CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal judge on Nov. 29 rejected efforts by a trademark owner to intervene in a dispute over the “Drifters” mark that was originally filed in 1982 (Larry Marshak v. Michael Bridge, No. 82-566, W.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200951).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Efforts by the family of the late conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly to block a relative from trademarking “Schlafly” in connection with a craft brewery were unsuccessful on Nov. 26, when the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the mark meets the requirements for registration (Phyllis Schlafly Revocable Trust and Bruce Schlafly v. The Saint Louis Brewery, No. 17-1468, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33093).
NEW YORK — In a Nov. 27 ruling, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated a New York federal judge’s determination that a prevailing defendant is entitled to an award of attorney fees under the Lanham Act (Sleepy’s LLC v. Select Comfort Wholesale Corporation, et al., Nos. 15-3560, 16-3595, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33202).
LOS ANGELES — In a verdict rendered Nov. 16, a California federal jury sided primarily with Monster Energy Co. on claims that a defendant infringed the “Monster” trademarks on a variety of products, including food, clothing, hats, gloves and more (Monster Energy Company v. Integrated Supply Network LLC, No. 17-548, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a decision issued Nov. 20, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that under the balancing test established in Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994 (2d Cir. 1989), the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq., applies to expressive works only where the public interest in free expression is outweighed by the public interest in avoiding consumer confusion (Christopher Gordon v. Drape Creative Inc., et al., No. 16-56715, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32796).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Nov. 15, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated and remanded a dismissal by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of opposition by appellant Omaha Steaks International Inc. to an application to register the “Greater Omaha Providing The Highest Quality Beef” trademark (Omaha Steaks International Inc. v. Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc., No. 18-1152, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32317).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Nov. 8 respondent brief, a clothing manufacturer who had his trademark registration denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as too offensive supports the federal government’s petition for certiorari, telling the U.S. Supreme Court that a definitive standard is needed as to what constitutes a scandalous and nonregistrable mark under the Lanham Act (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).
DETROIT — In a Nov. 8 holding, a Michigan federal judge granted three defendants summary judgment because the manufacture of a machine from a copyrighted technical drawing cannot form the basis of an infringement action (RJ Control Consultants Inc., et al. v. Multiject LLC, et al., No. 16-10728, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191187).
NEW YORK — In a Nov. 2 holding, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed that the trademarks “Universal Church” and “The Universal Church” are generic in the context of ministerial and religious worship services and that a New York federal judge did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of various defendants accused of infringement (The Universal Church Inc. v. Calvin Toellner, et al., No. 17‐2960, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31153).
ST. LOUIS — In a Nov. 2 ruling, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals partly found in favor of both parties embroiled in a protracted trademark dispute, upholding a South Dakota federal judge’s rejection of post-trial motions by a defendant accused of infringing the registered “Sturgis Bike Week” mark while also finding that a plaintiff failed to establish that its related registered “Sturgis” and unregistered “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally” and “Sturgis Rally & Races” marks are valid (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. v. Rushmore Photo & Gifts Inc., et al., Nos. 17-1762, -1869, -2712 and -2731, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31147).
SEATTLE — A manufacturer of in-car cellphone mounts argues in a Sept. 24 appellee brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a jury incorrectly found that it willfully infringed a competitor’s trade dress, arguing that it diligently attempted to create a noninfringing product (National Products Inc. v. Arkon Resources Inc., Nos. 18-35220 and 18-35221, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An amended trademark and copyright infringement complaint, filed in response to a previous order that granted dismissal without prejudice, insufficiently pleads the existence of personal jurisdiction over a Hawaii corporation, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 31 (Pacific Overlander LLC v. Kauai Overlander LLP, No. 18-2142, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186719).
MADISON, Wis. — In an Oct. 31 decision, a Wisconsin federal judge found that a franchisor is unable to demonstrate a “better than negligible” likelihood it will succeed on allegations a former franchisee infringed its trade dress in establishing a new restaurant at the same location (E&G Franchise Systems Inc. v. Aubrey Janik, et al., No. 18-416, W.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186245).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A blog operator did not sufficiently plead that Twitter Inc. contributed to any trademark infringement or breached any contractual duty when one of its user’s accounts was hacked, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 24, granting Twitter’s motion to dismiss (Worldwide Media Inc., et al. v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 5:17-cv-07335, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182700).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A final determination by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that a trademark covering the midsole design of Converse Inc.’s famed Chuck Taylor All Star shoe is invalid was vacated and remanded Oct. 30 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which used the opportunity to enumerate a six-factor test for establishing the existence of secondary meaning (Converse Inc. v. International Trade Commission, No. 16-2497, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 30649).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 26 agreed to hear a dispute involving claims by a licensee that the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in holding that the licensee’s right to use a trademark and logo “did not survive” rejection of the agreement by the trademark licensor under Section 365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 17-1657, U.S. Sup.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Oct. 22 granted a franchisor’s motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining defendants from using its registered trade/service marks and operating a computer learning/training center and marketing, promoting, advertising and/or selling computer learning and training services within designated ZIP codes and territories in the greater Syracuse and Albany areas of New York (New Horizons Education Corp., et al. v. Krolak Technology Management of Syracuse, et al., No. 18-01223, N.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180550).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge did not err in dismissing allegations that Steven Madden Ltd. infringed the trade dress of three styles of shoes, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct. 23 (Eliya Inc. v. Steven Madden Ltd., No. 18-831, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 29824).
LAS VEGAS — A trademark infringement and cybersquatting dispute over a defendant’s use of the www.bearfilms.com domain and “Bear Films” business name will proceed, a Nevada federal judge ruled Oct. 18 (Bear Omnimedia LLC v. Mania Media LLC, No. 17-1478, D. N.V., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179021).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Sept. 25 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, a one-time trademark licensee asks the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the bankruptcy law agreement rejection provision properly terminated its right to use the licensed trademarks (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 17-1657, U.S. Sup.).