Trademark tacking and what it means for your brands

By Mark Mutterperl, David Ball, Jessica Parise and Kedar Bhatia

A US Supreme Court case has put tacking – protecting a later mark by asserting the priority date of an earlier similar mark – centre stage. Yet while the court clarified that tacking is a question of fact rather than law, it gave little guidance as to how this might affect trademark portfolios

The Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year in Hana Financial v Hana Bank (135 S Ct 907 (2015)) may be the first time that many rights holders and trademark lawyers have heard about the doctrine of ‘tacking’, but it has been alive and well for decades now.

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Issue 72