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.).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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Little Caesars trademarks was not an abuse of discretion, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25 in an unpublished order (Little Caesars Enterprises Inc., et al.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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
NEW YORK — In a June 1 holding, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that although a federal judge in New York properly granted an injunction on behalf of a trademark infringement plaintiff, the scope of the injunction is overly broad, requiring remand (Really Good Stuff LLC v. BAP Investors L.C., et al., No. 19-3395, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17233).
CAMDEN, N.J. — Although the holder of certain trademarks associated with his baseball training and tournament business has sufficiently alleged that his business’s mailing list is a trade secret pursuant to the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (NJTSA), he has failed to properly show that he took the necessary steps to maintain the secrecy of the mailing list, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled May 27 (Joseph Barth v. Ajay Vulimiri, No. 19-20755, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91206).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a May 27 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a Nevada federal judge’s decision to strike a trademark owner’s demand for a jury trial, or in her subsequent determination that allegations that Jim Beam Brands Co. infringed fail (JL Beverage Co. LLC v. Jim Beam Brands Co., No. 18-16597, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 16791).