United States: National

Despite the devastating impact of covid-19 restrictions, brand-related activity has not slowed down in the world’s largest consumer market, but in fact has seen new peaks, with higher application levels in the first six months of 2020 than the equivalent period in 2019. Chinese businesses have surpassed US companies to become the most prolific filers at the USPTO, according to a report published by CompuMark. This reflects the continued interest of Chinese applicants in the US market, despite the new rule requiring representation by US-based counsel. On the other hand, trademark litigation in the first half of the year dropped by around 29% on the same period in 2019; but some key decisions were nonetheless issued. Two lawsuits before the US Supreme Court attracted intense attention and widespread media coverage. In a unanimous decision in Romag v Fossil, the court ruled that wilfulness is not a precondition for awarding disgorgement of profits. The judgment is hugely significant in offering monetary relief to brand owners while deterring would-be infringers. It is thus positive news for rights holders involved in trademark litigation; but on the flipside, some experts have voiced fears that it could lead to a rise in frivolous suits. It will thus take time before the real impact of this decision becomes clear. In the Booking.com case, the US Supreme Court rejected the USPTO’s argument that a generic term combined with the ‘.com’ top-level domain will be considered generic and ineligible for trademark protection. The court declared that whether a term is generic must be considered in light of general consumer perceptions. Both cases highlight the increasingly critical role that trademarks play in dictating the fortunes of brands. In another development, more than 160 brands – including Coca-Cola, Honda, Verizon and Unilever – signed up to the #StopHateforProfit campaign, pledging not to advertise through Facebook for the month of July 2020 in a bid to push the social media giant to address the proliferation of hate on its platforms. This acts as a reminder of the power and influence that brand owners can exert in supporting social movements. With footfall on the high street plummeting in inverse proportion to e-commerce activity, it is no surprise that many brands are increasingly devoting their attentions and resources exclusively to online sales and advertising. However, the lockdown also saw a spike in phishing and other online scams; as a result, law firms have been deploying highly sophisticated tools to deter and defeat bad actors, and there is heightened demand for expertise in online enforcement and domain name disputes. On the international scene, Under Armour prevailed in a dispute against a clothing brand Uncle Martian in China’s Supreme People’s Court, receiving a $300,000 damages award. This decision is a step in the right direction and a positive signal for brand owners – especially in light of a report issued by National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) suggesting that counterfeiting is costing the US economy $131 billion per year. The report highlights that counterfeit goods cost billions in federal tax revenues, while only 2.3% of these are caught by the US government. NAM has called for the creation of a dedicated US agency to tackle counterfeiting throughout the country and beyond. USPTO Director Andrei Iancu has also called for a united and systematic effort to prevent fakes from entering the US market. Commentators have hailed the Shop Safe Act of 2020, compelling e-commerce sites to take measures to prevent the sale of counterfeits on their platforms, as a step in the right direction; but concerted action is still needed to make a decisive difference.

Firms

  • Cowan Liebowitz & Latman PC
  • Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • Fenwick & West LLP
  • Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP 
  • Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC 
  • Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Kelly IP 
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP
  • Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Arent Fox LLP
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Brinks Gilson & Lione 
  • Cooley LLP
  • Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • DLA Piper
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Fish & Richardson
  • Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Knobbe Martens
  • Barnes & Thornburg LLP
  • Jones Day
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Baker McKenzie

& McKenzie (Washington DC)

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

& Thornburg LLP (Washington DC)

Cooley LLP

LLP (New York NY)

Cowan Liebowitz & Latman PC

Liebowitz & Latman PC (New York NY)

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Wright Tremaine LLP (New York NY) Ms G Roxanne Elings Ms G Roxanne Elings Ms G Roxanne Elings

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

& Plimpton LLP (New York NY) Mr David H Bernstein

DLA Piper

Piper LLP (Washington DC)

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

& Whitney LLP (New York NY)

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP 

Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP (Washington DC) Mr Danny M Awdeh Mr Danny M Awdeh Mr Douglas A Rettew Mr Mark Sommers

Fish & Richardson

& Richardson PC (Washington DC)

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC 

Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC (New York NY) Ms Allison Strickland Ricketts Ms Nadine H Jacobson Ms Susan Upton Douglass Ms Lydia T Gobena Ms Barbara A Solomon

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Traurig LLP (New York NY)

Jones Day

Day (New York NY)

Kelly IP 

IP (Washington DC) Mr David M Kelly Ms Linda K McLeod Mr David M Kelly Ms Stephanie Bald

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Ms Lisa Pearson

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

& Ellis LLP (New York NY) Ms Claudia E Ray Ms Dale M Cendali

Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP

McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP (Chicago IL) Ms Janet A Marvel Mr Jonathan S Jennings Mr Robert W Sacoff

Perkins Coie LLP

Mr Fabricio Vayra

Pirkey Barber PLLC

& Williamson PLLC (McLean VA)

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Mr Theodore C Max

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting

  • James L Bikoff - Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
  • Brian W Brokate - Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
  • Andy Coombs - J Andrew Coombs APC
  • G Roxanne Elings - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Jeffrey Hallam - Sideman & Bancroft LLP 
  • Anthony M Keats - KeatsGatien LLP
  • Theodore C Max - Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Heather J McDonald - Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Mark N Mutterperl - Zeisler PLLC
  • Geoffrey Potter - Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
  • James Saul - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
  • M Kelly Tillery - Troutman Pepper Sanders Hamilton LLP
  • Amy Ziegler - Greer Burns & Crain Ltd

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Danny M Awdeh - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • William G Barber - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • David H Bernstein - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • William H Brewster - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Andrew P Bridges - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Dale M Cendali - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Theodore H Davis Jr - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • John G Froemming - Jones Day
  • Bobby Ghajar - Cooley LLP
  • David M Kelly - Kelly IP 
  • Floyd A Mandell - Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Douglas Masters - Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Lisa Pearson - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Louis T Pirkey - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Douglas A Rettew - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Mark Sommers - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Perry J Viscounty - Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Jedediah Wakefield - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Stephanie Bald - Kelly IP 
  • Jeffrey M Becker - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Edward T Colbert - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • John W Crittenden - Cooley LLP
  • John Dabney - Snell & Wilmer LLP 
  • Anthony J Dreyer - Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
  • G Roxanne Elings - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • David S Fleming - Brinks Gilson & Lione
  • Michael A Grow - Arent Fox LLP
  • Jeffery A Handelman - Brinks Gilson & Lione
  • David Hosp - Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
  • Jonathan S Jennings - Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP
  • Leslie J Lott - Lott & Fischer PL
  • Anthony V Lupo - Arent Fox LLP
  • Kathleen E McCarthy - King & Spalding LLP
  • John McElwaine - Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
  • Linda K McLeod - Kelly IP 
  • Brendan J O'Rourke - Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Jill M Pietrini - Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Mark S Puzella - Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
  • Claudia E Ray - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Bruce Rich - Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Molly Buck Richard - Richard Law Group
  • James E Rosini - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Robert W Sacoff - Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP
  • Barbara A Solomon - Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC
  • Peter D Vogl - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Cynthia Johnson Walden - Fish & Richardson
  • John L Welch - Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, PC

Individuals: generic top-level domains

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Sally M Abel - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Purvi Patel Albers - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Danny M Awdeh - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Theodore H Davis Jr - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • G Roxanne Elings - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Glenn A Gundersen - Dechert LLP
  • Susan L Heller - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Nadine H Jacobson - Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC
  • David M Kelly - Kelly IP 
  • Janet A Marvel - Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP
  • Julia Anne Matheson - Potomac Law Group PLLC
  • Louis T Pirkey - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Michael D Adams - Mayer Brown
  • William G Barber - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Jeffrey M Becker - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Pamela T Church - Baker McKenzie
  • Susan Upton Douglass - Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC
  • Connie L Ellerbach - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Joel Feldman - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Joshua Gerben - Gerben Law Firm PLLC
  • Lydia T Gobena - Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC
  • David W Grace - Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Lisa Greenwald-Swire - Fish & Richardson
  • Patrick J Jennings - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Timothy M Kenny - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Paul F Kilmer - Holland & Knight LLP
  • Richard L Kirkpatrick - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Anthony V Lupo - Arent Fox LLP
  • Timothy Lyden - Hogan Lovells
  • Michael Scott Metteauer - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Mark VB Partridge - Partridge Partners PC
  • Andrew Price - Venable LLP
  • Molly Buck Richard - Richard Law Group
  • Lisa Rosaya - Baker McKenzie
  • James E Rosini - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Grace Han Stanton - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Allison Strickland Ricketts - Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC
  • Maury M Tepper III - Tepper & Eyster PLLC
  • Shannon T Vale - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Cynthia Johnson Walden - Fish & Richardson
  • Karen Webb - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Douglas R Wolf - Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, PC