As cannabis products become legal in more and more states, commercial interest grows in protecting the trademarks associated with those products. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has maintained its refusal to register trademarks for most cannabis-based products on the ground that use of those products is federally unlawful. But what about state or common law rights in trademarks … Continue Reading
The United States is a party to the General Inter-American Convention for Trade Mark and Commercial Protection of Washington, 1929 (“Pan-American Convention”), along with Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. The Pan-American Convention governs the treatment of trademarks, trade names, unfair competition, and false indications of geographical origin or source. It basically gives trademark owners in … Continue Reading
The Federal Circuit in In re JC Hospitality LLC recently affirmed the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s refusal to register the service mark THE JOINT for a venue offering entertainment and restaurant services. The Circuit affirmed the Board’s unusually high evidentiary standards for demonstrating that a trademark has acquired distinctiveness.… 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 Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) recently held that AT&T Mobility, LLC (“AT&T”) had sufficient interest in its almost completely moribund CINGULAR name to oppose two pending trademark applications filed by an unrelated party. AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Mark Thomann and Dormitus Brands, LLC, Opposition No. 91218108 (TTAB February 10, 2020).… Continue Reading
ABA (as amicus) Asks the Supreme Court to Adopt a Flexible Rule for Recapture of Profits in Trademark Cases
Intellectual Property Owners Association (as amicus) Argues That a Willfulness Requirement Is Consistent with the Statute and Principles of Equity
The American Bar Association (“ABA”) filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the petitioner in … Continue Reading
In a recent decision on remand from the Federal Circuit, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) rejected Petitioner adidas AG’s (“adidas”) claim that Respondent Christian Faith Fellowship Church (“CFFC”) abandoned its ADD A ZERO marks (both in standard character and design form), but agreed that the phrase, as used by CFFC in standard characters, fails to function as a … 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 a precedential decision involving the “doctrine of foreign equivalents,” the Board found no likelihood of confusion between the mark RICHARD MAGAZINE for a website in the field of fashion and lifestyle and the mark RICARDO for goods and services, including publications, in the culinary field. Ricardo Media Inc. v. Inventive Software, LLC, Opposition No. 91235063 (August 21, 2019) [precedential]… Continue Reading
The Federal Circuit upheld a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) decision refusing registration of an athletic apparel company’s trademark, holding that the trademark applicant waived its key arguments by not raising them before the Board. Hylete LLC v. Hybrid Athletics, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019)… Continue Reading
In a recent decision concerning the scope of protection for collective membership marks, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sustained The Pierce-Arrow Society’s opposition to registration of PIERCE-ARROW for “automobiles” by Applicant Spintek Filtration, Inc. The Pierce-Arrow Society v. Spintek Filtration, Inc., Opposition No. 91224343 (August 12, 2019) [precedential]
A “collective membership” indicates that the user of the mark is … Continue Reading
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently affirmed the refusal to register a trademark application for BIG SIX for wine on the ground that the term is generic or descriptive of wines. In re Plata Wine Partners, LLC, Serial No. 87292254 (August 22, 2019) [not precedential]
Applicant filed an intent to use trademark application for BIG SIX for wine, … Continue Reading
In a case affecting the fast-growing legal cannabis industry, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB” or “Board”) affirmed the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) refusal to register two trademarks for smokeless cannabis vaporizers because the goods were seen as unlawful drug paraphernalia under federal law. In re Canopy Growth Corporation by assignment from JJ206, LLC, Serial … Continue Reading
The Federal Circuit recently sustained the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (“TTAB” or the “Board”) refusal to register Louis Vuitton Malletier’s (“LVM”) trademark APOGÉE for perfumes, a decision that will concern trademark prosecution attorneys who seek to distinguish trademarks in United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) likelihood of confusion refusals.… 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 United States Supreme Court, in Iancu v. Brunetti, reviewing the trademark application for “FUCT”, held that the Lanham’s Act’s provision, prohibiting the registration of “immoral or scandalous” trademarks, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a)(1), violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This blog has followed the evolving judicial views concerning “disparaging” trademarks, culminating in the Supreme … Continue Reading
The United States Supreme Court in Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC (No. 17-1657) (May 20, 2019) resolved a deep circuit split and held that a licensees’ rights under trademark licenses survive a debtor-licensor’s rejection in bankruptcy, resolving an ambiguity presented in the intersection of intellectual property law and bankruptcy law that has plagued courts for decades.… Continue Reading
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently issued a new Examination Guide relating to trademarks for cannabis and cannabis-related goods and services.
This much-anticipated guide comes after the December 20, 2018 enactment of the Farm Bill. … Continue Reading
This blog has followed the evolving judicial views concerning disparaging trademarks, culminating in the Supreme Court’s decision in in Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (June 19, 2017). Our extensive coverage can be found here. We have also followed the closely related issue of the “immoral or scandalous” clause presented in In re Brunetti, 877 F.3d … Continue Reading
Rapunzel potentially was released from the trademark monopoly tower, not by her hair, but by trademark opposer and law professor Rebecca Curtin. In a decision issued on December 28, 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) denied trademark applicant United Trademark Holdings, Inc.’s (“Applicant”) motion to dismiss Prof. Curtin’s opposition to registration … Continue Reading
According to the Federal Circuit, the skinny on the term “Thins” is that it may be generic for thinly cut snack crackers. Real Foods Pty Ltd. V. Frito-Lay North America, Inc., (October 4, 2018 Fed. Cir.).
In 2012, Real Foods Pty. Ltd. (“Real Foods”) applied to register the trademarks CORN THINS for “crispbread slices predominantly of corn, namely popped … Continue Reading
The Ninth Circuit extended the First Amendment protections enunciated by the Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam, 137 S.Ct. 1744 (2017) to advertising in American Freedom Defense Initiative, et al. v. King County (9th Cir. Sept. 27, 2018).
Plaintiff American Freedom Defense Initiative is an organization co-founded by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, whose focus is to … Continue Reading