Trademark Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Decision In B&B Hardware V. Hargis Industries: Potential Impact on Trademark Prosecution and Enforcement...

In March 2015, the United States Supreme Court delivered an important decision in trademark law. In B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., No. 13-352, slip op., 575 U.S.____ ; 135 S.Ct. 1293 (2015) (“B&B Hardware”),...more

2015 U.S. Trademark Developments Every Food and Beverage Lawyer Should Know

In 2015, U.S. courts provided trademark practitioners with several issues to discuss and debate. Identified and summarized below are the top five most discussed issues....more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

2015 IP Law Year In Review

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (May 26, 2015) - ..Does a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement? NO - ..Inducement requires...more

Trademark Review | January 2016

Federal Circuit Holds Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the...more

Black Ops Mission Accomplished by Federal Trademark Registration

A recent district court decision granting a preliminary injunction in The Brooklyn Brewery Corp. v. Black Ops Brewing, Inc. demonstrates the advantage of owning a federal trademark registration when products bearing the...more

Louis Vuitton and My Other Bag – Do You Get The Joke?

In a recent post, we discussed the trademark parody defense in the context of a California district court decision holding that the owner of the Superman “S” logo had adequately stated infringement claims asserted against a...more

Stolichnaya: Comity or Confiscation; and Is That For US Courts to Decide?

The Second Circuit recently issued its latest ruling in a long-running legal battle over the trademark rights to the STOLICHNAYA trademark. In this latest decision in the 12-year dispute, the Court ruled that an agency of the...more

Superman, Superdad, and the Limits of a Trademark Parody Defense

Superman has triumphed yet again, this time with help from the federal court in the Central District of California. It wasn’t actually Superman that scored this particular victory, but DC Comics, owner of the trademark rights...more

Belmora v. Bayer: Does the Lanham Act Protect An Owner of a Well-Known Foreign Mark From Intentional Misuse of the Mark in the...

In Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is faced with novel issues about the reach of the Lanham Act. The case arose from Bayer’s filing of a petition to cancel Belmora’s...more

Trademark Wars: The First Amendment Strikes Back – Lanham Act’s Disparaging Trademark Registration Ban Struck Down as...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, en banc, has ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act precluding “disparaging” trademark registrations is unconstitutional, rejecting the argument that trademark...more

Date Me, Snog Me But Don’t Meet Me in the European Trademark Office

“Be creative!” is an important piece of advice which you often hear from European trademark lawyers. Today, more than ever, this recommendation should be taken seriously. The reason is very simple: the Community trademark...more

A Fight Over the Abandoned STRATOTONE Guitar Brand – Federal District Court Picks a Winner

A recent federal district court decision involving the iconic STRATOTONE guitar brand, Agler v. Westheimer Corp. illustrates two important principles concerning the law of trademark abandonment: First, once a mark is deemed...more

We All Scream For Ice Cream: Master Softee Defaults in Trademark Dispute

For some of us who “summered” on the sweltering streets of New York City as children, the sound of the Mister Softee jingle triggers a Pavlovian response for that sweet, soft-serve ice cream. It was the perfect antidote for...more

B&B Hardware – District Courts Consider Impact on Both Trademark and Patent Litigation

In B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries, the Supreme Court held that, under some circumstances, determinations by the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board could have preclusive effect in subsequent federal court litigation...more

A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer 2015: Our Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages

Just in time for the holiday season, we present our second annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer. Whether you are planning a holiday party or just having some friends over, you are probably in the market for some liquid...more

The TAKE YO PANTIES OFF Argument

In appealing the cancellation of six trademarks, the Washington Redskins filed their opening brief in the Fourth Circuit this week. Cancellation of the team’s REDSKINS trademarks was upheld by a federal district court in...more

TTAB Makes Double Brown Ale Open to Nut Sack Mark

In a ruling bound to please 15 year-old boys everywhere, the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) reversed the Examining Attorney’s refusal to register the trademark NUT SACK DOUBLE BROWN ALE (in standard character...more

Boston Marathon Can’t Stop MARATHON MONDAY Trademark Registration

In 1897, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) first organized the Boston Marathon and has been running the event ever since. The world famous race has been held on the third Monday of April every year since 1969, and it is...more

Third Circuit Announces Coverage-Defeating First Publication Rule

On October 23, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a ruling that may make it more difficult for Pennsylvania policyholders to obtain coverage for the misappropriation of advertising ideas...more

Amazon Wins Ruling on Results for Searches on Brands It Doesn’t Sell

On October 21, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled that online retailer Amazon does not violate the Lanham Act when, in response to a search for a brand it doesn’t sell, it returns a results page that fails to disclose that fact...more

Back to the Future – The DeLorean Trademark Saga Continues

"Doc…are you telling me you built a time machine out of a Delorean?" We all know about the iconic gull-wing DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) car made famous in the Back to the Future trilogy starring Michael J. Fox and...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - October 2015

The Survey Says: Tiffany Is Not Generic for A Ring Setting - Last month, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment to Tiffany & Co. on its trademark infringement claim against Costco Wholesale...more

An Evaluation of Secondary Meaning Can Consider Both Parties’ Use of the Mark - Test Masters Educ. Servs., Inc. v. Robin Singh...

Addressing when a descriptive mark acquires a secondary meaning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court, determining that neither party is entitled to a federal registration of the...more

Grrrr . . . Paw Print Trademarks Can Co-Exist - Jack Wolfskin Ausrustung Fur Draussen GmbH & Company KGAA v. New Millennium...

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Board’s decision on the issue of likelihood of confusion with regard to two parties’ paw...more

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