News & Analysis as of

Trademark Litigation

Not All Buffalos Are Alike: Court Finds No Likelihood Of Consumer Confusion Between Bourbon Bottle And Wine Bottle Trade Dress

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Sazerac Co. Inc. v. Fetzer Vineyards, N.D. Cal. (Sept. 19, 2017) (Judge William Orrick) - Winemaker Fetzer Vineyards recently escaped a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by...more

Flawed Consumer Survey Wipes Out $54 Million Verdict in Trademark Infringement Dispute

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In trademark infringement cases, consumer survey evidence can be a powerful tool. It can also badly malfunction, as Black & Decker recently experienced. ...more

“See You In Court!” - Changes to the Law On Groundless Threats Concerning Infringement of Trade Mark, Design Rights and Patents

by Reed Smith on

Rights holders can be very protective of the fruits of their intellectual efforts (and rightly so). However, many are unware that when they threaten proceedings for infringement of trade marks, design rights or patents, they...more

Court Says Flawed Likelihood-of-Confusion Survey Which Followed Neither the Ever-Ready nor Squirt Standards Was Prejudicial...

On September 11, 2017, the Northern District of Illinois granted a motion for a new trial based on the improper admission of prejudicial likelihood-of-confusion survey evidence. The Black & Decker Corporation sued Positec...more

No Free Ride for Copycat Perfume Company – Fair Use Rejected, False Advertising Found, Accounting of Profits Awarded

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Well-known perfume marketer Coty Inc. had a big win in New York federal district court, obtaining injunctive relief and $6.5 million dollars in an accounting of profits from copycat perfume seller Excell Brands, LLC. In an...more

Drug Cartel Heirs Have Netflix In Their Crosshairs

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Drug cartels are notorious for murder and extortion, but the family of the late drug lord Pablo Escobar has unleashed the scariest weapon of all–trademark litigation. Escobar, Inc. has a longstanding grudge against the...more

Judge Dow Orders New Trial Due to Unreliable Consumer Confusion Survey

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Granting Motion for New Trial, The Black & Decker Corp., et al. v. Positec USA, Inc., et al., N.D. Ill. (September 11, 2017) (Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.) - Trademark litigants often submit survey evidence to prove that...more

An Update from Mars: “CocoVaa” Dispute Resolved

Earlier this year, I posted about a dispute between candy company Mars Inc. and a small business based in Wisconsin, selling handmade fine chocolates under the mark CocoVaa....more

No Twist on Pretzel Crisps on Remand

In a 54 page decision issued on September 6, 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) ended (again) a long-standing dispute between snack food makers Frito-Lay, Inc. (“Frito”) and Princeton Vanguard, LLC...more

Distillations: Trapped

by Fish & Richardson on

A recently-filed trademark infringement case out of California offers something of a cautionary tale on one of the oldest maxims of law and business: Get It In Writing. Thelonious Monk, Jr., son of the jazz legend, has...more

Long Trail Brewing Tells Burton to TAKE A HIKE!

What happens when a clothing manufacturer starts selling graphic t-shirts and sweatshirts, perhaps without doing a proper trademark search? Sometimes a lawsuit....more

Court Finds Trademarked Words Can Be Used To Describe Property’s History

On July 14, 2017, the Eastern District of Kentucky found that the use of trademarked words to describe a property’s history is not trademark use. In 2014, Peristyle, LLC purchased the abandoned Old Taylor Distillery in...more

Narrow scope of protection for 3D trademarks?

by DLA Piper on

The Finnish Supreme Court’s decision 2017:42 handed down on 13 June 2017 regarding the distinctiveness of 3D trademarks and the likelihood of confusion with the shapes of competing goods, follows the trend we have seen from...more

In-n-Out Sues Smashburger Over New Burger Names

by Dickinson Wright on

On August 28, 2017, In-n-Out filed a lawsuit against Smashburger for trademark infringement in the Central District of California. In-n-Out claims that Smashburger’s TRIPLE DOUBLE mark is too similar and infringes on its...more

Food Fight: Burger Edition

Beloved burger chain In-N-Out Burger, home of not-so-secret menu items and “animal style” fries, has sued burger competitor Smashburger, claiming that Smashburger’s new “Triple Double” burger infringes on In-N-Out’s...more

Red Wings vs Right Wings: Copyright Tarnishment and Other Lessons

by Revision Legal on

We wrote recently about our outrage at white nationalists modifying and using the Detroit Red Wing’s famous “winged wheel” logo. Our outrage continues and we take a closer look at the potential lawsuit that might be in order....more

Kerrygold Update: A Buttery Settlement

A few months ago I posted about a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Ornua, seller of Kerrygold® Pure Irish Butter, against Defendants Old World Creamery and Eurogold USA, who briefly sold Irish butter under the mark...more

Dietary Supplement & Cosmetics Legal Bulletin | August 2017

"Miracle Gel" Not a Salon Gel Manicure, Ad Board Says - In an appeal from a ruling by the National Advertising Division (NAD), the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) upheld a recommendation that Coty discontinue...more

The Detroit Red Wings’ Trademark Case Against Right Wing “Identitarians”

by Revision Legal on

It is difficult not to talk about the absolute tragedy, disaster, or other-worldliness of the events in Charlottesville, VA. Plenty of smart people have weighed in on its implications and our President’s response. I won’t add...more

AT&T's GO PHONE Trademark Registration Saved by Roaming Services Offered in Canada

by Bennett Jones LLP on

A recent decision involving an AT&T trademark demonstrates how the global reach of technology businesses can sometimes result in a blurring of markets and make documentation of trademark use in Canada difficult to retrieve...more

Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Action

by Dickinson Wright on

On behalf of the nationally well-known professional boxing promoter, New Jersey Sports Productions, d/b/a Main Events, Samuel Littlepage (Member, Washington, D.C.) and Melissa Alcantara (Member, Washington, D.C.) have filed a...more

Much Ado About Shoe Designs – Favorable Rulings for Adidas on Summary Judgment in Skechers Trademark Dispute

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On August 3, 2017, the shoe manufacturer Adidas scored important legal victories in its long-running trademark dispute with the shoemaker Skechers. Adidas America, Inc. et al. v. Skechers USA, Inc. (D. Or. 2017) involved...more

Ninth Circuit Holds That “Reverse Confusion” Need Not Be Pled With Specificity

by Weintraub Tobin on

A plaintiff seeking to prevail on a trademark infringement claim needs to establish that there is some likelihood of confusion between its mark and that of the defendant. Generally, a plaintiff establishes that there is...more

Paws Off: Remaining Members of a Group Own Their Mark

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing a dispute over ownership of a service mark between a departing member of a group and the remaining group members, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s...more

Fictional, but Protectable: Court Finds Planned Real-World “The Krusty Krab” Restaurant Would Violate Viacom’s Trademark Rights

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Summary Judgment Order, Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC, S.D. Tex. (January 11, 2017) (Judge Gray Miller) - The Emmy nominations have been announced, and the fall television season is just weeks...more

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