies. On March 24, the US Supreme Court decided in the case of B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. that a decision by the Trademark Trial and...more

Alert: Supreme Court Holds that Trademark Board Rulings on Confusion May Bind Later Infringement Litigation

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") decisions on likelihood of confusion in disputes over registration may preclude relitigation of the issue in a later suit for trademark...more

SCOTUS Today: TTAB Decisions, Not Federal Courts Will Be Final Arbiter in Many Trademark Cases

Tuesday the Supreme Court, in B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc. et al., case number 13-352, decided that Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") decisions preclude federal courts from ruling on issues that are...more

Lucky Brand Not So Lucky

The Second Circuit ruled last week in favor of Plaintiff Marcel Fashion Group Inc. (“Marcel”), vacating the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. (“Lucky Brand”), which had...more

Suggestive or Descriptive Marks: An “Expert’s” View

On February 28, 2015, the Southern District of New York denied a motion to exclude the testimony and survey of an expert witness regarding whether a trademark was descriptive or suggestive. In Rise-N-Shine, LLC v. Robin...more

TAKETEN and TAKE10! Can Coexist Without Confusion - In Re St. Helena Hospital

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (the Board) decision, concluding that the trademark TAKETEN used for a residential health improvement program can co-exist...more

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 20, 2015

Following jury verdict on Lanham Act claim in favor of entity owned by Bob Marley’s children, Ninth Circuit affirms denial of defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that trial evidence supported jury’s...more

All-Star Tips To Avoid Infringement Litigation

Shoes are always in the news. From a fashion standpoint, Nike has made headlines this week, with a re-release of the Classic Cortez running shoe (aka, the Forrest Gump shoe) along with the second edition of the LeBronald...more

Supreme Court Finds Trademark Tacking to Be a Jury Question - Hana Financial, Inc. vs. Hana Bank, et. al.

The Supreme Court of the United States, in a unanimous decision stated that “because the tacking inquiry operates from the perspective of the ordinary purchaser or consumer, we hold that a jury should make this...more

The Court’s Decision in the FLANAX US Trademark Dispute Gives Bayer a Headache

On February 6, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia reversed the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s ruling in Bayer Consumer Care AG v. Belmora LLC, 110 USPQ2d 1623 (TTAB 2014) holding that...more

Supreme Court Considers Impact of TTAB "Likelihood of Confusion" Finding on Trademark Infringement Litigation

On December 2, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc.. The question before the Supreme Court is how much deference, if any, a federal district court hearing...more

Business Round-Up: Eponymous companies and use of the designer’s personal name: Mr. Alviero Martini vs. Alviero Martini S.p.A.

Alviero Martini recently decided to bring an appeal against the decision of the Court of Milan, in the proceedings brought against Alviero Martini S.p.A., which acquired the trademark “Alviero Martini Prima Classe”....more

Protecting Trademarks and the Likelihood of Confusion Factor

A few years ago, I wrote a column addressing a case in which Pom Wonderful LLC sued Coca Cola Company in connection with the marketing of one of its pomegranate-blueberry juice products. That case dealt with whether one of...more

Trademark use within an expressive work must only pass the Rogers test, not a likelihood of confusion analysis: Mil-Spec Monkey v....

The likelihood of confusion test is often called the “cornerstone” of trademark infringement law. It may be in many circumstances, but it does not apply to allegations of infringement within expressive works, as the recent...more

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