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Legislation was tabled last week in the US House of Representatives calling for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), following a week in which over 100 elected officials declared their support for dismantling the organisation. It sparked a reminder that the agency plays a crucial role in the fight against counterfeits, with a leading trademark lawyer describing the calls for ICE’s complete abolition as “short-sighted”, warning that such a move would damage brand rights enforcement as well as other positive functions it serves.
In a case regarding the Krusty Krab restaurant from SpongeBob SquarePants, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has confirmed that a specific element from a television series can receive trademark protection. It held that a real-life seafood restaurant by the name of The Krusty Krab would cause confusion with Viacom’s common law rights in THE KRUSTY KRAB.
In a case involving competing producers of foam ear plugs, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has vacated the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favour of defendant McKeon. The district court had found that Moldex’s bright green colour for ear plugs is functional and thus not protectable as trade dress, but the Ninth Circuit held that there remained a dispute of material fact as to whether the bright green colour is functional.
Eighth Circuit: phonetically identical description of competing dog bags does not necessarily cause confusion
In ZW USA Inc v PWD Systems LLC, which involved competitors in the dog bag market, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed a district court summary judgment finding that no evidence had been presented from which a jury could infer that consumers were likely to confuse ZW USA Inc’s ONEPUL dog bags with PWD Systems LLC’s BagSpot ‘one-pull’ bags.
How brands should prepare for the big changes coming to Canada’s trademark market: exclusive data analysis
In our latest country data report, we delve into Canada’s trademark landscape. We examine how a major overhaul of its trademark laws may lead to a clogged up register, assess the impact cannabis legalisation might have on rights holders and take a close look at filing and litigation data.
Trump administration tariffs “could help legitimise fake goods”: trade associations join up to sound alarm bells
A number of major US trade associations have joined forces to send a letter to two members of the House Ways and Means Committee warning that the Trump administration’s recent trade tariffs are having a harmful effect on the battle against counterfeit goods. The strongly worded letter, seen by World Trademark Review, claims that the tariffs place “significant barriers on the fight against harmful fakes” and calls for an urgent rethink.
In adidas America Inc v Skechers USA Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s preliminary injunction prohibiting Skechers from selling two styles of shoe that allegedly infringed and diluted adidas’ Stan Smith trade dress and three-stripe trademark.
In Variety Stores Inc v Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has reversed summary judgment in a trademark infringement dispute over the use of the term 'Backyard' on grills, finding that the district court had erred because there were genuine issues of disputed fact concerning key factors in the 'likelihood of confusion' analysis.
In Horowitz v 148 South Emerson Assocs LLC, which involved a licence agreement for use of the SLOPPY TUNA trademark for a restaurant, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has addressed for the first time whether attorneys’ fees should be included in an award of costs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(d).
The EUIPO has released a new report, compiling research since 2013, to present a comprehensive and updated picture of the scope and impact of IP rights infringement in the European Union.
In Lucasfilm Ltd LLC v Ren Ventures Ltd a California federal court has recognised that trademark rights could arise from the use of a mark to identify a fictional board game in a popular literary genre, even where the mark has never been used in connection with corresponding goods in the real-world marketplace and has not been in continuous use since its introduction in the literary space.
Tam’s trademark delivery, Tequila sweatshirts and a collective noun for IP lawyers: INTA 2018 standout moments
On Tuesday evening the WTR Industry Awards celebrated another year of excellence in corporate trademark practice. While we are in the awards mood, we thought we should recognise the standout moments and individuals from this year’s INTA Annual Meeting.
Counterfeiting is a priority policy issue for the International Trademark Association (INTA). Counterfeit goods are reaching consumers in all corners of the world and have permeated the online marketplace.
Compared to other forms of artistic expression such as literature, music, films and theatrical works fashion designs are left with limited IP rights and protection.
Canada adopted a new border enforcement system on January 1 2015, which empowers Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials to act ex officio to detain suspected counterfeit or pirated product.
US law offers a full arsenal of weapons that trademark owners can employ to combat counterfeiting at every step.
In Kim v Kimm, addressing the sufficiency of allegations to sustain a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a complaint alleging a scheme to fraudulently bring a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Analysis of the latest data from Lex Machina suggests that US trademark litigation filing numbers will be flat in 2018 potentially ending a four-year decline. As to the most popular venue for litigation and the go-to law firms so far in 2018, familiar names abound.
US government ranks Canada’s border enforcement on same level as China; Special 301 adds Saudi Arabia and UAE
The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has published the 2018 Special 301 Report, the second released during the Trump administration. Canada has been added to the Priority Watch List this year due to “a failure to resolve key longstanding deficiencies in protection and enforcement of IP” meaning all eyes will now be on the country’s newly-announced Intellectual Property Strategy.
In-house perspectives on diversity in the trademark industry: “All of us in this field need to do more”
The theme of today’s World IP Day is ‘Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity’. In the first of a two-part piece, corporate trademark professionals reflect on the topic of the day.
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