Trademark Litigation

News & Analysis as of

A Day Late And A Dollar Short – Court Grants Summary Judgment On Laches Defense

Order Granting Summary Judgment On Dropbox Laches Claims, Dropbox, Inc. v. Thru Inc., Case No. 15-cv-01741-EMC (Judge Edward M. Chen) - The proverb “[e]quity aids the vigilant, not the sleeping ones” aptly describes the...more

Second Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction of "Identical" Gray Goods

Earlier this month in Abbott Laboratories v. Adelphia Supply USA et al, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of a preliminary injunction halting the alleged sale of gray-good diabetes test strips made by...more

It Is Not “Easy Like Sunday Morning” To Use Commodore As A Trademark

The band’s song “Easy” does not reflect Commodores’ founder Thomas McClary’s court battle to use the trademark “COMMODORES founder Thomas McClary” for his solo career. As I dug further into the meaning of the song, it is...more

Former Member of The Commodores Sued For Using Band’s Name to Promote Solo Career

A Florida federal court enjoined Thomas McClary, an original member of famed Motown band the Commodores, from branding himself as “COMMODORES’ Founder Thomas McClary” in his booking advertisements for solo gigs. McClary left...more

Ninth Circuit Applies Octane Fitness’ Loosened Fee-Shifting Standard to Trademark Cases

Ninth Circuit joins growing trend in circuit courts, which has practical implications for trademark litigants on both sides. Two years have passed since the US Supreme Court added some teeth to the Patent Act’s...more

ADD A ZERO v. ADIZERO

The long running trademark dispute between Adidas and a church in Illinois just had a decision handed down by a federal appeals court. Adidas thought it could outrun a church in Zion Illinois, but it appears that they...more

“Use in Commerce”: Look Before You Leap

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, With Leave to Amend, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, LLC, et al. v. Treasury Wine Estates Americas Co., 16-cv-04922-RS (Judge Richard Seeborg) - Plaintiffs in trademark cases may be tempted to...more

An Attempt at Efficiency: A Look at the TTAB’s Upcoming Rule Changes

The rule changes are aimed at streamlining proceedings before the TTAB. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or the Board) will implement several important rule changes as of January 14, 2017. The changes will...more

Choosing Owner Entities WISELY

In a recent precedential decision, the TTAB clarified whether a party filing an Opposition is entitled to allege a family of marks as a basis for a Section 2(d) claim when those marks are not all owned by a single legal...more

Trader Joe’s vs. Irate Joe’s

In a long-running battle between Trader Joe’s and _Irate Joe’s (formerly Pirate Joe’s, a purveyor of genuine Trader Joe’s products in Vancouver, B.C.), the US Circuit Court of Appeals recently weighed in. We originally...more

Belmora Takes Its FLANAX Headache to the U.S. Supreme Court

Well, a lot has happened since we last reported on the District Court’s decision in the FLANAX trademark dispute. As you may recall, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted Bayer’s Petition and cancelled the FLANAX...more

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

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