Trademarks Trade Dress

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 -
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

Individual Inventor Alleges Eli Lilly and BDA Overdosed on Patented Dosage Adherence Tool

In the latest chapter of a year-long battle between an individual inventor and two companies, Lisa Duer (“Duer”), a resident of Woodstock, Georgia, filed her Third Amended Complaint alleging patent infringement, trademark...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - July 2015

The July issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter explains why two pronged protection is the best approach for product configuration, discusses the importance of coordination between legal and marketing...more

May Court Decision Round-Up

Nedschroef Detroit Corp. v. Bemas Ents. LLC, Case No. 14-10095, 2015 WL 2453511 (E.D. Mich. May 22, 2015). U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff Nedschroef Detroit Corp...more

Political Speech, Trademarks And The Definition of “Goods or Services”

Last month witnessed the resolution of two trademark infringement cases involving the relationship between political activities and the definition of “goods or services.” On May 18, 2015, State Senator Steve Hershey gave up...more

No Acquiescence Defense in Fifth Circuit Without Significant Investment in Reliance - Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. v. Miller Oil &...

Clarifying that undue prejudice is a distinct requirement of the acquiescence defense, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s finding of acquiescence where the defendants failed to show...more

Single Color Mark — Functionality Does Not Necessarily Preclude Protectability

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Moldex-Metric, Inc. v. McKeon Products, Inc. clarifies that even when a single color trade dress has a function, and even when the color is marketed as such, this fact alone does not...more

MarkIt to Market | March 2015

The March issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter provides 5 considerations for prioritizing your global trademark protection, identifies takeaways from a recent trade dress decision, and provides an updated...more

Will #TheDress Impact Color Trademarks?

#TheDress phenomenon is about to shape the future of color trademarks and trade dress rights. You may recall, we have written a great deal on the subject of non-traditional trademark protection of colors, especially...more

Would You Feel Friendly Toward Freddy?

As the brand manager or trademark counsel for Friendly’s, would you be friendly toward Freddy’s? I remember the Friendly’s restaurant chain when we lived in Columbia, Maryland, back in the days when I clerked for a...more

Trademark Review | January 2015

Diageo Enforces Trade Dress Rights in its CROWN ROYAL Drawstring Bag - Diageo owns a registration for the mark CROWN ROYAL for whiskey. Diageo has sold its CROWN ROYAL whiskey in a purple drawstring bag for many...more

Apple Turnover Trade Dress Totally Flipped

As if we all haven’t already indulged a little too much over the holidays, we chose our first day back to write about non-traditional trademark protection for the configuration of single-serving apple pie pastries. It’s OK,...more

No IP Holes in this Crystal Head

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink here over the past several years discussing the protection of non-traditional trademarks. We’ve also written about the importance of layering various intellectual property rights (trademark,...more

Why is Intellectual Property Important?

In This Presentation: - Intellectual Property (IP): •Refers to a category of exclusive rights created by statute, including: –Copyrights –Trademarks –Trade Secrets –Utility Patents –Design...more

A Familiar Riff: Gibson's Trade Dress Application Once Again Asks Whether a Guitar Body Shape Can Indicate Source

In the same way that Rock and Roll will never die (according to Neil Young) it would appear that battles over the protection of trade dress embodied in the shape of guitars will likewise never die. In the latest installment...more

When is a Flavor/Taste Trademark Possible?

Are your intellectual taste buds craving more discussion of non-traditional trademarks? It’s not every day we have the opportunity to write about a restaurant’s claimed trademark protection for the flavor or taste of certain...more

“Look and Feel” of a Website can Constitute Protectable Trade Dress

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in Ingrid & Isabel, LLC v. Baby Be Mine, LLC, --- F. Supp. 3d ----, 2014 WL 4954656 (N.D. Cal. 2014), in reviewing the arguments before it, attempted...more

Will Montana-Based Victory Energize Win Its “Trademark Bully” Charge Against Monster?

Last week more allegations of “trademark bullying” appeared in the headlines. This time, Victory Energize, an energy drink company based in Missoula, Montana, is calling out Monster Energy for sending a cease and desist...more

A Powerful New Trademark for Apple?

All eyes were on Apple on Tuesday, September 9th as Apple unveiled a new line of products. The new line includes the iPhone 6 as well as the long awaited, expected, and rumored Apple watch (which, after years of speculation,...more

Choosing a Trademark

Two-Fold Purpose of Trademarks - Customers know a business and its goods and services by its trademarks. Trademarks are source identifiers that indicate the origin of goods or services in the marketplace and...more

Blue 42. Set. Trademark! I mean, Hike!

Can you feel it? All around the country, fields are being groomed, stenciled, and painted. Tonight, the college football season begins with Georgia State taking on Abilene Christian in what could be a preview of one of...more

Do I Need to Dress Up My Fashion Line in a “Trade Dress?”

What is a trade dress? Is this a new fashion trend that Miley Cyrus or Rihanna started? Not exactly. Trade dress law is a subset of trademark law that originally included only the packaging or “dressing” of a...more

A Window into the Future for Apple’s Trade Dress?

A few weeks back, Steve discussed Apple’s recent applications to register a trio of non-verbal trademarks, shown below...more

“Big Chocolate” Gets Injunction Against Whack-A-Mole Senator; Trademark “Services” Include Political Activities

Last week, Judge William Quarles of the District of Maryland issued an injunction preventing Maryland Republican State Senator Steve Hershey from using his own campaign literature. The case was brought by the Hershey...more

Trade Dress and the Functionality Doctrine: At the Intersection of Trademark and Patent Law

Earlier this week, the Fourth Circuit reversed the dismissal of a Lanham Act claim for trade dress infringement involving a pixel pattern embossed on an absorbent textile-like product used in medical supplies, hygiene...more

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