The Katten Kattwalk | Issue 21

SCOTUS Confirms Willful Infringement Not Required to Award Trademark Profits -

On April 23, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a plaintiff can win a profits remedy without showing that the defendant willfully infringed on its trademark. This case, Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc. et al., 590 U.S. _____ (2020), settled a decades-long dispute between Romag, a family-owned business based in Milford, Connecticut that sells patented magnetic snap fasteners under its registered trademark, “ROMAG,” for use as closures, and Fossil, a fashion brand known for its handbags, watches, wallets and leather goods. What began as a successful arrangement, in which Fossil was granted the right to use Romag’s fasteners in their products, turned sour nearly eight years later, when Romag discovered that certain Fossil handbags sold in the United States contained counterfeit snaps bearing the ROMAG mark and alleged that Fossil did “little to guard against the practice.”

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