Trademark Litigation

News & Analysis as of

EPIC Battle Launched Between Flooring Companies Over Trademark Infringement

On August 21, 2014, Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (“Shaw”), a Georgia corporation, and Columbia Insurance Company (“Columbia”), a Nebraska corporation, brought a trademark infringement action against Carlisle Wide Plank Floors...more

Seasoning Maker Swamp Dust LLC Files Trademark Complaint Against Competitor Cajun Wholesale

On September 2, 2014, LaGrange, Georgia-based company Swamp Dust, LLC filed a complaint against Louisiana-based Cajun Wholesale Distributing, Inc. and its director Ritchie Allen Romero (collectively, the “Defendants”)...more

Amici Weigh in With SCOTUS on Likelihood of Confusion Determinations by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

As we reported in our July 2 client alert, the Supreme Court has granted a petition for certiorari seeking a determination of whether likelihood of confusion findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") are...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014

Pollution Exclusion Doesn’t Bar Coverage for Worker Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals That Were Not “Dispersed”: Why it matters - A federal district court in Texas strictly construed a pollution exclusion in...more

Amici Weigh in on “Right to Register v. Right to Use” Trademark Case at Supreme Court

More than three months ago, we sounded the alarm about an important trademark case to consider the interplay between the right to register and the right to use a trademark:...more

US Patent and Trademark Office Considering Proposal to Allow Amendments to Trademark Identifications Due to Technological Changes

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is currently considering a proposal to allow amendments to the identifications of goods/services in a trademark registration because of technological changes in how the...more

Honey Badger Don’t Care, but the Owner of the Trademark Rights Do Care

We truly live in an amazing time, where nearly any person with access to a computer can obtain a nearly infinite amount of knowledge, create and distribute ideas and works of art to the entire world. Also, there are lots of...more

Claims of Copying a Girl’s Best Friend

If you thought this would be about diamonds you are wrong. It is about chocolate! My favorite candy REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup is at the heart of Hershey Co.’s (“Hershey”) recently filed suit against LBB Imports LLC...more

Supreme Court Will Decide Level of Deference, If Any, Given to TTAB Decisions Concerning Likelihood of Confusion

On July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the Eighth Circuit’s decision in the case B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis, Inc. (2013). B&B Hardware owns a registered mark for SEALTIGHT for self-sealing nuts and...more

Res judicata Does Not Bar Claims Arising After Prior Litigation, Even One Based on Similar Conduct

TechnoMarine SA v. Giftports Inc. - Addressing whether a prior litigation between the parties resolving claims of unfair competition bars subsequent suit over similar conduct occurring after settlement of the earlier...more

Ice Cream Maker No Softee When It Comes to Infringement of Its Trademarks

Just as summer is coming to a close, the battle between Mister Softee and Master Softee appears to be heating up. Mister Softee is a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1956. It is the franchisor for the...more

A Real Lulu of a Trademark Infringement Case

It’s that time of year again, the Minnesota State Fair is here, and trademark issues abound, again....more

Trademark Review - CloudTV, StonShield, and Harry Winston (August 2014)

A Family Feud Over the Family Name - Harry Winston Inc. has prevailed in its opposition to registration of BRUCE WINSTON, the name of Harry Winston’s son. Harry Winston is one of the most well-known names in...more

Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - USCA, Seventh Circuit, August 14, 2014 - Seventh Circuit affirms district court’s dismissal of software company’s reverse-confusion trademark suit, where...more

Role Reversal: David Bullying Goliath?

When claims of trademark infringement make the news, it is often because a billion dollar corporation is suing old man Donaldson’s tavern for trademark infringement (Although, McDonaldson’s might have been a bad choice…). ...more

Target prevents registration of mark with three-ring design

In Target Brands Inc v Artificer Life Corp (Opposition Nos 91206421 and 91206422), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has upheld Target Brands Inc’s opposition against the registration of a trademark containing a...more

Unincorporated Associations Can Protect Unregistered Trademarks Under The Lanham Act

Can an unincorporated association own a trade mark and enforce trademark rights under the Lanham Act? The Ninth Circuit says that it can. (Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina, No. 13-55780, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis...more

Cert Alert: Is Trademark Tacking a Fact Issue or Legal Issue?

Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank & Hana Financial Group - In trademark law “tacking” is a practice whereby an applicant for registration can establish an earlier priority date by adding the period of use of an older...more

Cert Alert: Is TTAB Decision on Likelihood of Confusion Preclusive?

B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (in turn affirming a district court decision) finding the mark...more

The Eighth Circuit Weighs In on Trademark Licenses as Executory Contracts in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Lewis Bros. Bakeries, Inc. v. Interstate Brands Corp. (In re Interstate Bakeries Corp.) - An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed an earlier ruling of the same court finding that a...more

A “Giant” Decision: Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Denies Registration of “G-Men” to the New York Giants

It’s not just the Redskins anymore! Following the cancellation of the Redskins trademark earlier this summer, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has issued another football related decision regarding the New York Giants’...more

Mister Softee vs. Master Softee: Non-Compete & Trademark Ice Cream Fight in the SDNY

Dimitrios Tsirkos first became a Mister Softee franchisee in the mid 1980’s. To be clear, we are talking about the ice cream truck business. Over the years, Tsirkos entered several franchise agreements with Mister Softee and...more

Tesla Successfully Resolves Chinese Trademark Dispute

Further to our recent Tesla Motors post, Bloomberg and BNA report that Tesla has resolved its trademark dispute with Zhan Baosheng, the individual who registered the TESLA marks in China. ...more

How The White Tower Burgers Trademark White-Washed, Washed Out, Then Washed Up

If you happen to be in the Boston area this August, and you are sick of the Freedom Trail, here’s an idea for a little trademark trail. Start in Cambridge at Moody’s Falafel Palace and head downtown past Kneeland Street to...more

An Expensive Reminder to Secure Trademark Rights Prior to Foreign Expansion

Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors was recently sued in China by businessman Zhan Baosheng. Baosheng registered the TESLA trademark in China in 2006, prior to Tesla's entry into the Chinese market....more

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