Trademark Litigation

News & Analysis as of

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

A Mark Should be Considered a Whole, and not Dissected

In Oakville Hills Cellar, Inc. v. Georgallis Holdings, LLC, [2016-1103] the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s finding that Oakville’s registered mark MAYA and Georgallis’s applied-for mark MAYARI are sufficiently...more

The Second Circuit Re-Visits Dawn Donut and the Geographic Scope of Injunctive Relief in Trademark Cases

More than half a century ago, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an influential decision in Dawn Donut Co. v. Hart’s Food Stores, Inc., concerning the proper scope of injunctive relief in a trademark...more

Filing of Cancellation Prior to Registration’s Fifth Anniversary Allows Later Addition of Otherwise Time-Barred Non-use Claim

Ashland Licensing & Intellectual Property LLC (“Ashland”) petitioned on June 6, 2013, to cancel two registrations owned by Sunpoint International Group USA Corp. (“Sunpoint”). Following discovery, Ashland moved to amend to...more

HAVANA CLUB: Where’s the Rum Gone?

You’d probably assume no TTAB proceedings originated in 1995 remain active, but the HAVANA CLUB dispute has some serious staying power. As U.S.-Cuba relations unthaw, one particular trademark battle is also returning to...more

Federal Circuit Skewers Trademark Applicant

In In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., [2015-1432] (May 13, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed the refusal of registration of the stylized mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services on the ground that term is...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Sibling Rivalry, Grilled Meat and Attorneys' Fees

Copyright Opinions - Sixth Circuit Upholds Siblings' Termination of Brother's Copyright Assignment: Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-5429 (6th Cir. May 16, 2016) - Sutton, J. In a declaratory...more

Nominative Fair Use: The Second Circuit Joins Neither The Third Nor Ninth Circuits In Its Approach

In an important decision delineating the boundaries of fair use of another person’s trademark, the Second Circuit announced a standard by which nominative fair use of a trademark will be evaluated in that Circuit in...more

Tyson Foods Knocks It Out of the Park in Lanham Act Dispute over Hot Dogs

Baseball parks and hot dogs are staples of Americana. So, it is no surprise that both were recently on display in a Lanham Act dispute in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The court’s...more

USPTO Throws in the Towel in Dispute With Federal Judge

In an earlier post, we discussed at length the curious case of The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama and Paul W. Bryant, Jr. v. Houndstooth Mafia Enterprises LLC et al. Surprisingly, this dispute came to an...more

En Banc Reconsideration Sought in FLANAX Case

Belmora LLC filed a petition for reconsideration en banc of the Fourth Circuit’s FLANAX decision in Belmora LLC v Bayer Consumer Care AG, Appeal No. 15-1335 (4th Cir. March 23, 2016). As we previously have blogged...more

5th Circuit Adds Fuel to the Octane Fitness Fire in Lanham Act Cases

The prospect of recovering attorneys’ fees after notching a victory under the Lanham Act just got a bit rosier–at least if you find yourself prevailing in the 5th Circuit. The Lanham Act allows the recovery of attorneys’...more

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