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11 March 2009

First publication exclusion applies to trade dress infringement claim

In United National Insurance Company v Spectrum Worldwide Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that, under California law, a 'first publication' exclusion in an insurance policy applies to trade dress infringement claims. The case involved an action for infringement of Sunset Health Products Inc's trade dress for its Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet drink.

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.

02 March 2009

Chicago’s Graffiti Blasters programme triumphs in court

In Garcia v City of Chicago, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ruled in favour of the City of Chicago in a trademark infringement case involving the city’s well-known Graffiti Blasters programme. The court granted the city’s motion for summary judgment on laches grounds and dismissed the case with prejudice.

24 February 2009

Dell enters the fray over NETBOOK

Computer manufacturer Dell has filed to cancel the NETBOOK trademark in a hot dispute that is ripping through the technology industry.

23 February 2009

Fraud on the USPTO reaches a limit

In G&W Laboratories Inc v GW Pharma Limited, the TTAB has provided new guidance on the doctrine of fraud with regard to trademarks. For the first time since its decision in Medinol Ltd v Neuro Vasx Inc, the TTAB considered the effect of a fraud claim as to only one class of a multiple-class application or registration.

17 February 2009

Pharma merger promises sweeping IP shake-up

In-house counsel at merging pharma businesses Wyeth and Pfizer face an uncertain future when the new entity looks to slash costs and increase efficiency. But, as WTR has discovered, the drugs companies have other problems to consider: from opportunistic counterfeiting to merging two very different IP teams.

16 February 2009

Danone comes out on top in FRUITOLOGY dispute

In a priority dispute involving two applications for the registration of the trademark FRUITOLOGY, the TTAB has held that information available to it from its own records could be relied upon to determine whether an allegation in an opposition had been well pleaded for the purposes of determining a motion to dismiss.

16 February 2009

Jones Day settles highly controversial trademark dispute

Jones Day has reached a settlement with BlockShopper in its trademark dispute over the real estate company’s use of web links to the law firm’s website.

13 February 2009

Federal law, not tribal law, governs infringement case, says Ninth Circuit

In Philip Morris USA Inc v King Mountain Tobacco Co Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has considered whether a tribal court had jurisdiction over a non-member’s federal trademark and related state law claims against tribal defendants. The court held that the tribal court did not have jurisdiction over the tribal action insofar as it implicated the non-member’s federal trademark infringement claim.

10 February 2009

Obama transparency in conflict with ACTA secrecy

Leading US think tanks are relying on President Obama’s commitment to transparency in their legal challenge to the secrecy surrounding the negotiations over the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

10 February 2009

Trademark protection for intelligent designs

Last year, adidas won $300 million in damages in its famous trademark infringement case against Payless. The award was later reduced and now both sides have appealed, prolonging a lively debate over dilution of a famous mark and the extent to which the question of confusion can bleed into legitimate third-party designs. WTR spoke to corporate counsel at adidas, Asics and K-Swiss to hear how they build their cases.

21 January 2009

US practitioners call for more experienced PTO director

The Section of Intellectual Property Law of the American Bar Association has written to the newly inaugurated President Obama, calling for a more experienced director of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

19 January 2009

Fifth Circuit applies trademark protection to universities’ colour schemes

In Board of Supervisors for Louisiana State University Agriculture and Mechanical College v Smack Apparel Co, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has upheld a district court decision recognizing trademark rights in the colour schemes used by certain major universities. Although it was agreed that the colours were not inherently distinctive, the universities successfully established secondary meaning.

13 January 2009

Strict compliance with rules on service of notices of opposition required

In Schott AG v Scott, the TTAB has granted L’Wren Scott's motion to dismiss two oppositions filed by Schott AG on the grounds that each opposition had been filed without the “proof of service on the applicant, or her attorney or domestic representative of record at the correspondence address of record”, as required under Trademark Rule 2(101)(a).