Blog results - found 16
The US Supreme Court has handed down its decision in B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries, addressing the level of deference that should be afforded to findings made by the TTAB on likelihood of confusion. Commentators argue that its reversal of an Eighth Circuit decision means that trademark counsel need to think even more strategically about TTAB proceedings.
For decades universities, like their commercial counterparts, have been expanding their trademark portfolios, with the $4.6 billion industry for licensed merchandise an important revenue stream. However, one academic sector voice has accused such higher education institutions of misusing trademark law, going too far in a bid to create licensing revenue.
Kitson, a Los Angeles boutique, has found itself in the crosshairs of a pharmaceutical giant for using a trademarked prescription drug name, Vicodin, on its clothing designs. This case raises interesting questions on whether the parody or commentary of a registered trademark can triumph over a brand owner’s duty to act on public health grounds against alleged infringers.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has joined forces with the Dark Knight in a dispute over the CLEAN SLATE mark, submitting an amicus brief that urges a precedent that “can help diminish the chilling effect of trademark law on constitutionally protected expression”.
A start-up law firm in the US state of Minnesota is taking legal action against a non-profit organisation that had earlier claimed the legal practice infringed its trademark rights and accusing it of bullying. At a time when lawmakers in the state are considering the introduction of litigation to curb overreaching legislation, the dispute highlights some of the complexities surrounding this divisive topic?
Software company Fortres Grand’s claim that a fictional product appearing in Warner Bros film The Dark Knight Rises infringes on its trademark rights has been dismissed by a Northern District of Indiana court. However, the potential problem of fictional product names that are the same or similar to real-life brand names could arise for any trademark owner and the dispute offers a number of takeaways.
Kraft Foods which produces Cracker Barrel cheese is suing Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for trademark infringement as the rustic restaurant chain prepares to sell its name-brand products outside of its own stores for the first time. The dispute highlights how extensions into new categories can bring similar brand names that have previously coexisted peacefully into conflict.
The US craft beer craze has seen its fair share of trademark disputes. One recent incident - as reported on Denver’s Westword news site stood out because of the amicable agreement reached between Verboten Brewing and Weyerbacher Brewing, which owns the federal trademark to the Verboten name for beer. While sensible settlements are something to be welcomed, might the particulars of such an arrangement lead to difficulties for the parties further down the line?
A number of retailers have made formal complaints to US state authorities regarding Wal-Mart’s use of price comparison in advertising during the busy pre-Christmas period. While highlighting the difference in price point with close competitors can be a highly effective marketing tool, there is much to consider from a legal perspective.
This month saw the release of Flight, a film that tells the story of an alcoholic airline pilot. Throughout the movie, the protagonist can be seen indulging in a range of brand-name alcoholic beverages. The depiction of real-life brands in the film raises the issue of how much influence rights holders have over use of their marks in artistic works and provides pointers for filmmakers to avoid costly disputes with trademark owners.
With Google still digesting last week’s Full Federal Court’s decision on sponsored links, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has effectively revived Rosetta Stone’s dispute with the search engine giant.
While disputes over Google's AdWords policy rage on, Verizon, HP and RadioShack each appear to have paid Twitter to promote their messages whenever a user searches for the term 'Apple'. Is Twitter set to become the new trademark battleground?
Newly unredacted court documents reveal that Google was aware in 2004 that use of trademarks in sponsored link text resulted in a "high" degree of consumer confusion, with 94% of users confused “at least once” during the company’s own study. The papers, filed by Rosetta Stone in its ongoing appeal, also disclose that Google had predicted that the policy change that allowed for the use of trademarks in sponsored links could result in an additional $1 billion in revenue for the search engine.
While WTR sparks to life a forthcoming feature on zombie brands, IP attorneys in the United States are considering this terrifying tale of trademark enforcement: a successful Pennsylvanian Hallowe'en experience is suing a not-for-profit competitor in Maryland for trademark infringement. They both use the mark FIELD OF SCREAMS.
If you thought that Chanel's registration for NO 5 in Class 3 was enough to stop a competitor registering NO 6 in the same class, think again. The USPTO has just rejected Chanel's opposition to the NO 6 mark, in a move that could stop owners of famous brands in their tracks.
While rum drinkers can tell that if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck then it probably is a duck, brand owners accustomed to arguing that their trademarks function primarily as source identifiers will read the most recent HAVANA CLUB rum judgment with dismay.
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