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Mealey's Trademarks

  • August 17, 2018

    Extraterritorial Rights Of ‘Commodores’ Trademark Argued In High Court Briefs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 8 opposition brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, a management firm for the band The Commodores argues that a trial court properly applied trademark law in issuing a worldwide injunction preventing a former member from using the mark overseas, asking the high court to deny his petition for certiorari (Thomas McClary, et al. v. Commodores Entertainment Corp., No. 18-47, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 14, 2018

    D.C. Circuit Affirms In Longstanding ‘Michoacana’ Trademark Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by a District of Columbia federal judge that the “La Michoacana” trademark lacks distinctiveness when used in connection with a Mexican ice cream treat were not clearly erroneous, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 13; however, the panel additionally found that even if the mark were protectable, a false association defendant failed to establish priority of use in the United States (Paleteria La Michoacana Inc., et al. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A. De C.V., No. 17-7075, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22396).

  • August 10, 2018

    8th Circuit: Proposed, Amended Trademark Claim May Not Be Futile

    ST. LOUIS — In an Aug. 9 holding, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal on copyright preemption grounds of trade dress and tortious interference claims levied in a dispute over a light installation, but found that a proposed, amended trademark infringement claim should be allowed to proceed (Bruce Munro, et al. v. Lucy Activewear Inc., et al., No. 16-4483, 8th Cir.).

  • August 8, 2018

    11th Circuit Affirms In Trade Dress, Trade Secret Dispute Over Boat Design

    ATLANTA — In an Aug. 7 holding, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that although a Florida federal judge erred in requiring a threshold showing of inferior product quality to establish post-sale consumer confusion, the record in a dispute over competing boat designs is nonetheless “devoid of evidence indicating a probability of post-sale confusion,” rendering summary judgment proper (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 17-11176, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21918).

  • August 8, 2018

    9th Circuit Affirms Amazon Did Not Infringe Turf Trademarks With Keyword Use

    SEATTLE — Amazon.com Inc.’s use of a New Jersey artificial turf maker’s trademark in search engine keyword advertising did not violate the Lanham Act, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 6, finding that the online retailer made no misrepresentations about any products’ source or quality (Steven Lasoff v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 17-35173, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21720).

  • August 7, 2018

    Judge Remands Restaurant Owner’s Trademark, UCL Claims To California Court

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After finding that a restaurant owner is not asserting a federal trademark infringement claim, a California federal judge on Aug. 2 remanded its claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and common-law trademark infringement to state court (Early Morning Inc. v. Eliud Moreno, et al., No. 2:18-cv-00483, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130116).

  • August 6, 2018

    11th Circuit Affirms: Ownership Of ‘Casas Bahia’ Trademark Established

    ATLANTA — A Florida federal judge did not err in finding that use by a declaratory judgment defendant of the “Casas Bahia” trademark in commerce was sufficient to establish ownership rights, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 3 (Direct Niche LLC v. Via Varejo S/A, No. 17-13937, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21584).

  • August 3, 2018

    2nd Circuit Reinstates Latest Litigation Over ‘Get Lucky’ Trademark

    NEW YORK — In an Aug. 2 ruling, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that “under certain conditions,” claim preclusion may bar defendants from invoking defenses that could have been raised in an earlier action (Marcel Fashions Group Inc. v. Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al., No. 17-0361, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21482).

  • August 1, 2018

    Apparel Maker, College Debate ‘Related Goods’ Mark Use In Supreme Court Briefs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a July 24 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, a fan clothing maker asks the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether a college’s registered service mark allows it to preclude use of that mark for goods unrelated to its registered categories (Sportswear Inc. v. Savannah College of Art and Design, No. 17-1316, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 1, 2018

    Dismissal Denied In Trademark Dispute Over Auto-Populated Results

    SAN DIEGO — A plaintiff sufficiently pleaded commercial use of its “Biotine” trademarks when it alleged that a defendant’s website’s auto-populated dropdown list causes the “Biotine” trademarks to appear, a California federal judge ruled July 31 (Natural Thoughts Inc. v. Performance Touch LLC, et al., No. 17-2148, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127255).

  • July 31, 2018

    9th Circuit Reinstates Trademark Dispute Over ‘Honey Badger’ Cards

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge’s grant of summary judgment in favor of two defendants accused of infringing “Honey Badger” catchphrases coined by a YouTube star was reversed July 30 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, who found that jurors could conclude that the goodwill associated with the marks was appropriated in a series of greeting cards (Christopher Gordon v. Drape Creative Inc., et al., No. 16-56715, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20986).

  • July 30, 2018

    Intellectual Property Exclusion Bars Coverage For All Claims, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying trademark and trade dress infringement lawsuit because the insurance policy's intellectual property exclusion bars coverage for all claims (Secard Pools Inc, et al. v. Kinsale Insurance Company, No. 17-55534, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20839).

  • July 30, 2018

    New York Federal Judge Erred In Priority Analysis, 2nd Circuit Says

    NEW YORK — In a July 27 holding, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated and remanded a grant of summary judgment in favor of a trademark infringement plaintiff, upon finding that a New York federal judge’s determination of priority of use of the “Rogue” trademark was erroneous (Excelled Sheepskin & Leather Coat Corporation v. Oregon Brewing Company, No. 16-3602, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20940).

  • July 27, 2018

    In Jeweler Trademark Dispute, 6th Circuit Affirms: Confusion Unlikely

    CINCINNATI — In a July 24 holding, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that an Ohio federal judge properly rejected allegations that use of “Artistry Diamond Collection” by a jewelry retailer would infringe upon a jewelry wholesaler’s “Artistry” unregistered trademark (Sterling Jewelers Inc. v. Artistry Ltd., No. 17-4132, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20534).

  • July 26, 2018

    New York Federal Judge: Photographer’s Heirs Own Rights To Marilyn Monroe Images

    NEW YORK — Although finding that the heirs of photographer Bert Stern are the rightful owners of images taken of Marilyn Monroe shortly before her death, a New York federal judge on June 20 found that genuine disputes of material fact preclude summary judgment in favor of the heirs on their allegations of copyright infringement and false and misleading representations (Shannah Laumeister Stern, et al. v. Lisa Lavender, et al., No. 16-9886, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121405).

  • July 26, 2018

    Record Label Asks High Court To Consider Trademark Expressive Works Standard

    WASHINGTON. D.C. — Arguing that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has improperly elevated an expressive works exception over the traditional likelihood-of-confusion standard in trademark law, a record label in a July 24 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari asks the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a purported circuit split on the matter in a case centering on the television show “Empire” (Empire Distribution Inc. v. Twentieth Century Fox Television, et al., No. 17-1383, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 26, 2018

    9th Circuit Upholds Reverse Passing Off Verdict, Judgment In Tire Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a July 24 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a Washington federal judge’s post-trial judgment that a defendant is liable for reverse passing off under the Lanham Act because he passed off genuine industrial tiles made by a competitor as his own (OTR Wheel Engineering Inc. v. West Worldwide Services Inc., et al., Nos. 16-35897, -35936, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20520).

  • July 25, 2018

    9th Circuit Clarifies: Damages Not Available In Hookah Trademark Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge did not err in reconsidering an earlier summary judgment holding upon finding that a trademark infringement plaintiff sought and won damages for trademarks that were not yet registered at the time they were counterfeited, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 24 (Kaloud Inc. v. Shisha Land Wholesale Inc., Nos. 16-56138, -56401, -56500, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20603).

  • July 19, 2018

    5th Circuit Affirms: ‘Cowboy Little Barrel’ Trademark Abandoned

    NEW ORLEANS — In a July 18 holding, a per curiam Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel refused to undo a Texas federal jury’s determination that a trademark infringement plaintiff failed to rebut a presumption of intent not to resume use of the “Cowboy Little Barrel” (CLB) trademark after years of nonuse (Allied Lomar Inc. v. Lone Star Distillery LLC, et al., No. 17-50148, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 19865).

  • July 18, 2018

    Fair Use Defense May Be Available For Reproduced Standards, D.C. Circuit Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Although avoiding the “far thornier question” of whether written standards for commercial and industrial endeavors retain intellectual property protection after they are incorporated by reference into law, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 17 reversed and remanded a grant of summary judgment in favor of several private organizations that allege that their standards were infringed (American Society for Testing and Materials, et al. v. Public.Resource.org Inc., No. 17-7035, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 19603).