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Trademarks

A Trademark is a legally registered distinctive mark or sign which identifies goods, products or services that originate or are associated with a particular person or enterprise . A typical example of a trademark... more +
A Trademark is a legally registered distinctive mark or sign which identifies goods, products or services that originate or are associated with a particular person or enterprise . A typical example of a trademark would be a company's logo such as the Nike "Check" or McDonald's "Golden Arches."  less -

Landlords beware: Your trademark infringing tenant is your problem too

by Shutts & Bowen LLP on

If a landlord learns that trademark infringement is occurring on its premises by one of its tenants and fails to stop further violations, the landlord may be held responsible by the trademark holder for damages relating to...more

Supreme Court Rules On Disparaging Trademarks

by Revision Legal on

For decades, the USPTO has denied registration to trademarks that are disparaging and offensive to specific racial or ethnic groups under the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. The United States Supreme Court recently...more

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Say ®

On June 19, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a provision of the Lanham Act prohibiting federal registration of disparaging trademarks. The Court’s ruling in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___, No. 15-1298 (June 19,...more

Bob Marley’s Estate Wins $2.4 Million in Trademark Lawsuit

by Reed Smith on

A federal district court ruled last week that Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. and Hope Road Merchandising, LLC, companies controlled by family members of late musician Bob Marley (collectively the “Marley Companies”), will...more

Nominative Fair Use of Ride-Share Logos?

Earlier this year, we contemplated a suitable, accurate, and efficient generic name for the service category created by the highly-disruptive Uber brand: App-Based Ride Service....more

Supreme Court: First Amendment Protects “Disparaging” Trademarks

Since its enactment as the basic federal law on trademarks in 1946, the Lanham Act has prohibited the registration of “derogatory” trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). On June 19, 2017, the...more

Brands that Bite - The Supreme Court unanimously rules that the First Amendment forbids the Trademark Office from refusing to...

By striking down the “disparagement clause,” a 70-year-old provision of federal trademark law, the Supreme Court’s ruling this week in Matal v. Tam has the potential to change the ways in which people conceive, market,...more

Supreme Court Holds Statute Banning Registration of Disparaging Marks Violates the First Amendment

by Brinks Gilson & Lione on

This past Monday, June 19, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). Section...more

Of Slants, Skins, And Signs: Section 2(a) Prohibition of Disparaging Trademark Registrations Struck Down!

Well, that happened! According to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Matal v. Tam, Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which purports to prohibit the registration of marks that “disparage . . . persons,” is unconstitutional. ...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | June 2017 #4

NAD Says Aldi Should Change Savings Claims Ads - The National Advertising Division (NAD) has recommended that Aldi, Inc. discontinue advertising based on a “market basket” comparison that claims consumers could save more...more

Disparaging, Degrading, Derogatory Trademarks: They're Now Enforceable Says Supreme Court

by Lewitt Hackman on

You may remember that several national sports franchises are under fire for trademarks and branding that is seen to be racially disparaging. The Washington Redskins are the first team to come to mind, and it wasn’t too long...more

Sweet as Candy? Sugarfina takes Competitor to Court

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

On June 15th, Sugarfina Inc. (“Sugarfina”), a gourmet candy boutique, sued one of its competitors, Sweet Pete’s LLC (“Sweet Pete’s”), accusing Sweet Pete’s of trade dress, copyright, trademark, and patent infringement, as...more

Whose Unregistered Trademark Is It Anyway?

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Expressly adopting for the first time a test to determine whether a manufacturer or distributor is the owner of an unregistered trademark in the absence of a contractual ownership clause, the US Court of Appeals for the Third...more

What’s in a name? Alleviating Confusion About Trademarks

by PilieroMazza PLLC on

“You ask, ‘What’s in a name?’ I answer, ‘Just about everything you do.’” – Morris Mandel - The name of your company is important. It is the proper noun that identifies the company. It is the official name under which the...more

Supreme Court Rules “Disparagement Clause” of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the 70-year-old federal ban on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional. The “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act prohibits registration of trademarks “which may disparage...more

Siding with The Slants: Ban on Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional

by Jones Day on

Asian rock band The Slants is no longer "The Band Who Must Not Be Named," as they titled their most recent album. On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Matal v. Tam, striking a provision of the Lanham Act,...more

“I googled it”: Generic Words and Trademark Rights

by Field Law on

A registered trademark can suffer "genericide" if it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous with a product or service....more

Supreme Court Holds that First Amendment Protects Disparaging Trademarks

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court emphasized the importance of broad free speech protection in striking down a statute that allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to refuse registration of disparaging trademarks....more

Captain Morgan Defeats Admiral Nelson in a Rum Branding Battle

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The victory in the fight between two rum competitors demonstrates that unregistered trade dress rights are alive and well in Canada, admissible survey evidence remains a useful tool for proving confusion, and a competing...more

Your New ®Ight To Disparage – A Look Inside “The Slants” Lanham Act Decision

by McCarter & English, LLP on

The Federal trademark statute’s more-than-60-year prohibition on registering trademarks that may be viewed as disparaging goes out the window with the United States Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision. The Court ruled...more

Slanting Toward The End Of The Commercial Speech Doctrine

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Amid the hullabaloo over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in Matal v. Tam, a much broader and potentially more significant development might be overlooked. It shouldn’t be. The case involved Simon Tam’s band...more

Captain Morgan makes Admiral Nelson’s walk the plank

by Smart & Biggar on

Smart & Biggar prevails at trial on behalf of Diageo in trade dress case. On June 12, 2017, the Federal Court issued its 99-page decision in Diageo Canada Inc v Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc et al, 2017 FC 571. The Court...more

The Supreme Court Holds the Lanham Act’s Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

In a closely watched decision, the eight participating members of the Supreme Court unanimously held that the so-called disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment. The high-profile case of Matan v....more

4 Common Reasons for a Trademark Registration Refusal

by Revision Legal on

When someone applies for a federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is possible for the trademark registration application to be refused. While this is often disappointing,...more

SCOTUS: Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act Violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment

On June 19, 2017, in Matal v. Tam, previously Lee v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down its most impactful interpretation of the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to date by holding that at its intersection with the...more

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