WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on March 21, supporting the owner of the “fuct” clothing line, whose trademark application was denied by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as immoral and scandalous, arguing that this standard violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — Although agreeing with a Louisiana federal judge that a prevailing trademark infringement defendant is entitled to reimbursement of its attorney fees under Section 1117 of the Lanham Act, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 remanded to the district judge to “reassess” the amount of fees to be awarded (Alliance for Good Government v. Coalition for Better Government, No. 18-30759, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 8511).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 15 affirmed a decision by a New York federal judge to deny an award of attorney fees on behalf of a prevailing trademark infringement defendant (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag Inc., No. 18-293, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7638).
DENVER — RE/MAX LLC was awarded a permanent injunction by a Colorado federal judge on Feb. 27 against a Chinese company from use of its trademark in the sale of its products (RE/MAX LLC v. Shenzhen Remax Co. Ltd., et al., No. 15-02496, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39687).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In recently filed amicus curiae briefs, two bar associations that specialize in intellectual property law asked the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that the Lanham Act’s prohibition on the registration of immoral or scandalous trademarks violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it was viewpoint-based discrimination (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 8 agreed with United Parcel Service Inc. that incorporation of “UPS” in a logo used connection with the sale and shipment of marijuana is likely to harm the valuable UPS brand (United Parcel Service Inc. v. Brendon Kennedy, et al., No. 19-284, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37881).
NEW YORK — Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. (LV) and a company that sells tote bags that parody the luxury designer’s products presented arguments on March 4 to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals as to whether a trial court properly denied the smaller firm’s request for an award of attorney fees, despite its prevailing in a trademark infringement suit brought by LV (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag Inc., No. 18-293, 2nd Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Although a California federal judge properly granted a bassist accused of infringing the “Ratt” trademark summary judgment, a denial of attorney fees must be vacated and remanded, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 7 (WBS Inc. v. Juan Croucier, et al., No. 17-55973 and 17-56009, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC on March 1filed a trademark infringement and cybersquatting complaint in California federal court against several Chinese companies and individuals that they say are falsely offering to sell fake user profiles to their respective social networks (Facebook Inc., et al. v. 9 Xiu Network [Shenzhen] Technology Co. Ltd., et al., No. 3:19-cv-01167, N.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI — Allegations by a counterclaimant restaurant owner that its license was wrongfully terminated and that a licensor engaged in malicious trademark litigation were correctly rejected on summary judgment, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 1 (Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. v. BW-3 of Akron Inc., et al., No. 17-4291, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 6310).
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin Supreme Court on Feb. 28 held that underlying allegations against a medical company insured triggered a policy’s “personal and advertising injury liability” coverage and the knowing violation and criminal acts exclusions do not apply to relieve the insurer of its duty to defend (West Bend Mutual Insurance Company v. Ixthus Medical Supply Inc., et al., No. 2017AP909, Wis. Sup., 2019 Wisc. LEXIS 63).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A clothing company that has been embroiled in an almost two-decade dispute over the “Get Lucky” and “Lucky Brand” trademarks filed a petition for certiorari on Feb. 15, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether federal preclusion principles bar a repeat litigant from raising defenses that were not previously adjudicated (Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al v. Marcel Fashion Group Inc., No. 18-1086, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — In a Feb. 27 report and recommendation, a New York federal judge found that a pro se plaintiff’s allegations of copyright and trademark infringement over an alleged knockoff beekeeping product should be dismissed (James H. Fischer v. Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Inc., No. 17-10094, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30353).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge did not err in denying a trademark infringement plaintiff a directed verdict but did err in granting the plaintiff judgment as a matter of law with regard to unjust enrichment, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 26 (Thomas Sköld v. Galderma Laboratories L.P., Nos. 17-3148, -3231, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 5741).
ORLANDO, Fla. — Following a recent bench trial, a Florida federal judge on Feb. 25 rejected allegations of direct and vicarious infringement but also found in favor of a trademark owner on a counterclaim asserting trademark invalidity (Superior Consulting Services, Inc. v. Shaklee Corporation, et al., No. 6:16-cv-2001, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29007).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a Feb. 22 unpublished ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a California federal judge erred in undoing a jury’s verdict of trademark validity and infringement in a dispute over the Vietnamese noodle soup, pho (Quoc Viet Inc. v. VV Foods LLC, Nos. 17-55331, - 5 5742, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 5265).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals incorrectly found the Lanham Act’s prohibition on the registration of scandalous marks in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) argues in its Feb. 15 opening merits brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the provision is viewpoint-neutral and, therefore, not unconstitutional (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An attorney told the U.S. Supreme Court at oral arguments on Feb. 20 that his client did not violate the Bankruptcy Code when it stripped a former licensee of the right to continue use of a trademark following a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 17-1657, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — A candle maker on Feb. 11 sued another candle company in a California federal court, asserting claims for copyright and trademark infringement and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the company made and sold candles using its artwork and federally registered proprietary names (Indio Products, Inc. v. CSP Yemaya International, Inc., et al., No. 2:19cv1018, C.D. Calif.).
HOUSTON — Adopting a magistrate’s recommendation, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 denied an online retailer’s motion to dismiss a Lanham Act lawsuit over its alleged sale of counterfeit goods for lack of jurisdiction, finding that good cause exists to conduct limited discovery as to whether Texas jurisdiction is proper (Danny Huynh v. Zurno Inc., No. 4:18-cv-01756, S.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20360).