Tag archives: brand protection

Who’s in control? Liability for copyright infringement by contractors and software developers

The High Court recently delivered its decision in Real Estate Tool Box v Campaigntrack 1 relating to copyright authorisation. The High Court held that the appellants, who had engaged a third party software developer to create a real estate marketing system for their use, were not liable for copyright infringement, as they had not authorised the developer’s infringement of Campaigntrack’s … Continue reading

Reverse Confusion: A Lesser Known Approach to Analyzing Likelihood of Confusion

Home Chef continues to lose the battle to stop Grubhub from using, what they assert, is a confusingly similar logo for food-related services. Home Chef began using its HC Home Mark and Home Chef Home Logo (collectively, the “HC Marks”) in 2014 in connection with meal preparation kits. Grubhub, a popular food-ordering and delivery service, merged … Continue reading

Whirlpool Wins Appeal Against Chinese Manufacturer in KITCHENAID Trademark Lawsuit

The Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction last week prohibiting Chinese company Shenzhen Sanlida Electrical Technology Co. Ltd. and Shenzhen Sanlida Electrical Technology Co., Ltd.  (collectively “Shenzhen”) from selling stand mixers that allegedly infringe Whirlpool Corp.’s (“Whirlpool”) famous KITCHENAID trademarks and trade dress. In January 2022, Whirlpool sued Shenzhen alleging trademark infringement and dilution, trade … Continue reading

It’s a girl group, but a BOYS WORLD: When does a performing artist’s name function as a trademark?

In a precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) reversed the decision of the Examining Attorney, concluding that BOYS WORLD for “audio recordings featuring music,” in International Class 9 functioned as a trademark. ZeroSix, LLC, 2023 U.S.P.Q.2D 705 (TTAB May 1, 2023). “Boys World” is the name of a musical “girl group” that … Continue reading

From Non-Infringement to No Jurisdiction: Does a Finding of Non-Infringement Moot a Request for Declaratory Judgment of Invalidity in Trademark Cases?

The trademark dispute that has been steadily escalating between Illinois-based Citizens Equity First Credit Union (“Citizens”) and California-based San Diego County Credit Union (“SDCCU”) could be headed to the Supreme Court. SDCC filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari asking the Supreme Court to clarify when courts have jurisdiction to hear invalidity claims in trademark … Continue reading

“Taste the Strain Bro”: Wrigley Settles SKITTLES Trademark Dispute with Cannabis Company

** This article was drafted by Logan Woodward, a Summer Associate in NRF’s Minneapolis Office.  Logan is supervised by attorneys who are licensed in the State of Texas. After a two-year feud, Mars Wrigley (“Wrigley”), the maker of the popular rainbow-colored Skittles candies, recently settled its lawsuit with Terphogz LLC (“Terphogz”) regarding its use of … Continue reading

China – Suspension of Trade Mark Applications More Readily Available?

In our previous post (here), we talked about a change being proposed by the China National Intellectual Property Administrative (commonly known as CNIPA), prohibiting repeated filings for the same trade mark.  This was particularly concerning to brand owners and trade mark practitioners because, presently, it has been common practice to re-file identical back-up applications to … Continue reading

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Jack Daniel’s in BAD SPANIELS Case: Parody Marks Can Still Function as A Source Identifier

The United States Supreme Court issued its decision in a years-long dispute between Jack Daniel’s and VIP Products LLC (“VIP”) over a humorous dog toy which is intended to mimic the label of a Jack Daniel’s whisky bottle. Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC, 599 U.S. ____ (2023). The Court’s opinion focused on … Continue reading

Up in Smoke: TTAB Denies Registration for Cannabis Paraphernalia

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently issued a precedential opinion concerning the registration of marks used in connection with goods deemed “drug paraphernalia” under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). The decision, In re Abax Distributing LLC, involved two trademark applications for the mark BAKKED … Continue reading

Yet Another Change Coming Up?  Structural Changes to CNIPA and China’s Potential 5th Amendment to Trademark Law

We are just a few months into 2023, but we are already seeing a number of proposed changes to Chinese Trademark Law.  We wish to draw attention to some of the upcoming structural changes to the China National Intellectual Property Administration (commonly known as CNIPA) and to highlight a few draft amendments to China’s Trademark … Continue reading

The New York Times Company Secures Registration of Six Column Names, Including LIKE A BOSS and THE NEW OLD AGE

In a precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) reversed six refusals to register The New York Times Company’s (the “Times”) names of its newspaper columns, THE NEW OLD AGE, A GOOD APPETITE, HUNGRY CITY, WORK FRIEND, OFF THE SHELF, and LIKE A BOSS (the “Marks”). The Times applied to register the … Continue reading

Three Year Battle Ends with Lizzo Securing Registration for 100% THAT BITCH Mark

In a precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) reversed two refusals to register Grammy-winning singer Lizzo’s 100% THAT BITCH trademarks. Lizzo’s company, Lizzo LLC, applied for two word trademarks in June 2019 for 100% THAT BITCH for various types of clothing after she popularized the phrase in her 2017 hit single … Continue reading

After Years of Hounding from Jack Daniel’s, Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Bad Spaniels Parody Trademark Case

The dispute between Jack Daniel’s and VIP Products LLC (“VIP”) over a parody dog toy continues and will finally proceed to the Supreme Court. The case centers around a parody dog toy sold by VIP that mimics the label of a Jack Daniel’s whisky bottle. The toy replaces the text “Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7” … Continue reading

Vans secures temporary restraining order barring promotion and sale of Wavy Baby Shoes

In Vans, Inc. v. MSCHF Product Studio, Inc., No. 22CV2156WFKRML, 2022 WL 1446681 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 29, 2022), shoe company Vans, Inc. (“Vans”) prevailed in obtaining a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against art collective MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. (“MSCHF”), restraining promotion and sale of its WAVY BABY shoes. Vans asserted that the WAVY BABY … Continue reading

CAFC reverses Coca-Cola TTAB win in action involving Indian soda marks

In Meenaxi Enter. v. Coca-Cola Co., 38 F.4th 1067 (Fed. Cir. 2022) the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) reversed a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) decision cancelling two registrations for marks identical to those used outside of the US by The Coca-Cola Company (“Coca-Cola”). In doing so, the CAFC held … Continue reading

Modern collegiate trademark and licensing regime may face increased enforcement challenges

In The Pennsylvania State University v. Vintage Brand, LLC, 2022 U.S.P.Q.2d 653 (M.D. Pa. 2022 The Pennsylvania State University (“Penn State”) sued Vintage Brand, LLC (“Vintage”), an online retailer of screen-printed goods featuring logos and images, for violations of federal and state trademark and unfair competition laws. Penn State seeks to restrain Vintage from selling … Continue reading

TTAB prohibits the County of Orange from registering unofficial seal and badge designs

In a recent precedential decision, the TTAB refused registration of two trademark applications by the County of Orange holding that the marks constituted insignia even though they were not official seals.[1] In 2017, the County of Orange, a political subdivision in the state of California, applied for trademark registration of a circular and badge design … Continue reading

TTAB rules RANCHERO and EL RANCHERO marks confusingly similar

In a non-precedential decision, the TTAB held that use of the word and stylized mark EL RANCHERO for “food products made of corn, namely, corn chips, tortillas and tostadas” were confusingly similar to the word and design marks RANCHERO for “cream” and “Mexican style sausages, namely chorizo and bolita.”[1] The dispute over the “Ranchero” marks … Continue reading

PepsiCo wins appeal over MTN DEW RISE ENERGY trademark dispute

PepsiCo. Inc. recently convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to throw out a preliminary injunction granted by a New York federal judge last fall that prevented PepsiCo from using MTN DEW RISE ENERGY on its canned energy drinks.[1] In March 2021, PepsiCo launched MTN DEW RISE ENERGY featuring cans with a … Continue reading

Authorization of certain IP-related transactions in Russia

The ink was not even dry on the update regarding Russia-related IP issues that we published last week, when we learned of two more major developments. The USPTO recently issued the following statement on engagement with Russia, the Eurasian Patent Organization and Belarus: Per guidance issued by the U.S. Department of State, the United States Patent and Trademark Office … Continue reading

Key current considerations in handling IP rights in Russia

February 24, 2022, Russian troops poured over the border into Ukraine, unleashing unimaginable human suffering and widespread destruction of property. Russia’s aggression also ignited negative consequences in the international economy that continue to increase and cascade throughout all sectors and corners of the globe. As companies and other entities struggle to navigate the broader macro-economic … Continue reading

TTAB rules reckless disregard for the truth constitutes fraud

In Chutter, Inc. v. Great Management Group, LLC, a precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that recklessly false representations made during the course of the trademark application process satisfy the level of intent required to support a finding of fraud before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).[1] The TTAB’s … Continue reading

Spotify successfully opposes POTIFY applications based on dilution by blurring

In its first precedential decision of 2022, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) sustained two oppositions filed by Spotify AB (“Spotify”) against registration of POTIFY for use in connection with an online ordering platform and community for medical and recreational cannabis consumers to connect with legal marijuana retailers.  Both oppositions were sustained on Spotify’s … Continue reading
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