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08 May 2009

Insurer's hope for broad liability exclusion goes up in smoke

In Capitol Indemnity Corp v Elston Self Service Wholesale Groceries Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that Capitol Indemnity Corp, a liability insurer, had a duty to defend Elston Self Service Wholesale Groceries Inc against various trademark claims due to the sale of counterfeit cigarettes.

05 May 2009

ICANN of worms: why mark owners are against new gTLDs

As the gTLD debate intensifies, WTR investigates why mark owners are so worried by the evolving domain space, whether the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is listening to their concerns and what will be done to protect trademark rights in the new cyberspace.

27 April 2009

Second Life TASER Case may be close to resolution

A trademark infringement case filed against Linden Labs, which could have provided much-needed clarification of the meaning of "virtual goods" in relation to trademark law, looks close to resolution.

24 April 2009

Mattel receives augmented accounting of defendant's profits under Section 35

In Super Duper Inc v Mattel Inc, the US District Court for the District of South Carolina has increased the amount of damages in favour of Mattel Inc from $400,000 to $999,113. Although the courts rarely use the authority provided by Section 35 of the Lanham Act to increase the accounting of a defendant’s profits, the district court concluded that this was an exceptional case.

09 April 2009

False designation action dismissed, but fight for JAPONAIS continues

In Geisha LLC v Tuccillo, the owner of the well-known Japonais restaurant has suffered a setback in its long-running battle with Roy Tuccillo over the trademark JAPONAIS. The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois found that a question of fact existed as to the extent of Geisha’s reputation in the JAPONAIS mark as of the filing date of Tuccillo’s application.

09 April 2009

US government releases hazy ACTA summary

Bowing to pressure from IP owners and civil society groups, the United States Trade Representative has released a summary of the controversial Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

08 April 2009

Laches defence splits Ninth Circuit

In Internet Specialties West Inc v Milon-DiGiorgio Enterprises Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the equitable defence of laches to Milon-DiGiorgio Enterprises Inc against Internet Specialties West Inc’s trademark infringement claim. However, the dissent stated that the majority’s decision 'eviscerated' the defence of laches under trademark law.

07 April 2009

US appeals court rescues keywords case against Google

A US appeals court has dealt a blow to Google's besieged AdWords programme by overturning an earlier dismissal of a trademark infringement lawsuit brought against the search engine by computer breakdown support company Rescuecom Corp.

06 April 2009

Scope of false advertising claims narrowly construed by Federal Circuit

In Baden Sports Inc v Molten USA Inc, a suit involving the marketing of high-end basketballs, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has narrowly construed the scope of false advertising claims allowed under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. The court reiterated that Section 43(a) does not codify the entirety of unfair competition law.

02 April 2009

Third time’s a charm for Visa

In Visa International Service Association v JSL Corporation, the US District Court for the District of Nevada has, for the third time, found in favour of Visa International Service Association and held that use of the trademark EVISA by JSL Corporation was likely to dilute the strength of the famous VISA mark.

24 March 2009

Intel rejects Psion's rights in latest NETBOOK clash

Intel has denied that Psion has any rights in the term 'netbook'. The allegations, made in Intel's response to Psion's counterclaims, deal a further blow to the Canadian company whose rights have also come under threat on home soil.

20 March 2009

Hilton hotels sued for trademark infringement

The Hilton hotel group has been sued for trademark infringement by a rival hotel chain in the United States.

19 March 2009

OBX is not a valid trademark, says Fourth Circuit

In OBX-Stock Inc v Bicast Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has upheld summary judgment against OBX-Stock Inc in its infringement suit against Bicast Inc, ruling that OBX-Stock's OBX mark was not a valid trademark. The Fourth Circuit also ruled that the district court had not abused its discretion in refusing to order the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the OBX mark.

10 March 2009

Spare parts and cybersquatting: the fight for NETBOOK

Computer manufacturer Psion has kick-started a lively debate in the technology community by reasserting its trademark registration for NETBOOK. But Psion faces some major challenges. The Canadian company had stopped production on the related products some years ago, the term 'netbook' entered generic use in 2008 and now the tech community, including Dell, Intel and leading tech bloggers, will not give it up without a fight, as WTR reveals.

04 March 2009

Card game companies trade blows over hologram mark

The Upper Deck Company has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against its rival Konami after the latter continued selling trading cards bearing the former’s holographic mark upon the termination of a distribution agreement.