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America’s First Ice Cream Trademark Infringement Case … Was “FRENCH”

This weekend marks Bastille Day in France and also National Ice Cream Day in the United States, so it’s the perfect time to recount the very first ice cream-related trademark lawsuit in the U.S. (or at least the earliest one...more

Cava v. Champagne: A Trademark Lawyer’s Guide

Those of you attending the annual International Trademark Association conference in Barcelona may be drinking a glass of Cava right now and wondering: what makes sparkling wine different from regular wine, and what is the...more

10 Trademark Cases About Yo Mama

Anna Jarvis led the efforts to establish the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1908, during which she honored her own mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, a Civil War-era social activist. But about a dozen years after...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer 2015: Our Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages

Just in time for the holiday season, we present our second annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer. Whether you are planning a holiday party or just having some friends over, you are probably in the market for some liquid...more

Boston Marathon Can’t Stop MARATHON MONDAY Trademark Registration

In 1897, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) first organized the Boston Marathon and has been running the event ever since. The world famous race has been held on the third Monday of April every year since 1969, and it is...more

Marshmallow Justice: 10 Tales of Legal Fluff and Other Stuff

Just about one hundred years ago, Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts invented the first commercial marshmallow cream, which he pedaled door-to-door in Union Square. Around 1917, he sold the recipe for $500 to two...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

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

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...more

How The White Tower Burgers Trademark White-Washed, Washed Out, Then Washed Up

If you happen to be in the Boston area this August, and you are sick of the Freedom Trail, here’s an idea for a little trademark trail. Start in Cambridge at Moody’s Falafel Palace and head downtown past Kneeland Street to...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

Clever Or Contemptuous? The “Great Injunction Cigarros” Trademark

In its recent decision in Cigar King v. Corporacion Habanos, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the cancellation of Cigar King’s trademarks after it failed to comply with discovery orders. This was only the latest...more

6/23/2014  /  Trademark Litigation , Trademarks

NYC Restaurant Scene Extends to Newark In Concurrent Use Trademark Case

The matter of Terra Sul Corp. v. Boi Na Braza, Inc. involved a concurrent use proceeding between two restaurants over their nearly identical names. In theory, the scope of the conflict was nationwide, but in reality, as one...more

“National Association For The Abortion of Colored People” Trademark Case Heads To Fourth Circuit

We previously reported on the dispute between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the conservative activist Ryan Bomberger. Bomberger had repeatedly referred to the NAACP in online...more

Bait-And-Switch Trademark Case Defines Limits Of Initial Interest Confusion

In its recent decision in Sussman-Automatic v. Spa World, the Eastern District of New York dismissed a plaintiff’s trademark infringement claims, while allowing its claims for false advertising based on the same conduct to...more

Skippy v. Skippy: The Great Peanut Butter Trademark Wars

According to the National Peanut Board, March is not only National Peanut Month, but it contains National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day and National Peanut Cluster Day. That makes March a good time to remember one of the longest...more

“Facebook Said I Could” Defense Fails to Justify Digital Millennium “Trademark” Notice

CrossFit, Inc., the fitness training company, licenses its trademarked name and goodwill to over eight thousand affiliates worldwide at $3,000 per year per affiliate. When non-affiliate Jenni Alvies began posting on Facebook...more

2/24/2014  /  Trademark Litigation , Trademarks

Faked LinkedIn Profile and Twitter Hash Tags Give Rise to Trademark and False Advertising Claims

A recent opinion from the Western District of Virginia sets forth a useful framework for analyzing a variety of Lanham Act claims based on false commercial speech uttered in social media....more

Summary Judgment Denied in Trademark Dispute over “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People”

Anti-abortion activist Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation thought he had an unassailable First Amendment defense. After all, his use of the phrase “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People,” in order...more

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