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Mealey's Trademarks

  • January 30, 2019

    New Jersey Federal Judge Orders Cancellation Of ‘Anello’ Trademarks

    TRENTON, N.J. —A New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 28 granted summary judgment on a counterclaim seeking cancellation of two trademarks, agreeing with defendants that their cousins are not entitled to the registrations, which incorporate the last name “Anello” (Steven Anello, et al. v. VCA Sons Inc., et al., No. 13-3074, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13894).

  • January 29, 2019

    Dispute Over ‘Stufz’ Mark, Patent Transferred To Federal Circuit

    CINCINNATI — In a Jan. 28 holding, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that it lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal of a Michigan federal judge’s grant of summary judgment to a defendant accused of trademark and patent infringement (Wesley Corporation, et al. v. Zoom T.V. Products, et al., No. 18-1646, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 2785).

  • January 22, 2019

    Supreme Court Won’t Review Finding That Trade Dress Claim Is Preempted

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An August 2018 finding by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a visual artist’s trade dress claim was preempted by the Copyright Act will stand, thanks to a denial of certiorari Jan. 22 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Bruce Munro, et al. v. Lucy Activewear Inc., et al., No. 18-615, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 18, 2019

    Artist, Sportswear Chain Debate Trade Dress Protection In Supreme Court Briefs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly found that a visual artist was not entitled to trade dress protection for his artistic light display, a women’s sportswear chain asserts in a Dec. 13 brief opposing the artist’s petition for certiorari and arguing that there is no overlap between trade dress and copyright law that needs review by the court (Bruce Munro, et al. v. Lucy Activewear Inc., et al., No. 18-615, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 16, 2019

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Trademark Case, But Not As A Sanction

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 15 found that although a California federal judge abused his discretion in dismissing, as a sanction, allegations of trademark infringement and unfair competition, his earlier dismissal for failure to state a claim was proper (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Larry J. Lichtenegger, et al., No. 17-16815, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 1291).

  • January 16, 2019

    Federal Circuit Affirms Refusal To Register ‘Casalana’ Trademark

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Jan. 14 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that affirmed an examining attorney’s refusal to register “Casalana” on grounds of failure to demonstrate use in commerce (In re:  Siny Corp., No. 18-1077, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 1136).

  • January 16, 2019

    Trademark Owner To High Court: Bankruptcy Filing Permitted License Termination

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Jan. 9 merits respondent brief, a trademark holder tells the U.S. Supreme Court that under “extraordinary authority” in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, it was permitted to terminate a trademark license, stripping its former licensee’s rights to continue use of the once-licensed marks (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 17-1657, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 15, 2019

    Federal Circuit Reverses Refusal To Register Mark

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board erred in affirming an examiner’s refusal to register “Guild Mortgage Company” because the ruling was premised on an inadequate analysis of the factors for confusion, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 14 (In re:  Guild Mortgage Company, No. 17-2620, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 1131).

  • January 9, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss Trade Dress Claims Over Stanley Cup

    NEW YORK — Allegations that four defendants marketed and sold a plastic beer stein that replicates the National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup trophy will proceed in New York, a federal judge ruled Jan. 8 (National Hockey League v. The Hockey Cup LLC, et al., No. 18-6597, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3411).

  • January 7, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Rejects Lanham Act Claim Over Citizen Petition

    NEW YORK — In a Jan. 3 holding, a New York federal judge agreed with a defendant that it is protected by the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, as established in Eastern R.R. Presidents Conference v. Noerr Motor Freight, Inc., 365 U.S. 127, 136-39 (1961), and United Mine Workers v. Pennington, 381 U.S. 657, 669-70 (1965), from allegations it violated Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125, when it filed a citizen petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Elysium Health Inc. v. Chromadex Inc., No. 17-7394, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1871).

  • January 4, 2019

    Supreme Court Grants Certiorari In Dispute Over Immoral Trademarks

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its orders list issued on Jan. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will decide the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), which bars registration of “immoral and scandalous” trademarks (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 4, 2019

    California Federal Judge: Ownership Of Intellectual Property Not Demonstrated

    LOS ANGELES — Allegations of trade dress and copyright infringement levied against Dollar General Corp. in connection with sprinkler toys were rejected on summary judgment on Dec. 28 by a California federal judge, who found that a plaintiff is unable to demonstrate ownership of the intellectual property at issue (Swift Harvest USA LLC v. Dollar General Corporation, No. 17-8644, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 217845).

  • January 4, 2019

    Patent, Trademark Case Transferred From New York To California Federal Court

    NEW YORK — In a Jan. 2 ruling, a New York federal judge found that allegations of patent and trademark infringement, as well as federal unfair competition, should proceed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (NextEngine Inc. v. NextEngine Inc., No. 17-9785, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 584).

  • January 4, 2019

    New York Federal Magistrate Says Publishers Are Entitled To $6.2M Default Judgment

    NEW YORK — In a Jan. 2 report, a New York federal magistrate judge recommended an award of $6.2 million on behalf of four publishers that accuse 15 individuals and one corporate defendant of copyright and trademark infringement in connection with their online sales of counterfeit textbooks (Elsevier Inc., et al. v. Siew Yee Chew, et al., No. 17-6225, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196).

  • January 3, 2019

    In Longstanding Trademark Row, 8th Circuit Affirms Federal Judge

    ST. LOUIS — In a Dec. 21 ruling, a panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld in their entirety findings by an Arkansas federal judge that in view of a jury’s determination of fraud committed by a trademark owner before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), a defendant was entitled to a final judgment of noninfringement (B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc., No. 17-1570 and 17-1755, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 36214).

  • January 3, 2019

    9th Circuit Vacates Default Judgment Against Sugar Daddy Site For Improper Service

    PASADENA, Calif. — In a Dec. 31 mandate, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals awarded costs to a Cyprus-based website operator that saw a default judgment ruling against it in a trademark lawsuit reversed, due to the plaintiff’s failure to properly serve the defendant with its summons and complaint (Reflex Media Inc. v. Apiriliaco Ltd., et al., No. 17-55505, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34524).

  • December 19, 2018

    Judge Rules On Out-Of-State Franchise Law Regarding Distributorship Agreements

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal judge on Dec. 17 ruled that mandatory purchases of inventory under distributorship agreements did not constitute a franchise fee under California or Washington law and that a food service manufacturer complied with termination and notice provisions (PW Stoelting LLC v. Steven J. Levine, et al., No. 16-381, E.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211914).

  • December 13, 2018

    Scandalous Trademark Ban Not Unconstitutional, PTO Argues To Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Dec. 11 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) defends its decision to deny registration of a trademark it deemed vulgar, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the scandalous-marks provision of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 13, 2018

    Trademark Licensee Tells High Court Bankruptcy Filings Do Not Rescind Contracts

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A licensee of certain trademark and distribution rights argues in a Dec. 10 merits brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that a bankruptcy filing does not empower a debtor to rescind any agreements or revoke any licensed intellectual property rights that it could not do outside of the bankruptcy context (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 17-1657, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 12, 2018

    Domain Registrar Again Denied Attorney Fees In Lanham Act False Advertising Suit

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With remand instructions from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the proper standard for considering attorney fees awards under the Lanham Act, a Virginia federal judge on Nov. 28 denied an internet domain registrar’s fees motion for a second time, determining that although the defendant prevailed on the false advertising claims brought by Verisign Inc., it did not establish that the case was exceptional (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC, et al., No. 1:14-cv-01749, E.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203037).

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