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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News



Headline Trademarks Legal News from LexisNexis®



 



Federal Circuit Affirms Denial Of Registrations For 'Magnesita' Trademarks
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to deny two trademark registration applications for "Magnesita" on grounds that the marks are generic for refractory products was not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Nov. 27 (In re: Magnesita Refractories Company, No. 16-2345, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23845).



9th Circuit Affirms: Use Of 'Empire' Mark Protected By 1st Amendment
SAN FRANCISCO - Two broadcasters were properly granted a summary judgment that their use of the name "Empire" is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 16 (Twentieth Century Fox Television, et al. v. Empire Distribution Inc., No. 16-55577, 9th Cir.).



Abandonment Of Mark Not Proven, Washington Federal Judge Rules
SEATTLE - Although denying a trademark infringement plaintiff summary judgment, a Washington federal judge on Nov. 29 rejected assertions by defendants in the case that they "strictly proved" trademark abandonment (Kische USA LLC v. Ali Simsek, et al., No. 16-168, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196191).



Copyright Plaintiff Partly Prevails In Dispute Over Streaming TV Content
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Dec. 11 entered summary judgment on behalf of a producer of Colombian television and its distributor, amid allegations that a defendant created a website to stream the plaintiffs' copyrighted content in the United States without permission (Caracol Television S.A., et al. v. TVmiaInternational Corp., et al., No. 16-23486, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204575).



California Magistrate Judge Dismisses Trademark Claim, Trade Libel Claim Survives
SAN FRANCISCO - A dispute between two beauty product suppliers will proceed in California federal court but without a claim for trademark infringement against an individual defendant, a federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 27 (BioZone Laboratories Inc. v. Next Step Laboratories Corporation and Richard Rigg, No. 17-2768, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194454).



Copyright, Trademark Claims Survive Dismissal Request In Illinois Court
CHICAGO - Efforts by two defendants to obtain dismissal of allegations they committed copyright and trademark infringement by copying and exhibiting photographs by the late Vivian Maier were unsuccessful on Nov. 20, when an Illinois federal judge deemed claims by a public administrator appointed to Maier's estate upon her death in 2009 adequately pleaded (The Estate of Vivian Maier v. Jeffrey Goldstein, et al., No. 17-2951, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191294).



Trademark Dispute Over Literacy Program Survives Dismissal Request In Texas
DALLAS - Efforts by a defendant to obtain dismissal of trademark infringement allegations stemming from the use of - among other things - a million-dollar bill bookmark in connection with a literacy program were unsuccessful on Dec. 5, when a Texas federal judge denied the request (Springboards to Education v. Demco Inc., et al., No. 16-2398, N.D. Texas).



9th Circuit Affirms: Subaru Did Not Infringe Copyright, Trademarks
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Dec. 12 ruling decided without oral argument, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a California federal judge's dismissal of copyright and trademark infringement allegations stemming from Subaru of America Inc.'s use of "Share the Love" as a slogan in television advertisements (Marilyn Mintz v. Subaru of America Inc., No. 16-3384, 9th Cir.).



Computer Fraud Ruling Against Ex-Employee Partly Reversed By Louisiana Judge
NEW ORLEANS - A former employee's newly submitted evidence created material issues of fact on parts of his ex-employer's computer fraud and unfair trade practices claims against him, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Dec. 7, partly granting the defendant's reconsideration motion, while declining to reconsider judgment on accompanying trade secrets and conversion claims (Eddie Sussman Sr., et al. v. Financial Guards LLC, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02373, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201566).



Judge Awards Fees To Hoverboard Maker In Trademark Infringement Action
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 4 awarded a hoverboard maker fees and costs incurred when two defendants accused of infringing on trademarks held by it in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law violated a preliminary injunction (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202573).



9th Circuit Upholds Fee Award In Favor Of Copyright Defendants
SAN FRANCISCO - Two sons of the late concert promoter Bill Graham were properly ordered by a California federal judge to reimburse the attorney fees incurred by four copyright infringement defendants, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13 (Alexander Graham-Sult, et al., v. Nicholas Clainos, et al., Nos. 15-17204, 16-16768, - 17083, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25187).



Indiana Magistrate Judge Denies Wal-Mart Request To Transfer Trademark Case
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Efforts by Wal-Mart.com USA LLC and a co-defendant to move allegations of trademark infringement to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California were unsuccessful Dec. 6, when an Indiana federal magistrate judge found that "the only factor that narrowly favors transfer is convenience of the third-party Chinese witnesses" (Dwyer Instruments Inc. v. Wal-Mart.com USA LLC, et al., No. 17-636, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200566).



Florida Federal Judge: Trademark Not Promoted In Unsolicited Facsimiles
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Citing a lack of personal jurisdiction over two defendants accused of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a Florida federal judge on Dec. 1 reversed course, vacating his earlier finding that unsolicited facsimile (fax) advertisements bearing the "Ulesfia" trademark were sent on behalf of the mark owner (S.A.S.B. Corporation, et al., v. Concordia Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 16-14108, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199021).



Furniture Maker Seeks High Court Review Of Tea Rose- Rectanus Doctrine Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling deepened a circuit split on the interpretation of good faith adoption of a regional, common-law trademark under the Tea Rose-Rectanus doctrine, a furniture manufacturer argues in a Nov. 13 petition for certiorari, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to provide guidance on the matter (Omnia Italian Design Inc. v. Stone Creek Inc., No. 17-731, U.S. Sup.).



Fastener Maker Tells 8th Circuit Fraud, Mark Lapse Defeat Infringement Claims
ST. LOUIS - In a Nov. 20 appellee brief, the defendant in a long-running dispute over the "Sealtight" and "Sealtite" trademarks asks the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a trial court's judgment in its favor, citing its opponent's fraud on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), as well as a lapse in the plaintiff's registration for its purportedly incontestable trademark (B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc., No. 17-1570 and 17-1755, 8th Cir.).



Cosmetics Firm Asserts Its Right To Injunction In 'Lush' Trademark Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A trial court erred in denying its motion for injunctive relief despite a jury's finding that its "Lush" trademark was infringed, a cosmetics firm tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Dec. 8 reply brief, arguing that it presented evidence of harm and unclean hands (Pinkette Clothing Inc. v. Cosmetic Warriors Limited, No. 17-55325, 9th Cir.).



Restaurant Software Firm Appeals Cancellation Of 'Reserve' Marks To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - Arguing that its trademarks incorporating the word "Reserve" have achieved secondary meaning and are entitled to a presumption of validity, a provider of restaurant management software tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 19 brief that a trial court erred in ordering cancellation of two of its marks and in granting judgment to an infringing competitor (Reserve Media Inc. v. Efficient Frontiers Inc., No. 17-55687, 9th Cir.).



Refusal To Register 'Sensi' Trademark Upheld By Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that the "Sensi" trademark in Class 5 of the Trademark Classifications for Goods and Services for diapers would likely cause confusion with two previously registered marks for "Sensi-Care" for use in connection with a treatment for diaper rash were not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (In re: P.T. Arista Latindo, No. 17-1292, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22637).



2nd Circuit Affirms: Claimed Trade Dress Is Functional, Unprotectable
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in determining, following a bench trial, that a declaratory judgment plaintiff's bag closure products do not infringe or dilute a competitor's trade dress, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Nov. 2 (Schutte Bagclosures Inc. and Schutte Bagclosures B.V. v. Kiwk Lok Corporation, No. 16-2767, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21864).



Federal Circuit: Fees Due On Trade Dress Claims, Not Copyright, Patent Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's denial of a motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment action relating to patent, copyright and trade dress protection for fiberglass utility bodies for use with trucks was affirmed Nov. 7 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which agreed that an actual case or controversy existed between the parties (Industrial Models Inc. v. SNF Inc., et al., Nos 17-1172, -1173, Fed. Cir.).



75 Website Operators Enjoined From Offering Counterfeit Gucci Items
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 8 granted Gucci America Inc.'s motion for a preliminary injunction against 75 website operators that the plaintiff said were selling counterfeit goods bearing the "Gucci" mark, finding Gucci "very likely" to succeed in its trademark infringement claims (Gucci America Inc. v. 532buy.com, et al., No.0:17-cv-62068, S.D. Fla.).



10th Circuit Upholds Termination Of Trademark License
DENVER - In an Oct. 10 ruling, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a Utah federal judge did not err in terminating a trademark license agreement (TLA) and in permanently enjoining a defendant's further use of several disputed marks (Earthgrains Baking Companies Inc. v. Leland Sycamore, No. 15-4145, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19887).



11th Circuit Upholds Denial Of Injunction In Trademark Case
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge's decision to deny a preliminary injunction barring an infringement defendant from using the "HealthPrint" trademark was affirmed Oct. 17 by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that evidence of actual confusion is lacking in the case (Superior Consulting Services Inc. v. Shaklee Corporation, No. 17-11210, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20265).



2nd Circuit Affirms Rejection Of DMCA Claim, Denial Of Attorney Fees
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations that a licensee violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. 1201(a), when it modified security measures to prevent two software programs from self-enforcing certain licensing restrictions because the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the copyrightability of the underlying programs, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 8 (Dynamic Concepts Inc. and Point 4 Data Corp. v. Tri-State Surgical Supply, et al., Nos. 15-0563, -3212, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22348).



Judge Clarifies Fact, Opinion Work Product In Patent Antitrust Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Responding to discovery disputes by the parties in a lawsuit alleging monopolization and false advertising of patents for specialty medical software, a California federal judge on Nov. 6 clarified a previous order compelling production, differentiating between fact and opinion work product in the context of waiver of privilege (Cave Consulting Group Inc. v. OptumInsight Inc., No. 3:15-cv-03424, N.D. Calif, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183672).



High Court Won't Hear Suit Over Whether 'Google' Trademark Is Generic
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 16 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari in which two men asserted that the term "google" has become generic and, thus, is no longer entitled to trademark protection (David Elliott, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 17-258, U.S. Sup.).



Judge Dismisses Franchisor's Trademark Infringement Suit For Lack Of Jurisdiction
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Oct. 20 entered final judgment dismissing a franchisor's trademark infringement lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction, finding that the defendants' contacts with Colorado only "barely satisfy the minimum contacts standard" and that a majority of the reasonableness factors weigh against the exercise of jurisdiction (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory v. Timothy Arellano, et al., No. 17-0582, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173159).



6th Circuit Reverses Res Judicata Holding In Trademark Dispute
CINCINNATI - A rejection on summary judgment of a complaint seeking a declaration of trademark invalidity was reversed Oct. 23 by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which rejected findings by a Michigan federal judge that the dispute is barred by the doctrine of res judicata (AuSable River Trading Post LLC v. Dovetail Solutions Inc., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20707).



Internet Posting Bans In 'Comic-Con' Trademark Suit Vacated As Prior Restraint
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Oct. 30 vacated previous protective orders preventing the defendant in a dispute over the "Comic-Con" trademark from posting online about the litigation, issuing the order in compliance with a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that deemed the internet bans prior restraint under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Const. amend. I (San Diego Comic Convention v. Dan Farr Productions, et al., No. 3:14-cv-01865, S.D. Calif.).



Judge Strikes Response To Audio Parts Seller's Infringement, UCL Claims
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After finding that the sellers of audio components failed to properly respond to allegations that they infringed on trademarks and violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by a competitor, a California federal judge on Oct. 31 struck their answer in its entirety with leave to amend (JL Audio Inc. v. Dia Saif, et al., No. 2:16-cv-00377, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180576).



Washington Federal Court Will Maintain Jurisdiction Over Inventor's UCL Claim
SEATTLE - Even though a patent infringement case was recently transferred from a California federal court, a Washington federal judge on Oct. 17 found that he would maintain jurisdiction over an inventor's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and refused to dismiss the claim (Elliot Kremerman v. Open Source Steel, LLC, et al., No. 2:17-cv-953, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171735).



Arbitrability Of Trade Secrets Claims For Arbitrator To Decide, Judge Rules
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 12 granted in part a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that whether a company's claims against the defendants are subject to several arbitration provisions is for an arbitrator to decide (CheyTac USA LLC v. NextGen Tactical LLC, No. 17-60925, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169850).



Some Defenses Stricken In Florida Trade Dress, Trademark, Copyright Case
ORLANDO, Fla. - A declaratory judgment defendant and copyright, trademark and trade dress infringement counterclaimant partly prevailed Oct. 18 before a Florida federal magistrate judge, who agreed to strike various affirmative defenses raised in response to the counterclaims (Systematic Home Staging LLC v. MHM Professional Staging LLC, No. 17-1327, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172036).



Illinois Federal Judge Awards $650,000 In Copyright, Trademark Case
CHICAGO - A defendant who sold counterfeit "Monster Energy" products online was ordered by an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 23 to pay Monster Energy Co. $650,000 in damages in connection with allegations of copyright and trademark infringement (Monster Energy Company v. Zheng Peng, et al., No. 17-414, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175287).



Clothing, Cosmetics Firms Debate Laches In 9th Circuit 'Lush' Trademark Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - Two companies claiming ownership of the "Lush" trademark debate in briefs to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals whether a cosmetics firm's infringement claim was barred under the doctrine of laches and whether it was filed within the statute of limitations (Pinkette Clothing Inc. v. Cosmetic Warriors Limited, No. 17-55325, 9th Cir.).



Wal-Mart, Variety Stores Argue Over Disgorgement In 'Backyard' Mark Suit
RICHMOND, Va. - Retailers Variety Stores Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently briefed the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on whether Wal-Mart infringed Variety's "The Backyard" trademark and whether the amount of disgorged profits was properly limited to $32 million (Variety Stores Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 17-1503 and 17-1644, 4th Cir.).



Insurer Seeks Reversal Of Finding That Trade Dress Claim Triggered Duty To Defend
SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling that it has a duty to defend its garment merchant insured against an underlying lawsuit, arguing that the lower court erred in finding that the insured was potentially liable for alleged damages arising from trade dress infringement in one of its advertisements (Great Lakes Reinsurance [UK] PLC v. In and Out Fashion Inc., 16-56425, 9th Cir.).



Distinctiveness, Infringement Of 'Sturgis' Trademarks Argued In 8th Circuit
ST. LOUIS - A South Dakota organization affiliated with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally tells the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Nov. 6 brief that a jury correctly found its "Sturgis" trademarks to be valid and infringed by the sale of unlicensed Sturgis items. However, the plaintiff appeals a post-verdict ruling that vacated a damages award for the infringement (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. v. Rushmore Photo & Gifts Inc., et al., Nos. 17-1762, -1869, -2712 and -2731, 8th Cir.).



Jack In The Box Says Terminated Agreement Ended Franchisee's Trademark Rights
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Nov. 6 brief, Jack in the Box Inc. asks the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a trial court's finding that a former franchisee engaged in infringement by continuing to use the "Jack in the Box" trademarks after its franchise agreement was terminated for contractual breaches (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 17-15336, 9th Cir.).



'DJ Logic' Trademark Suit Denied Certiorari By U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 2 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a DJ's petition for certiorari over whether a likelihood of confusion determination in a trademark suit should be made by a court or a jury, letting stand a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found no evidence of confusion (Lee Jason Kibler v. Robert Bryson Hall II, et al., No. 16-1365, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 4841).



High Court Won't Hear Trademark Dilution Suit Over Parody Louis Vuitton Handbags
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. (LV) won't have the opportunity to present arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court that a parody tote bag maker violated the Trademark Dilution Revision Act (TDRA); the high court denied the luxury goods maker's petition for certiorari in its Oct. 2 order list (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag Inc., No. 17-72, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 5936).



National Urban League Prevails In Trademark Dispute With Disaffiliate
DALLAS - Continued use by the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas Inc. (ULGD) of the "Urban League" trademark on social media and online after the National Union League Inc. (NUL) stripped ULGD of its affiliate status represents infringement, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 29 (National Urban League Inc. v. Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas Inc., No. 15-3617, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160608).



11th Circuit Reverses Rejection Of Service Mark Infringement Claim
ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge's grant of summary judgment on behalf of a service mark infringement defendant was reversed and remanded Oct. 3 by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which deemed controlling a 1975 case that extended protection for federally registered service marks to goods, beyond the area of registration listed in a service mark certificate (Savannah College of Art and Design v. Sportswear Inc., No. 15-13830, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19168).



California Magistrate Judge OKs Service By Publication In Copyright, Patent Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Citing an inability by a copyright, patent and trade dress infringement plaintiff to serve a copy of its complaint on two defendants, a California federal judge on Oct. 6 found "good cause" to allow service by publication (Rain Design Inc. v. Spinido Inc., et al., No. 17-3681, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166415).



Magistrate Judge Orders Rolling Paper Documents To Be Turned Over For Discovery
CHICAGO - A magistrate judge in an Illinois federal court on Sept. 27 ordered a tobacco company to produce documents regarding the design of its rolling papers that are in the possession of one of its French subsidiaries in a trademark infringement countersuit after finding that French law does not entirely preempt the company making those documents available for discovery (Republic Technologies LLC, et al. v. BBK Tobacco & Foods LLP, No. 16 3401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158986).



Trade Secrets, Other Claims Not Plausible On Face, Former Business Partner Says
CHICAGO - A company has failed to show that its trade secrets misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner are plausible on their face and, thus, dismissal of those claims is warranted, the former business partner argues in an Oct. 10 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Mighty Deer Lick Inc., d/b/a Mighty Deer Lick Sweet Apple Inc., v. Morton Salt Inc., No. 17-5875, N.D. Ill.).



Oracle's False Advertising Counterclaims Survive Motion To Dismiss
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 21 found that Lanham Act claims based upon a former copyright infringement defendant's alleged false representation that its revised software maintenance program was no longer infringing are not preempted by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq. (Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle America Inc., No. 14-1699, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154930).



Copyright, Trademark, Patent Claims To Proceed In California Federal Court
LOS ANGELES - Efforts by a defendant to obtain dismissal of allegations of copyright, trademark and design patent infringement stemming from the sale of luxury candy were unsuccessful Sept. 25, when a California federal judge deemed the allegations adequately pleaded (Sugarfina Inc. v. Sweet Pete's LLC, No. 17-4456, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156711).



Federal Circuit Says Jurisdiction Lacking Over Patent, Trademark Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An appeal by pro se plaintiffs of a dismissal by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims of his allegations that the U.S. government committed patent and trademark infringement was turned away on Oct. 6 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that the patent claims were untimely and that the Claims Court lacked jurisdiction over the trademark portion of the case (John Sacchetti v. United States, et al., No. 17-1484, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19530).



9th Circuit Reverses, Remands Trade Dress Functionality Ruling
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in holding that the overall configuration of a live auction television show is functional, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15, reversing and remanding the denial of preliminary injunctive relief in a trade dress infringement and trade secret misappropriation case (VBS Distribution Inc. v. Nutrivita Inc., et al., No. 17-11598, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17951).



2nd Circuit Affirms Denial Of Request To Disqualify Trademark Counsel
NEW YORK - Although vacating and remanding a permanent injunction, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 affirmed a New York federal judge's decision to deny a request for disqualification of Locke Lord in a dispute over the Swiss Army knife trade dress (Victorinox AG, et al. v. The B&F Systems Inc., et al., Nos. 15-4032, 16-2690, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18070).



Pipe Maker Sues Tobacco Shop For Trademark Infringement
BATON ROUGE, La. - A glass pipe maker on Sept. 21 filed suit in Louisiana federal court, claiming that a tobacco shop sold counterfeit versions of its pipe and used its trademarked brand without its permission (SREAM Inc. v. Tine Forte Carville, No. 3:17-cv-00667, M.D. La.).



Intellectual Property Exclusion Bars Coverage For Trademark Dispute, Judge Says
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Oct. 4 entered judgment in favor of an insurer in a "personal and advertising injury" coverage dispute, finding that the policy's intellectual property exclusion bars coverage because all of the underlying causes of action were dependent on the insured's infringement of a trademark (Land's End at Sunset Beach Community Association, Inc. v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-1740, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163457).



Google Waives Response In High Court Petition Over Genericness Of Its Trademark
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Google Inc. on Sept. 14 waived its right to file an opposition to a petition for certiorari in which two men assert that the term "google" has become generic and, thus, is no longer entitled to trademark protection (David Elliott, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 17-258, U.S. Sup.).



Vietnamese Food Company Appeals Cancellation Of Pho Trademarks To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A maker of pho soup base products tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 20 brief that a trial court erred in issuing judgment against it in a trademark dispute with a competing pho maker, arguing that its "Cot" marks are not descriptive and have acquired secondary meaning (Quoc Viet Foods Inc. v. VV Foods LLC, et al., No. 17-55331 and 17-55742, 9th Cir.).



Boat Maker Argues Rival Identified No Protectable Trade Dress, Trade Secrets
ATLANTA - A competing high-end boat manufacturer failed to identify any protectable, nonfunctional trade dress that was allegedly infringed, a craft designer tells the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 20 appellee brief, also alleging that purportedly misappropriated confidential information did not qualify as trade secrets under Florida law (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 17-11176, 11th Cir.).



Artist Appeals Unclean Hands Ruling In 'Life Is Beautiful' Trademark Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A street artist's limited liability company argues in an Oct. 6 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court's unclean hands judgment against it over registrations of the "Life is Beautiful" trademark failed to account for the fact that errors in the registrations were due to innocent mistakes, not fraud (Amusement Art LLC v. Life is Beautiful LLC, et al., No. 17-55045, 9th Cir.).



Tech Firm Appeals Fees Award, Judgment In 'Dropbox' Trademark Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 6 reply brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a small tech company argues that a $2 million attorney fee award against it was inappropriate and "create[s] a terrible precedent" because it was merely defending its "Dropbox" trademark against a larger company (Dropbox Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 17-15078, 9th Cir.).