WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Feb. 23 holding, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a rejection by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of allegations that proposed “Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company” and “Liberty Bankers Life The Capitol Life” trademarks would cause confusion with an existing “Bankers Life” trademark.
PHILADELPHIA — A trademark owner prevailed, in part, on summary judgment Feb. 24 when a federal judge in Pennsylvania agreed that assertions by infringement defendant Nike Inc. that the claim is time barred will not be presented at an upcoming trial.
NEW YORK — In a Feb. 18 holding, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a New York federal judge’s grant of summary judgment on behalf of a trade dress owner in a dispute over mixing tips for use in dental procedures.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 16 issued a precedential opinion in which it said the correct standard of review on a grant of summary judgment on an unclean hands defense to trademark infringement claims is for abuse of discretion; that same day, the panel issued a memorandum disposition that such a grant of summary judgment in a dispute over the “METAL” mark was improper.
SAN FRANCISCO — An Indian incense company in a Feb. 3 petition for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc argues that a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling that the company as nonsignatory to an arbitration agreement can’t rely on doctrines of equitable estoppel to compel arbitration with a former partner and his company contradicts U.S. Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent.
SAN FRANCISCO — A plaintiff who prevailed at trial on allegations that a competitor infringed its copyrighted take-apart working toy engine was properly granted a request for reimbursement of its attorney fees, even though its related allegations of trade dress infringement and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage were rejected by jurors, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 16.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 found no abuse of discretion in a Florida federal judge’s determination that a copyright and trademark dispute over billboard artwork and wording rises to the level of “exceptional,” thereby triggering an award of attorney fees and expert witness costs.
NEW YORK — In a Feb. 9 holding, a federal judge in New York granted dismissal of allegations by a plaintiff that its former employee was unjustly enriched by his formation of a competing company but allowed other allegations to proceed, including causes of action for copyright and trademark infringement.
RICHMOND, Va. — In a Jan. 26 holding, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found “no good reason” to vacate a preliminary injunction entered against Nike Inc., while also dismissing Nike’s appeal of the relief as moot in light of the footwear maker’s decision to cease use of the slogan “Sport Changes Everything.”
RICHMOND, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia erred in applying a common-law statute of limitations to a drugmaker’s allegations of federal unfair competition leveled in connection with the “Flanax” trademark, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 2.
SAN FRANCISCO — The developer of a mobile messaging app tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 19 reply brief that Apple Inc. cannot claim priority of use in the “Memoji” trademark, asking the court to reverse a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Apple in a trademark infringement suit centering on the two companies’ competing Memoji apps.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 26 granted a tobacco vape-maker’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin a group of online sellers from continuing to sell counterfeit vape products with the company’s logo through a Hong Kong-based website and ordered the sellers’ financial accounts frozen.
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 agreed to rehear a trade dress dispute following amicus curiae briefs from three interested parties that questioned the panel’s October finding of no protection for a thin, stick-shaped cookie; in their newly issued opinion the same day, however, the panel reached the same conclusion.
SHERMAN, Texas — An expert may testify that Gibson Brands guitar shapes are generic in a trademark dispute pending in a Texas federal court, a judge ruled Jan. 22, finding that the arguments made are better resolved through cross-examination.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided April 2020 ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that denied a request for $4.5 million in disgorged profits in connection with the “Stone Creek” trademark will not be disturbed, in view of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 25 denial of a petition for certiorari by the trademark owner.
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge in Minnesota on Jan. 4 denied without prejudice an acupuncture franchisor’s motion for a finding of contempt against franchisees in Colorado that have failed to cover exterior signage with the franchisor’s logo and remove from their webpages any reference to the franchisor, holding that franchisees are attempting in good faith to comply with the terms of an Oct. 28 preliminary injunction order.
SAN FRANCISCO — On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 20 again affirmed a district court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration of a trademark dispute between two Indian incense companies after finding that equitable estoppel would not apply under federal law, while a dissenting judge said the case should be remanded for review under the state law of the parties’ contract.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York appeals panel held Jan. 20 that a lower court erred in denying a commercial general liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying trademark infringement action, reversing and remitting for the lower court to declare that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A determination by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that “NORTH 61” would cause confusion with an existing “66⁰NORTH” trademark was affirmed Jan. 13 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — On remand after a failed petition for certiorari, a malware detection software maker on Jan. 12 filed a renewed motion to dismiss claims brought against it by a competitor in California federal court, asserting that it has not engaged in deceptive acts or false advertising in its targeting of the plaintiff’s “Scareware.”