Mealey's Trademarks

  • July 13, 2020

    Google Prevails In California Trademark Dispute Over ‘G-Suite’

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on July 8 granted Google LLC summary judgment, deeming the tech giant entitled to prevail on allegations that it infringed the “G-Suite” trademark (GearSource Holdings LLC v. Google Inc., No. 18-3812, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119892).

  • July 08, 2020

    Denial Of Fees In Patent Case Vacated; Panel Says Wrong Statute Applied

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Florida federal judge’s application of the trademark statute in assessing a request for an award of attorney fees in a patent case was an abuse of discretion, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 1, reversing and remanding (Electronic Communication Technologies LLC v. ShoppersChoice.com LLC, No. 19-2087, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20504).

  • July 07, 2020

    Judgment In Copyright, Trademark Dispute Over Cost Catalog Affirmed

    NEW ORLEANS — A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 30 upheld a Texas federal judge’s determination that two tortious interference defendants are entitled to immunity in connection with cease-and-desist letters they sent that asserted copyright and trademark infringement by a competitor (Construction Cost Data L.L.C. et al., v. Gordian Group Inc., et al., No. 19-20482, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20489).

  • July 02, 2020

    High Court Grants Certiorari, Vacates Fee Award In Trademark Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its July 2 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari by Booking.com B.V. in which the travel website asserted that it cannot be made to reimburse the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) attorney fees the agency incurred in connection with its defense of a denied trademark registration (Booking.com B.V. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 18-1309, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 01, 2020

    Mask Maker Files Suit To Combat ‘Exploitation’ Of Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic

    LOS ANGELES — A provider of renewable energy, clean transportation and design and manufacturing services and its subsidiary that is the exclusive seller of Build Your Dreams (BYD) health care products in North America filed an unfair competition, trademark dilution and trademark infringement lawsuit in a California federal court on June 22, alleging that “bad actors” used their “brand recognition and trademarks to deceive and harm the public” and that the consequences of counterfeit respirator masks “can literally be deadly” (BYD Company Ltd, et al. v. Alexander Khazai, et al., No. 20-5530, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 30, 2020

    Divided Supreme Court: Booking.com Trademark Is Valid, Protectable

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the addition of a generic top-level domain (TLD) to a generic term can transform that combination into a protectable, descriptive trademark were affirmed June 30 by a divided U.S. Supreme Court (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. v. Booking.com B.V., No. 19-46, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 30, 2020

    Judge Denies Injunction To Chicken Wings Restaurant In Trademark Infringement Suit

    DETROIT — A chicken wings restaurant was denied a preliminary injunction on June 26 by a Michigan federal judge on claims for trademark and trade dress infringement and copyright infringement against another wings restaurant and its franchising company because many restaurants that serve chicken use circles or images of chicken in their logos (Eastpointe DWC, LLC v. Wing Snob Inc., et al., No. 19-13768, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108526).

  • June 29, 2020

    Panel Partly Affirms, Partly Reverses Verdict In Trade Dress Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 25 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial on allegations that a furniture maker willfully infringed the trade dress of the Herman Miller Inc. (HMI) “Aeron” chair (Blumenthal Distributing Inc. v. Herman Miller Inc., Nos. 18-56471, -56493, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19950).

  • June 29, 2020

    In Little Caesars Franchise Row, 6th Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction

    CINCINNATI — A Michigan federal judge’s preliminary injunction barring the former franchisees of four Little Caesars from operating their restaurants or from continued use of the Little Caesars trademarks was not an abuse of discretion, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25 in an unpublished order (Little Caesars Enterprises Inc., et al. v. Miramar Quick Service Restaurant Corp., et al., No. 19-1860, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19962).

  • June 23, 2020

    Insurer Owes No Coverage For Trademark Suit Against Wal-Mart, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of a commercial general liability insurer in a lawsuit filed by a private label manufacturer for Wal-Mart Inc. seeking coverage for an underlying trademark infringement action brought against the retailer (Hybrid Promotions LLC v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 18-56658, 9th Cir.).

  • June 23, 2020

    Insurer Has Duty To Defend Trademark Dispute, Insured Argues To 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insured recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling that its insurer has no duty to defend it against an underlying trademark dispute (Premier Pools Management Corp. v. Colony Insurance Corp., No. 18-16551, 9th Cir.).

  • June 19, 2020

    Panel Affirms: Patent Owner Barred From Suing Amazon Customers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A prior dismissal with prejudice of patent infringement allegations against Amazon.com Inc. serves to bar the patent owner from now suing Amazon’s customers, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 17, affirming a California federal judge’s grant of summary judgment in the cases (PersonalWeb Technologies LLC v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 19-1918, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18939).

  • June 18, 2020

    7th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Fees In Copyright, Trademark Row

    CHICAGO — A Wisconsin federal judge did not err in denying a copyright and trademark infringement defendant an award of its attorney fees following a voluntary dismissal of the claims by the defendant’s former employer, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 17 (Timothy B. O’Brien LLC v. David Knott, et al., No. 19-2138, 7th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18957).

  • June 16, 2020

    3M Files Suit In California Over Fake Personal Protective Equipment

    LOS ANGELES — Myriad defendants “operated an illegal scheme” to sell counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) “in order to take advantage” of and exploit consumers during the COVID-19 global pandemic, 3M Inc. alleges in a June 8 complaint filed in the Central District of California (3M Company v. KM Brothers Inc., et al., No. 20-5049, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 15, 2020

    Judge Finds Florida Proper Venue For Hospice Franchise, Trademark Dispute

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on June 10 refused to dismiss a health care franchisor’s breach of contract and trademark infringement lawsuit against a Louisiana-based hospice services franchisee, holding that Florida is the proper venue for the lawsuit because the franchisee is a successor-in-interest to the company that signed the original agreement that designates Florida as the appropriate location for litigation (Interim Healthcare Inc. v. Interim Healthcare of Southeast Louisiana Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-62412-BLOOM/Valle, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101841).

  • June 12, 2020

    Musician Asserts Ownership Of ‘The Ebonys’ Trademark In 3rd Circuit Appeal

    PHILADELPHIA — A musician who claims to have founded the band The Ebonys filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 1, arguing that a trial court wrongly dismissed his trademark infringement suit over the band name against another resumption under the doctrine of claim preclusion (David Beasley v. William Howard, No. 20-1119, 3rd Cir.).

  • June 12, 2020

    Diocese Tells 4th Circuit ‘The Episcopal Church’ Is A Generic Trademark

    RICHMOND, Va. — A church diocese that split from the Episcopal Church (TEC) eight years ago asserts that the corresponding trademark for “The Episcopal Church” is generic and unprotectable, asking the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an April 20 brief to reverse a trial court’s finding that it engaged in trademark infringement and dilution (The Episcopal Church, et al. v. Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence, et al., Nos. 19-2112, 19-2163 and 20-1061, 4th Cir.).

  • June 08, 2020

    Panel Reverses Fee Award In Longstanding Patent, Trademark Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 8 holding, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected findings by a California federal judge that a trademark, trade dress and patent infringement lawsuit over a spill-proof cup was unreasonable (Munchkin Inc. v. Luv n’ Care Ltd. et al., No. 19-1454, Fed. Cir.).

  • June 08, 2020

    Panel Grants Request For Sanctions In Dispute Over ‘Prevagen’ Mark

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 5 found that an appeal by an infringement defendant, deemed in default by an Illinois federal judge, was frivolous, entitling a trademark owner to an award of sanctions under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38, Fed. R. App. P. 38 (Quincy Bioscience LLC v. Ellishbooks, No. 19‐1799, 7th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17726).

  • June 08, 2020

    In Arizona Domain Dispute, Italian Museum Wins $119K Fee Award

    PHOENIX — A dispute over the www.uffizi.com domain name yielded an award of $119,460 in attorney fees and costs on June 3, when a federal judge in Arizona agreed that a declaratory judgment action qualifies as exceptional (BoxNic Anstalt v. Gallerie degli Uffizi, No. 18-1263, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98121).