News & Analysis as of

Trade Dress

Use of Green and Yellow for Agricultural Equipment Infringes and Dilutes Deere’s Trade Dress Rights

Deere & Company has for more than 100 years sold a wide variety of agricultural, forestry, lawn, and garden equipment. Nearly all its agricultural equipment is painted green and yellow, and Deere owns several registered...more

Intellectual Property Law Series: Do Trademarks Matter? Yes.

Companies have many assets to protect, such as cash, equipment, inventory, furniture, etc. But, one asset that is often overlooked is intellectual property (IP), such as trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. In...more

Gucci: The Other Stripe Mark

Normally when we talk about stripes trademarks, we’re talking about iconic sportswear brand adidas. An avid litigant with respect to use of “three stripe” designs on footwear and clothing, adidas is a regular feature here at...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | November 2017

NOSB Votes to Continue Allowing Hydroponics - The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has reportedly voted to continue allowing food grown in water-based nutrient solutions to be labeled “organic,” rejecting a...more

Court Says Trademark Litigant Must Produce Documents Held By Foreign Subsidiary

Republic Technologies (NA), LLC owns the trademark OCB for roll-your-own cigarette paper. HBI International sells competing cigarette paper under the trademark RAW. In March 2016, Republic filed a declaratory judgment action...more

Intellectual Property Misconceptions Debunked

by Snell & Wilmer on

Many people have misperceptions about what intellectual property (IP) protects, and some common IP misconceptions are debunked below. (1) Ideas Cannot Be Patented. Only inventions can be patented. The legal...more

Dietary Supplement & Cosmetics Legal Bulletin | October 2017

by Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. on

The use of beauty products is “an understudied source of environmental chemical exposures” with a disparate effect on women of color, George Washington University and Occidental College researchers argue. Ami R. Zota, et al.,...more

TTAB Seals Fate of Trade Dress Claims for Design Covered By Utility Patent

It is natural for manufacturers to seek to widen their intellectual property protection. In the seminal case TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc., 532 US 23 (2001), the Supreme Court struck down the plaintiff’s...more

Cheerios Yellow Box Rejected For Trademark Registration

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a precedential decision on August 22 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in In re General Mills IP Holdings II, LLC (Serial 86757390) held that the applicant did not provide sufficient evidence to support the...more

Distillations: Glass Half Full

by Fish & Richardson on

Here at the Distillations Desk we’ve talked about trademark disputes over the shapes of bottles, but now comes a case about the shapes of glasses. On October 12, Glencairn IP Holdings and Glencairn Crystal Studio filed...more

The Cheerios Challenge of Registering Color Marks

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) delivered a primer on demonstrating the acquired distinctiveness of product packaging or trade dress, including color marks, in refusing registration of a trademark application for...more

Not All Buffalos Are Alike: Court Finds No Likelihood Of Consumer Confusion Between Bourbon Bottle And Wine Bottle Trade Dress

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Sazerac Co. Inc. v. Fetzer Vineyards, N.D. Cal. (Sept. 19, 2017) (Judge William Orrick) - Winemaker Fetzer Vineyards recently escaped a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by...more

“Local” is a Claim Requiring Substantiation in False Advertising Action

by Reed Smith on

U.S. District Court in Utah decided an interesting case involving whether an advertiser can use the word “local” in Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. v. Leland Sycamore et al. Defendant Leland Sycamore had invented the trade secret...more

Flawed Consumer Survey Wipes Out $54 Million Verdict in Trademark Infringement Dispute

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In trademark infringement cases, consumer survey evidence can be a powerful tool. It can also badly malfunction, as Black & Decker recently experienced. ...more

Court Says Flawed Likelihood-of-Confusion Survey Which Followed Neither the Ever-Ready nor Squirt Standards Was Prejudicial...

On September 11, 2017, the Northern District of Illinois granted a motion for a new trial based on the improper admission of prejudicial likelihood-of-confusion survey evidence. The Black & Decker Corporation sued Positec...more

No Free Ride for Copycat Perfume Company – Fair Use Rejected, False Advertising Found, Accounting of Profits Awarded

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Well-known perfume marketer Coty Inc. had a big win in New York federal district court, obtaining injunctive relief and $6.5 million dollars in an accounting of profits from copycat perfume seller Excell Brands, LLC. In an...more

Wine And Spirits Are not Always Confusingly Similar

by Weintraub Tobin on

Brand litigation can be extreme in the consumer products space and even more so for alcoholic beverages (legal cannabis brand owners take note and start stockpiling your war chest). It’s not uncommon for litigation to arise...more

Judge Dow Orders New Trial Due to Unreliable Consumer Confusion Survey

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Granting Motion for New Trial, The Black & Decker Corp., et al. v. Positec USA, Inc., et al., N.D. Ill. (September 11, 2017) (Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.) - Trademark litigants often submit survey evidence to prove that...more

Two Recent Decisions Highlight Divergent Extraterritorial Application of Lanham Act and Copyright Act

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

The question whether and under what circumstances the Lanham Act and the Copyright Act will be applied to conduct occurring at least partially outside the United States grows increasingly important as the world economy...more

Tatcha v. Too Faced: What Shade is your Trade Dress?

by Knobbe Martens on

Newcomer to the luxury cosmetics marketplace, Tatcha LLC (“Tatcha”), recently made a splash by filing a trade dress infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of California against Too Faced Cosmetics LLC (“Too Faced”), a...more

Prohibition On Nostalgia? Potential Limits On Marketing Products Using “Kid-Friendly” Names

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

An interesting case has recently been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois regarding the advertisement of e-cigarette liquids in flavors that seem to be directed to children under...more

Much Ado About Shoe Designs – Favorable Rulings for Adidas on Summary Judgment in Skechers Trademark Dispute

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On August 3, 2017, the shoe manufacturer Adidas scored important legal victories in its long-running trademark dispute with the shoemaker Skechers. Adidas America, Inc. et al. v. Skechers USA, Inc. (D. Or. 2017) involved...more

Sneaker Wars: Adidas Defeats Summary-Judgment Motion That Claimed Stan Smith Shoe Design Lacks Distinctiveness

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion for Summary Judgment, Adidas America Inc. et al. v. Skechers USA Inc., D. Or. (August 3, 2017) (Judge Marco Hernández) - The ever-increasing popularity (and...more

The Relevance of Alternative Designs 16 Years After TrafFix

by WilmerHale on

In 2001, the Supreme Court in TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc. refined its test for determining whether a product design is functional—and thus ineligible for trade dress protection. 532 U.S. 23, 58...more

When Asserting Arbitration Provisions, Think Inside the Box

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declined to apply an arbitration provision to a dispute where the asserted claims were not within the scope of the contract containing the arbitration provision. Roof N Box,...more

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