Trademark Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: The Slants, The Sims and SCAR Rifles

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies Washington Redskins' Petition to Join Proceedings - Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies...more

It’s All Academic – Higher Education Trademark Disputes Offer Practical Lessons

Sayre’s Law teaches that academic disputes are so bitter because the stakes are so low. But 2016 has seen a minor spike in real trademark disputes between institutions of higher education. Most recently, the University...more

Website Listing of Tequila Client Work Gets PR Firm a Trademark Shot

Can the owner of renowned tequila brand Patrón prevent a former marketing and PR firm from listing it as a client on its website and discussing the services it provided? Patrón believes it can and has sued its former...more

Trade-Marks in Canada: Procedures and Estimated Costs

Using an unregistered mark, confers only limited rights and protections on the user/owner. Registration provides enhanced rights and advantages, including...more

Supreme Court Denies Cert To Review 2d Cir. Stoli Decision

The Supreme Court denied review of the 2d Circuit decision on the Stolichnaya trademark....more

Supreme Court Set to Settle Dispute over Washington Redskins Trademark Registration

There has been another twist in the story of the long battle by Native American interest groups to obtain revocation of the U.S. registration of the infamous Washington Redskins trademark. This is another step in the 20-year...more

Advertising and Fair Use of Trademark: Oprah's Aha! Moment

On September 16, 2016, the Second Circuit cleared Oprah Winfrey's company and magazine of charges that their use of the phrase "Own Your Power" infringed a motivational speaker's trademark rights. The judges said that despite...more

Trade Dress Claim Based on Shoe’s Rectangular Metal Toe Plate Booted by SDNY

The Southern District of New York recently booted shoe manufacturer LVL XIII Brands, Inc.’s trade dress infringement suit against Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. in LVL XIII Brands, Inc. v. Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A.. At issue...more

Fall Is In The Air: Are The Justices Getting Ready For The Gridiron?

The Washington Redskins Ask The Supreme Court To Block Fourth Circuit From Participation In Important Trademark Cases Another Labor Day is behind us, kids are back to school, and fall has unofficially arrived (it will...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Trader Joe’s Federal Trademark Claims Brought In Washington Against “Pirate Joe’s” Operating In Canada

In Trader Joe’s Company v. Michael Norman Hallatt, the Ninth Circuit recently found that Trader Joe’s allegations of infringing conduct occurring within Canada supported a cognizable claim under the Lanham Act....more

Timber! Will the Little Trees Car Freshener Configuration Trademark be Chopped Down?

We wrote about the above trademark warning ad a few years back, and the claimed trademark owner likely recognizing vulnerability as to validity...more

The Zero Sum Game In The Cola Wars

In Royal Crown Company and Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc v The Coca-Cola Company, Opposition 91178927, each party opposed the other’s trademark applications containing the term ZERO for soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks....more

Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc. v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, August 1, 2016

District court grants motion for reconsideration, reviving Lions Gate’s claim of trademark dilution in dispute over advertising campaign that used modified version of famous line “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” from movie...more

Nutrition Consulting Firm Sues Gatorade Over “SportsFuel” Trademark

SportsFuel, Inc., a nutrition consulting firm outside of Chicago, has filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary The Gatorade Company over the SPORTSFUEL trademark. SportsFuel owns...more

“Dirty Dancing” Trademark Dilution Claims Reinstated

This March, we reported on a California federal court’s dismissal of Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.’s (“Lions Gate”) trademark and unfair competition claims against TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, a number of its...more

Raise a Glass to the Single Dispositive DuPont Factor

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) reiterating its determination that a single DuPont factor, such as the dissimilarity of the marks, can be...more

Trademark Assignability Laid Bare

Crazy Horse was a legendary Native American chief of the Oglala Lakota tribe who lived during the second half of the 1800s. Unfortunately today, his name may be more familiar as a brand for various products, such as...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

The Implications of Trademark Infringement Decisions: Aw “Chucks”

There is a growing population of fashionistas and #sneakerheads skyrocketing the sales of fashion retailers and traditional sneaker companies, such as @Nike and @Converse. Forbes contends that sneakerheads represent...more

“Churrascos” Is Generic for Restaurant Services

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s refusal to register a stylized form of the mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services, finding that...more

Acquiescence Defense – Don’t Try to Use It Too Early

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded a district court decision, finding that the defendant’s attempt to have a trademark infringement lawsuit dismissed at the pleading stage based on an...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2016

Supreme Court: Status Quo in Cuozzo - Why it matters: On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, where it rejected challenges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes...more

Empire State Building Trademark Owner Vanquishes Beer Logo Design

Can you trademark a building design? You can if the building in question is the Empire State Building. In the film classic King Kong, the iconic art deco building is the site of a titanic battle between Kong and the military...more

MAYA And MAYARI Are Not Confusingly Similar When Used On Wine

The Federal Circuit has upheld the findings of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that use of the marks MAYA and MAYARI on wine is not likely to cause confusion. Oakville Hills Cellar, Inc. vs. Georgallis Holdings, LLC,...more

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