Trademark Litigation

News & Analysis as of

August 2015: Trademark/Copyright Litigation Update

Federal Circuit Invalidates Apple’s iPhone Trade Dresses as Functional. On May 18, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a judgment of the Northern District of California that Samsung had diluted Apple’s...more

No More Pussy-Footing Around: Consider Marks as a Whole in Light of Third-Party Uses

In Jack Wolfskin Aurrustung for Fraussen GmbH & Co. LGAA v. New Millennium Sports, S.L.U, [2014-1789] August 19, 2015, the Federal Circuit affirmed that New Millennium had not abandoned its mark by making changes to its...more

Pushing the Envelope on Initial Interest Confusion Claims — Multi Time Machine, Inc. v. Amazon.com

Consider this: You are shopping online and you type in the name of a brand of wristwatch. Perhaps you wanted to purchase that exact brand of watch, or perhaps you were looking for a selection of watches that included the...more

In Trademark Dispute, New Hampshire School Website Address Not Taken For Granite

New Hampshire is commonly referred to as the Granite State. In one recent trademark infringement case, however, a federal court in New Hampshire did not find a likelihood of consumer confusion between website addresses for...more

Dangers in Pro-se Federal Trademark Prosecution: Errors in Owner Identification Can Render a Seemingly Valid Registration Void

Many trademark owners choose to file and prosecute their own trademark applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The wisdom of filing these pro-se applications, however, is questionable in...more

Caveat Opposer: Preclusion Lurks at the TTAB

Recently, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “TTAB”) held that an unsuccessful opposer was precluded from later pursuing a cancellation against the same trademark owner, even though the opposer assumed a different...more

Timing Is Everything—Objective Evidence of Bona Fide Intent to Use Necessary at the Time of Filing Application - M.Z. Berger & Co....

Addressing what constitutes sufficient evidence of “bona fide intent” to use a trademark in commerce, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB or Board) decision...more

Trademarks in the Crosshairs: Non-Trademark Use of a Descriptive Term - Sorensen v. WD-40 Co.

Addressing likelihood of confusion and the fair use defense in a trademark infringement suit pertaining to corrosion inhibitors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment...more

Business Litigation Report - July 2015

Introduction - Issue preclusion is a familiar concept to most practicing attorneys. Under this doctrine, “later courts should honor the first actual decision of a matter that has been actually litigated.” Charles Alan...more

Peace, Love, and Lawyers

In Juice Generation, Inc. v, GS Enterprises, LLC, [2014-1853] (July 20, 2015), the Federal Circuit vacated a TTAB decision sustaining GS Enterprises’ opposition to Juice Generation’s application to register PEACE LOVE AND...more

B&B Hardware: The Preclusive Effect of TTAB Decisions in Court

Introduction - Issue preclusion is a familiar concept to most practicing attorneys. Under this doctrine, “later courts should honor the first actual decision of a matter that has been actually litigated.” Charles Alan...more

Trademark Review | July 2015

Applicant’s Application for Concurrent Use Registration of DELMONICO’S is Denied Due to Likelihood of Confusion with Other Restaurants - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) refused Southwestern Management’s...more

"Want Coke? Buy Pepsi!” Is This Confusing?

Suppose you walk into a greasy cheeseburger joint and ask for a Coke®. A cook who looks remarkably like the late John Belushi doesn’t say, “No Coke; Pepsi.” Instead, he says, “You want Coke? Have a Pepsi!” and you buy the...more

Harry Potter Lawsuits And Where To Find Them

On July 31, 2015, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling celebrates her 50th birthday, according to muggle sources. The enormous success of Rowling’s literary creation and its associated multimedia empire has spawned countless...more

Cisco Takes Foreign Corporations to School in Ex Parte Applications for Restraining Orders

Two recent orders from the District of Connecticut demonstrate that the element of surprise continues to be an effective, and sometimes necessary, factor in copyright litigation. The June 26, 2015 orders issued by the...more

RMF Pro Bono Case “Under Reconsideration” as a Result of New Trade Legislation

On June 29, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 (“TAARA 2015”) into law as part of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which gave President Obama "fast...more

Tory Burch Protects Her Brand

The barrage of counterfeit jewelry products bearing the “Isis Cross” will cease! After more than two years of battling with counterfeiters, Tory Burch, LLC and its subsidiary (“Tory Burch”) secured a $41 million judgment and...more

Federal Circuit Shows No Peace & Love to the TTAB

This case arose from GS Enterprises, LLC’s (“GS”) opposition to the registration of Juice Generation, Inc.’s (“Juice Generation”) trademark. In finding a likelihood of confusion with GS’s marks, the Board below reasoned that...more

Trademarks on the Internet: Are Consumers Really this Clueless?

Are you unaware of the difference between search engine searches and the search results? Do you believe that a search engine can read your mind and return exactly (and only) the results you expect to receive? Is this your...more

What is a Trademark Squatter?

Imagine that you own a U.S. based brand that you have diligently registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As you watch your domestic sales skyrocket you begin to realize that overseas markets hold unique...more

Trademark Tacking: An Overview

On January 21, 2015, in the case Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, the United States Supreme Court determined that, when there is a question as to whether two trademarks can be tacked for purposes of determining priority,...more

Lego Mark Wars: Toy Giant Snaps Together Two Favorable 3D Trademark Rulings in Europe

On June 16, 2015, Lego Juris A/S obtained two favorable decisions from the General Court of the European Union which will afford protection to famous Lego “minifigure” as a three-dimensional (3D) trademark; a protection that...more

What’s in a Name? District Court’s Trademark Cancellation Order Casts Further Doubt on “Redskins” Moniker

Taking big hits is quite familiar to professional football teams.  The hit laid down by a federal District Court on July 8, 2015, however, is one that Washington’s professional football franchise will remember for a long...more

Trademark Owners Sue Amazon for Showing Competing Products

On July 6, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled, in a published opinion,  that Amazon will have to go to trial in a trademark lawsuit for what many have alleged are confusing search results. In Multi...more

Alert: Federal Court Upholds Cancellation of REDSKINS Trademark Registration

On July 8, 2015, a federal district court in Virginia upheld a ruling canceling six federal trademark registrations incorporating the term REDSKINS owned by the Washington, D.C. football team. The court agreed with the...more

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