Evelina Gentry advises clients with real estate, labor and employment, First Amendment, False Claims Act (FCA), products liability, and bankruptcy litigation disputes.
On May 14, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held in Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al. v. Marcel Fashion Group Inc., that a party is not precluded from raising new defenses, when a subsequent lawsuit between the same parties challenges different conduct and raises different claims.
The Lanham Act (“Act”) makes it clear that generic terms cannot be registered as trademarks. But can an online business create a protectable trademark by adding a generic top-level domain (e.g., “.com”) to an otherwise generic term? The Supreme Court will answer this question in USPTO v. Booking.com, No. 19-46.
The legal battle between Booking.com and the … Continue Reading
On April 27, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held, in Georgia et al. v. Public.Resource.Org., Inc., in a 5-4 decision, that copyright law does not protect annotations contained in the official annotated compilation of Georgia statutes.
On April 23, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., FKA Fossil, Inc., et al., that under the Lanham Act, a plaintiff is not required to show that a defendant willfully violated plaintiff’s trademark rights as a precondition to a profits award.
Section 15 of the Lanham Act, subject to certain specified exceptions, provides that the right of an owner “to use [a] registered mark in commerce for the goods or services on or in connection with which such registered mark has been in continuous use for five consecutive years subsequent to the date of such registration and is still in use … Continue Reading
On April 8, 2020, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Federal Circuit”), in In Re Forney Industries Inc reversed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) and held that multicolor designs may be inherently distinctive when used on product packaging. The court further held that multicolor designs need not be used within a well-defined shape or border to … Continue Reading
On March 23, 2020, in Allen v. Cooper, the Supreme Court held that Allen, who spent over two decades, photographing the shipwreck of Queen Anne’s Revenge, better known as the flagship for the pirate Blackbeard, cannot sue the State of North Carolina (“State”) for copyright infringement of his photographs. The Court’s decision was based on its prior decision … Continue Reading
Nearly 40 years after Led Zeppelin released Stairway to Heaven – viewed by many as one of the greatest rock songs of all time – Led Zeppelin was sued for copyright infringement. The estate of guitarist Randy Wolfe, who composed Taurus in 1968, claimed that Led Zeppelin and its guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant copied portions of it… Continue Reading
This trademark litigation arises out of a contentious real-estate rivalry in a very wealthy residential community called Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida. It presents a comprehensive overview of standards for trademark cancellation and for appeal from a judgment as a matter of law after a jury trial.
Plaintiff Royal Palm Properties, is a real-estate agency … Continue Reading
The American Bar Association (“ABA”) filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the petitioner in … Continue Reading
In June 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., et al., No. 18-1233. As set forth in our previous blog post, Romag Fasteners Inc. (“Romag”) seeks to have the Court resolve a longstanding circuit split on the issue: “[w]hether, under section 35 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), … Continue Reading
In June 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al. v. Marcel Fashion Group Inc., No. 18-1086. As set forth in our prior blog posts, Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc. and related companies (collectively, “Lucky”) seek a reversal of the Second Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling that Lucky was precluded by res … Continue Reading
In June 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Allen v. Cooper, No. 18-877. The case presents a question “whether Congress validly abrogated state sovereign immunity via the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act … in providing remedies for authors of original expression whose federal copyrights are infringed by States.” Plaintiffs filed their Opening Brief in August 2019.… Continue Reading
In Silvertop Associates, Inc. v. Kangaroo Manufacturing, Inc., the Third Circuit applied the two-part test set forth in the Supreme Court’s decision in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., and held that a full-body banana costume qualified for copyright protection.… Continue Reading
On Friday, June 28, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether, in cases where a plaintiff asserts new claims, federal preclusion principles bar a defendant from raising defenses that were not actually litigated and resolved in any prior case between the parties. Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al. v. Marcel Fashion Group Inc., No. 18-1086. … Continue Reading
On Friday, June 28, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide the circumstances necessary to support an award of a trademark infringer’s profits under section 35 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a). Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., et al., No. 18-1233. The ruling hopefully will resolve a long-standing circuit split over whether willfulness is a … Continue Reading
On June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether states can claim copyright protection in annotated codes. State of Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., No. 18-1150. Annotated codes, in addition to the text of the statute, include summaries of judicial opinions, regulations, and attorney general opinions related to the statute. Georgia, like many states, offers a … Continue Reading