Tag Archives: trademark

Trademark Infringement and Jury Trials in Federal Courts

When plaintiffs assert trademark infringement and related actions under the Lanham Act (or state law counterparts), more often than not the complaint will include a demand for a jury trial on all issues so triable, as is standard practice. However, if discovery ultimately reveals, or dispositive motion practice confirms, that a plaintiff has suffered no … Continue Reading

USPTO Provides Guidance in View of ‘Booking.com’

On June 30, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States decided USPTO v. Booking.com B.V., rejecting a rule that a proposed mark consisting of the combination of a generic term and a generic top-level domain, like “.com,” is automatically generic.[1] Booking.com arose from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) refusal to register the … Continue Reading

Considering a Common Phrase as a Trademark? Don’t Expect it to be Registrable.

There have been a number of recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) cases involving phrase marks. In all instances, the phrases have been refused registration not because of descriptiveness or misdescriptiveness of any kind, but because they fail to function as trademarks due to their informational characteristics and widespread use. This blog provides the … Continue Reading

Congress Passes the Trademark Modernization Act

On Monday as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021 that included the COVID-19 relief package, Congress passed the Trademark Modernization Act, which President Trump is expected to sign. With respect to trademark infringement litigation, the act restores the rebuttable presumption of irreparable harm to support injunctive relief on proof of trademark infringement. The … Continue Reading

Podcast: Assessing Risks in a Deal, How to Partner with Your Business Team

Businesses are not stagnant, and products change both in name and content. Brands are acquired as part of an acquisition, lines are extended in licenses, product lines are extended as businesses change. How do attorneys work with their clients to maintain brand initiatives during business deals and transitions? Jacqueline Lesser will walk through the key issues … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Clarifies Standard For Bringing a Cancellation Proceeding under 15 U.S.C. § 1064

In a recent decision, Corcamore, LLC v. SFM, LLC, 978 F.3d 1298 (Fed. Cir. 2020), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit clarified the standard for maintaining a petition to cancel a trademark registration under §1064 of the Lanham Act.  The Federal Circuit noted that while these questions are often framed as questions of … Continue Reading

Wielding Trademark Rights to Fight COVID-19 Scams

Trademark owners are wielding their intellectual property rights to stop COVID-19 scams and prevent the spread of misinformation about the ongoing pandemic. With the injunctive power of the Lanham Act, medical supply companies, software companies and even educational institutions are able to quash scams and misinformation. Earlier this year, 3M launched what has grown into … Continue Reading

Is Your Trademark Portfolio Brexit-Ready? Steps to Take Now to Ensure a Smooth Transition

While the UK formally left the EU on January 31, 2020, “Exit Day” will occur on December 31, 2020. Are your trademarks ready? This article provides a brief checklist of considerations as we approach the hard exit date at the end of this year. For existing European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) registrations, each registration will … Continue Reading

CAFC Holds the Lack of a Property Interest in a Trademark Does Not Prevent the Commencement of a Cancellation Proceeding

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”), in a 2-1 vote, held in Australian Therapeutic Supplies Pty., Ltd. v. Naked TM, LLC, Appeal No. 2019-1567 (Fed.Cir. July 27, 2020) (accessible at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/node/26425), that a property interest in a mark is unnecessary for a cancellation petitioner to establish a statutory right to commence a … Continue Reading

Booking.com Remand on USPTO Attorney Fee Issue Portends Closure on Circuit Split

As followers of this blog may recall, in December 2019, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split as to whether the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may recover its “attorneys’ fees” (effectively, the pro rata salaries of its legal personnel) in appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Holds that ‘generic.com’ Trademarks Like Booking.com May Be Capable of Registration

Today, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the trademark registration case United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V., holding “A term styled ‘generic.com’ is a generic name for a class of goods or services only if the term has that meaning to consumers.” Justice Ginsburg delivered the majority opinion, in which justices … Continue Reading

Fast-Track Examination for COVID-19-Related Trademarks and Service Marks

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice on June 12 announcing a new, accelerated examination program for certain COVID-19-related trademark applications. The USPTO will begin accepting petitions for fast-track examination on June 16, 2020. This is great news for those developing and researching new products to help combat COVID-19. Applications are typically … Continue Reading

No Luck Needed for Lucky Brand at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court yesterday issued its second trademark decision of this term. In Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. v. Marcel Fashions Group, Inc., Case No. 18-1086 (S. Ct. May 14, 2020), the ultimate question before the Court was the applicability of “defense preclusion.” Specifically, the Court considered whether and under what circumstances a defense may be … Continue Reading

[Insert Yell Here]: Rapper Pitbull Receives Trademark Registration for “EEEEEEEYOOOOOO!” Sound Mark

Platinum-selling music artist Pitbull has received two trademark registrations for a signature yell used in his music. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued two sound mark registrations, U.S. Reg. Nos. 5877076 and 5877077, for “entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances” and “musical sound recordings; musical video recordings,” respectively. For … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Livestreams Oral Arguments on BOOKING.COM Trademark Registerability

On Monday, we listened in real time to the livestreamed Supreme Court oral arguments in the trademark registration case United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.  Because of COVID-19, the arguments were done telephonically, but with the added twist of a live broadcast. The event itself was remarkable, considering the impact of the … Continue Reading

A Finding of Willfulness Is Not Required for an Award of Profits in a Trademark Infringement Case

The Supreme Court has definitively answered the question of whether a plaintiff in a trademark infringement suit is required to show, as a precondition to a profits award, that a defendant willfully infringed the plaintiff’s trademark. By a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court said NO. In Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., Romag, a … Continue Reading

7th Circuit Upholds Trademark ‘Fair Use’ Doctrine

In an August 2019 decision, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the earlier finding by the Northern District of Illinois of summary judgment that PepsiCo’s Gatorade division’s use of the phrase “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” on its Gatorade family of products did not infringe SportFuel Inc.’s SPORTFUEL trademark because the use of … Continue Reading

Really? Someone thinks I HEART COVID-19 should be awarded a US trademark registration?

Aside from I HEART COVID-19 (stylized) being an offensive slogan given the hundreds of thousands of people affected throughout the world by the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. trademark application for this slogan, filed by an entity called Bad Covid, LLC, is likely to fail like most of the other opportunistic trademark filings for terms related … Continue Reading

Trademark Fraud Sparks Rare Bipartisan Action

In a political environment in which even a global virus pandemic cannot seem to foster bipartisan legislative cooperation, the growing surge in fraudulent trademark applications – many of which are maturing into issued trademark registrations – has done just that. On March 11, 2020, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Ranking Judiciary Member Doug … Continue Reading

Can Booking.com Trademark Its Company Name? How Will the U.S. Supreme Court Resolve Whether a Generic Term Plus a Top-Level Domain Is Protectable?

The legal battle between Booking.com BV and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began more than five years ago and concerns whether the online hotel booking company can secure a trademark registration for its name. After filing for trademark protection, Booking.com commenced a federal lawsuit in connection with the USPTO’s refusal to issue a … Continue Reading

Session not Season

When the Supreme Court opens its new session on Oct. 7, one of the cases it will determine, Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., et al. Case No. 2018-2417, is expected to resolve a stark difference among circuits over when a trademark owner is entitled to disgorgement of an infringer’s profits due to an infringing … Continue Reading

USPTO Proposes New Fee Schedule

On August 29, 2019, the Director of the USPTO notified the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) of the Office’s intent to set or adjust trademark related fees and submitted a preliminary trademark fee proposal for comment. There are multiple timelines for public debate and comment on the proposed new fees, with a tentative implementation date … Continue Reading
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