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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News
Headline Trademarks Legal News from LexisNexis®
9th Circuit: Lanham Act Should Have Been Extraterritorially Applied
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by Trader Joe's Co. that a Canadian grocer committed trademark infringement should not have been dismissed, for the plaintiff alleged a sufficient nexus between the grocer's conduct and American commerce to warrant extraterritorial application of the Lanham Act, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 (Trader Joe's Co. v. Michael Hallatt, No. 14-35035, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15792).
Federal Judge Allows California Law Claims Against Spice Maker To Proceed
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 6 dismissed an organic spice maker's claims for trademark infringement with leave to amend, but allowed its claims for violation of various California laws (Morton & Basset LLC v. Organic Spices Inc., No. 15-cv-01849, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120092).
2nd Circuit Affirms: Pregnancy Test Claims Were False Advertising
NEW YORK - Findings by a New York federal judge that the marketer of a home pregnancy test committed false advertising under the Lanham Act by implying that the product measures weeks of pregnancy in a manner consistent with that used by doctors were affirmed Sept. 9 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Church & Dwight Co. Inc. v. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics GMBH, No. 15-2411, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16625).
Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Trademark Claims, With Leave To Amend
MIAMI - A contractual dispute was dismissed Sept. 12 by a Florida federal judge, who found that a plaintiff's allegations of trademark infringement - the only alleged basis for federal jurisdiction - fail to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Mainstream Advertising Inc. v. Moniker Online Services LLC, No. 16-61316, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123132).
Navajo Nation, Retailers To Discuss Settling Trademarks Claims
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The trial for a trademark infringement dispute between a Native American tribe and several retailers should be delayed until the new year so the parties have time to work on a settlement, according to a joint motion filed Aug. 30 in New Mexico federal court, a day after a magistrate judge scheduled a settlement conference for the parties (The Navajo Nation, et al. v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., et al., No. 12-195, D. N.M.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63599).
Illinois Federal Judge Dismisses Counterclaim Asserting Trade Dress Unenforceability
CHICAGO - A trade dress infringement defendant's request for declarations of trade dress noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability was turned away Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge, who concluded that the defendant "is essentially seeking an inappropriate advisory opinion" that would do nothing to resolve the parties' dispute (Bodum USA Inc. v. A Top New Casting Inc., No. 16-2916, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111153).
10th Circuit: Colors Are Protectable When Combined With Shapes, Patterns
DENVER - A claimed trade dress for retail metalworking parts and accessories of packaging in a red, yellow, black and white color combination is neither inherently distinctive, nor has it acquired secondary meaning, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 29 (Forney Industries Inc. v. Daco of Missouri Inc., No. 15-1226, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15922).
Federal Judge Enters Default Against Seller Of Copied Smoking Products
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - After finding that the relevant factors weighed in favor of granting a smoking product maker's motion for a default judgment on its claims of trademark infringement and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge on Aug. 10 granted its motion for default judgment against a store owner (Sream Inc. v. Pankaj R. Lavingia, et al., No. 16-00806, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106540).
7th Circuit Vacates Injunction In Dispute Over 'Bug Off' Trademark
CHICAGO - A Wisconsin federal judge abused his discretion and clearly erred when he "entertained" and accepted post-trial arguments by a plaintiff that a defendant failed to prove continuous use of the "Bug Off" trademark after 2012 when the parties' dispute was clearly centered on pre-2012 use, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 25 (S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. v. Nutraceutical Corporation, No. 15-3337, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15709).
New York Federal Judge Denies Relief In Dispute Over Fashion Week Marks
NEW YORK - Less than two months after denying a temporary restraining order in a dispute over the acronym "NYFW" - short for "New York Fashion Week" - and other trademarks, a New York federal judge on Aug. 12 again concluded that an infringement plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claim (Fashion Week Inc. v. Council of Fashion Designers of America Inc., et al., No. 16-5079, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107358).
Choice Hotels Prevails In Trademark Infringement Suit Against Ex-Franchisees
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 15 granted Choice Hotels International Inc.'s (CHI) motion for summary judgment in a suit alleging that former CHI franchisees continued to use CHI trademarks after termination of their franchise agreement for nonpayment of certain fees (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Frontier Hotels Inc., et al., No. 4:15-2355, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107460).
Louisiana Federal Judge: Area Of Use, Secondary Meaning Questions Preclude Ruling
BATON ROUGE, La. - A declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for summary judgment that it did not infringe the "Audobon" trademark when it adopted a nearly identical name was denied Aug. 22 by a Louisiana federal judge, who cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that are yet to be resolved (Audubon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111437).
8th Circuit Vacates Trademark Cancellations, Cites Lack Of Damages
ST. LOUIS - Although clarifying that their conclusions "should not be read as condoning . . . knowing misrepresentations" made by a trademark owner to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 nonetheless vacated an Iowa federal judge's cancellation of the "Pakster" trademark after finding that the judge lacked jurisdiction (East Iowa Plastics Inc. v. PI Inc., No. 15-2757, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14762).
Imminent Cruise Launch Cited As Grounds For Allowing Trademark Case To Proceed
NEW ORLEANS - Although a Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 24 ultimately granted in part a motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment action, the plaintiff in the case was granted leave to amend while the defendant was criticized for arguing that no actual controversy exists between the parties, despite sending the plaintiff a cease-and-desist letter that alleged trademark infringement (Great Northern & Southern Navigation Co. LLC v. American Cruise Lines Inc., No. 16-3278, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112122).
Illinois Federal Judge Awards $100,000 On Counterfeiting Claims
CHICAGO - An online retailer that sold earrings bearing a fake Tory Burch trademark was ordered Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge to pay two plaintiffs $100,000 in statutory damages, as a result of the retailer's failure to ensure that its product offerings were not counterfeit (River Light V L.P., et al. v. I Love You To The Moom And Back, No. 15-5918, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111301).
5th Circuit: Sanctions Not Warranted In Longstanding Trademark Case
NEW ORLEANS - Allegations by myriad plaintiffs that a trademark and patent infringement defendant committed violations of the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act were "creative" but not "ridiculous," the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 15 (Southern Snow Manufacturing Company, et al. v. SnoWizard Inc., No. 15-30393, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14977).
Federal Judge Stays UCL And Trademark Claims Pending Ruling
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 stayed a trademark infringement case filed in relation to a mark for apparel, pending the outcome of a motion to dismiss a related case filed in New York (Therapy Stores Inc. v. JGV Apparel Group LLC, et al., No. 4:16-cv-02588-YGR, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115012).
Panel: Claims Looked, Walked, Quacked Like Typical Trademark Infringement Claims
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying trademark dispute, concluding that the underlying claims "looked, walked, and quacked only like typical trademark infringement claims-not unpled disparagement or trade dress claims" (S. Bertram, Inc. v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, No. 15-2552, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15886).
Trademark Owner Of Snap Fasteners Seeks High Court Review Of Reduced Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trademark owner of magnetic snap fasteners for handbags asks the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 12 petition to consider whether under Section 35 of the Lanham Act, willful infringement is a prerequisite for an award of infringer's profits that was reduced to $6.8 million (Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., et al., No. 16-202, U.S. Sup.).
Diagnostic Center Says Judge's Rejection Of Injunctive Relief Was Proper In Trademark Case
CINCINNATI - A diagnostic center argues in a Sept. 12 brief to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a federal judge properly declined awarding preliminary injunctive relief in a dispute over "Ancestry," "Ancestry.com" and "AncestryDNA" trademarks (Ancestry.com Operations Inc. and Ancestry DNA LLC v. DNA Diagnostic Center Inc., No. 16-3468, 6th Cir.).
Auto Wholesaler Says It Did Not Infringe Trademark By Importing Parts
LOS ANGELES - An auto parts wholesaler argues in a Sept. 6 brief that a California federal judge should not find that parts imported into the United States were imported illegally and infringe a car company's trademarks (Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Hyundai Motor Co. v. Pinnacle Group LLC, No. 14-00576, C.D. Calif.).
California Federal Judge Orders Couple To Stop Using Tobacco Trademark
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 8 granted a motion for default judgment in favor of a hookah tobacco company that sued a couple who was using the company's trademarked brands and ordered the couple to pay $575,000 (Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. v. Issa Hilo, et al., No. SACV 16-0303 AG, C.D. Calif.).
1st Circuit: Finding Of Noninfringement In Trademark Case Clearly Erroneous
NEW YORK - In its second ruling in a longstanding trademark dispute, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 vacated and remanded a Puerto Rico federal judge's findings of noninfringement, directing the district court to instead reconsider an earlier-entered injunction (Oriental Financial Services Corp., et al. v. Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Oriental, No. 15-1009, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14162).
California Federal Judge Rejects Lanham Act Counterclaims In Patent Litigation
SAN FRANCISCO - Assertions by a patent infringement defendant that a plaintiff committed false advertising and defamation in a letter it sent to the defendant's current and prospective customers were rejected on summary judgment Aug. 8 by a California federal judge (Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Microtechnology SDN BHD, No. 14-2864, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104380).
Connecticut Federal Judge Grants Summary Judgment On Typosquatting Claim
HARTFORD, Conn. - Citing a lack of evidence linking two digital marketing companies with the use of various domain names featuring a deliberate misspelling of a plaintiff's trademark, a Connecticut federal judge on July 29 dismissed allegations that the defendant that hired the companies violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) (Edible Arrangements LLC v. Provide Commerce Inc., No. 14-250, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99291).
Following Trademark Trial, Federal Judge Sides With Macy's Subsidiary
NEW YORK - Allegations that Macy's Merchandising Group Inc. (MMG) infringed the "Joules" trademark by selling women's clothing under the "Maison Jules" trademark were rejected Aug. 2 by a New York federal judge following a two-day bench trial in July (Joules Limited v. Macy's Merchandising Group Inc., No. 15-3645, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101151).
Oregon Federal Judge Denies Efforts To Transfer Trademark Dispute
PORTLAND, Ore. - Allegations of trademark infringement by adidas America Inc. and adidas AG will proceed in Oregon federal court, an Oregon federal judge ruled July 19 (adidas America Inc., et al. v. Athletic Propulsion Labs LLC, No. 16-415, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92770).
9th Circuit Affirms: Defendant Had Right To Use 'Crazy Horse' Mark
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding no genuine dispute of material fact as to the validity of a trademark co-existence agreement or as to the validity of a later assignment of rights under that agreement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 upheld a Nevada federal judge's decision to grant an infringement defendant summary judgment (Russell Road Food and Beverage LLC v. Frank Spencer, et al., No. 14-16096, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13384).
Federal Judge Agrees: Unclean Hands, Estoppel Trademark Defenses Are Without Merit
SHERMAN, Texas - An infringement plaintiff's affirmative defenses of unclean hands and estoppel in response to a defendant's counterclaim for cancellation of various trademarks were properly rejected by a Texas federal magistrate judge, a Texas federal judge concluded July 16 (Neal Technologies Inc. v. Unite Motorsports Inc., No. 15-385, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92655).
7th Circuit Affirms: Use Of Karaoke Tracks Unlikely To Confuse
CHICAGO - A plaintiff responsible for bringing more than 150 trademark lawsuits across the country was properly rebuffed in its effort to hold a pub and its owner liable for playing unauthorized digital copies of various karaoke tracks, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp., et al. v. Danette Rumsey, et al., No. 15-2844, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13306).
South Carolina Federal Judge Triples Damages, Awards Infringer Profits
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on July 29 awarded Choice Hotels International Inc. triple damages plus $1.18 million of infringer profits in a trademark infringement case against defendants who bought a North Myrtle Beach hotel from one of Choice Hotels' former franchisees and operated a "virtually identical business with a virtually identical name on the very same property" (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Zeal LLC, et al., No. 4:13-01961, D. S.C., Florence Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99342).
7-Eleven Sues Lookalike Brooklyn Bodegas In New York Federal Court
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Convenience store franchisor 7-Eleven Inc. on July 25 filed two trademark infringement complaints in New York federal court against two Brooklyn bodegas for having names and signage similar to 7-Eleven stores (7-Eleven Inc. v. Z-Eleven Convenience Store Inc., No. 1:16-cv-4116, Eleven 7 Food Mart Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-4124, E.D. N.Y.).
Football Team Says Redskins' Trademark Challenge Merits Skipping Appellate Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a trademark case, the Washington Redskins argue in a July 15 reply brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should consider reviewing professional football owners' legal right to the exclusive use of the team name "Redskins" despite a pending challenge in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals because the issues in its case complement those in another up for high court review (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse, et al., No. 15-1311, U.S. Sup.).
PTO Director Says Federal Circuit's 1st Amendment Ruling Is Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that the disparagement provision in 15 U.S. Code Section 1052(a) is invalid under the free speech clause of the First Amendment is unconstitutional, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office argues in a July 12 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court (Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Simon Shiao Tam, No. 15-1293, U.S. Sup.).
Travel Websites Say Delta Fails To Assert Fraud Claims In Trademark Suit
TRENTON, N.J. - An airline company fails to assert a common-law fraud claim in allegations that a group of travel websites posed as company representatives to charge consumers inflated flight cancellation and modification fees, the travel websites argue in a July 12 reply brief in support of their motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in a New Jersey federal court (Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Fly Tech, LLC, et al., No. 16-02599, D. N.J.).
Jewelers To 9th Circuit: 'Red Gold' Is A Generic Term, Not Able To Be Trademarked
SAN FRANCISCO - "Red gold" is a generic term and its use in watches and other jewelry does not infringe a jeweler's alleged trademark on the term, jewelry manufacturers argue in a July 18 brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asking that the court affirm summary judgment in their favor (Solid 21, Inc. v. Hublot of America, et al., No. 15-56036, 9th Cir.).
Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Trademark Dispute Over Supplements
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Allegations of trademark infringement stemming from a defendant's enlistment of third-party affiliates to drive Internet traffic away from a plaintiff will proceed, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled July 12 (Premium Nutraceuticals LLC v. Leading Edge Marketing Inc., et al., No. 15-141, S.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90319).
2nd Circuit Panel Affirms Cancellation Of Pizza Trademark
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 affirmed the cancellation of a federal trademark for pizza restaurants on the grounds that a family member fraudulently obtained federal registration for the mark long used by his family's chain of pizzerias (MPC Franchise LLC, et al. v. Brent Tarntino, No. 15-717-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11698).
Ohio Federal Judge Enters Default, Awards Trebled Damages On Design Patent Claims
CINCINNATI - A retailer on the online auction website eBay was ordered by an Ohio federal judge on July 12 to pay The Gillette Co. $55,047.42 trebled in damages in connection with allegations of trademark and design patent infringement (The Gillette Company v. Save and Discount LLC, No. 15-635, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90925).
California Federal Judge Finds For Jack In The Box In Breach Of Contract Case
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 21 granted Jack in the Box Inc.'s (JIB) motion for summary judgment on breach of contract and Lanham Act violation claims it brought against Northern California franchisees (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 5:13cv4444, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80759).
Judge Awards Production Company $1.8 Million For Improper Use Of Movie Name
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 11 awarded a movie production company that asserted causes of action for copyright infringement and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) $1,885,969.96 in damages and entered a permanent injunction ordering another entity and its owner from ever using the company's movie trademark again (Fuzzy Logic Productions Inc. v. Trapflix LLC, et al., No. 15-6203, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90290).
Georgia Federal Judge Grants Partial Relief In Hendrix Trademark Case
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Defendants - including Leon Hendrix, brother of the late Jimi Hendrix - who are connected with "Purple Haze Liquer" were enjoined by a Georgia federal judge on June 22 from using the word "jimi" in the names of their websites and on their social media profiles (Experience Hendrix LLC v. Tiger Paw Distributors LLC, No. 16-107, S.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81089).
Federal Judge Rejects Lanham Act Allegations
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A dispute over mineral and land rights was dismissed July 6 by an Alabama federal judge who found that a plaintiff failed to state a claim with regard to allegations that various defendants violated the Lanham Act (Black Diamond Land Management LLC v. Twin Pines Coal Company Inc., et al., No. 14-2333, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87022).
Lanham Act Dispute Over Online Criticism Will Proceed In New York
NEW YORK - Allegations by the maker of the anti-malware program "SpyHunter" that a computer support website violated the Lanham Act by making false and defamatory statements online survived a motion to dismiss July 8, when a New York federal judge ruled that the case should proceed in part (Enigma Software Group USA LLC v. Bleeping Computer LLC, No. 16-57, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89160).
7th Circuit: Lanham Act Dispute Over Drink Ad Properly Dismissed
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge did not err in dismissing Lanham Act claims levied by the holder of the world record holder for "hacky sack," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 30 (Johannes T. Martin v. Living Essentials LLC, No. 16-1370, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12057).
Mattress Review Site Operator Seeks Dismissal Of Lanham False Advertising Claims
NEW YORK - In a June 23 motion to dismiss false advertising claims against it in New York federal court, the operator of a mattress review website asserts that the plaintiff mattress seller has actually brought the suit "in order to illegally silence [the] reviews of Plaintiff's products" (Casper Sleep Inc. v. Jack Mitcham, et al., No. 1:16-cv-03224, S.D. N.Y.).
Trade Dress Claim Triggered Insurer's Duty To Defend Garment Merchant, Judge Says
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on June 20 held that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its garment merchant insured against an underlying lawsuit because 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., No. 15-05889, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80656).
Band Front Man Asks U.S. High Court To Consider Trademark Disparagement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Asian-American dance rock band's front man argues in a June 20 brief that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (PTO) petition should be granted by the U.S. Supreme Court so that the court can consider whether a mark is disparaging under 15 U.S. Code Section 1052(a) (Section 2[a]) (Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Simon Shiao Tam, No. 15-1293, U.S. Sup.).
Whiskey Maker Argues In 5th Circuit That Permanent Injunction Is Too Broad
NEW ORLEANS - A whiskey maker told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18 that a trial judge's order, issued against it after a jury trial in a trademark infringement case over another whiskey manufacturer's trademarks, that permanently barred the company from using the word "crown" in combination with a cloth bag was overly broad and must be amended (Diageo North America, Inc. v. Mexcor Inc. and EJMV Investments, LLC, No. 15-20630, 5th Cir.).
Court To Deny Review Of Native Americans Tell High 'Redskins' Trademark Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a trademark case, Native Americans argue in a June 27 opposition brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should not consider reviewing professional football owners' legal right to the exclusive use of the team name "Redskins" before an appeals court has a chance to do so (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse, et al., No. 15-1311, U.S. Sup.).
Pro-Football Inc. Asks U.S. High Court To Consider Trademark Disparagement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pro-Football Inc. (PFI) filed an amicus curiae brief on June 20, saying that the U.S. Supreme Court should grant the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's petition for writ of certiorari so it can consider whether a mark is disparaging under 15 U.S. Code Section 1052(a) (Section 2[a]) (Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Simon Shiao Tam, No. 15-1293, U.S. Sup.).
Trademark Defendants Ask Court To Review Commercial Exception To State Doctrine
NEW YORK - Defendants in a trademark infringement lawsuit petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 to consider if there is a commercial exception to the act-of-state doctrine that allows judicial review of an assignment of alleged ownership rights in a U.S. trademark by a foreign sovereign to a state-owned enterprise (Spirits International B.V. f/k/a Spirits International N.V., et al. v. Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport, et al., No. 16-1, U.S. Sup.).