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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News

Headline Trademarks Legal News from LexisNexis®


Supreme Court Will Review Dispute Over Disparaging Trademarks
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that deemed the Lanham Act's disparagement provision - codified at 15 U.S. Code Section 1052(a) (Section 2[a]) - unconstitutional will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted certiorari Sept. 29 (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.).

Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Dispute Over Redskins Trademark
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment was denied Oct. 3 by the U.S. Supreme Court in a trademark case that presents similar issues as one that received a grant of certiorari on Sept. 30 (Pro-Football Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse, et al., No. 15-1311, U.S. Sup.).

New York Federal Jury Awards Tiffany's $13.75M In Trademark Case
NEW YORK - In part two of a two-phase damages trial, jurors empaneled before U.S. Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York on Oct. 5 found that Tiffany and Co. is entitled to an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages as a result of trademark infringement by Costco Wholesale Corp., sources confirmed to Mealey Publications (Tiffany and Company v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 13-1041, S.D. N.Y.).

Plaintiff In Website Dispute Seeks To Quash Subpoenas Directed At Personal Life
CHICAGO - A woman bringing cybersquatting, fraud and defamation claims over a website created by her ex-boyfriend filed a motion to quash his discovery subpoenas in Illinois federal court on Oct. 5, asserting that the subpoenas were intended to harass and intrude on her personal life and lack any probative value related to the claims at issue in the case (Emily Mackie, et al. v. Mason Awtry, et al., No. 1:14-cv-09206, N.D. Ill.).

Florida Federal Magistrate Defers Discovery Ruling In Lanham Act Case
MIAMI - Efforts by 32 models to obtain, through discovery, the membership list of a defendant "swingers" club were unsuccessful on Oct. 3, when a Florida federal magistrate judge concluded that it remains unclear whether the requested information would assist the plaintiffs in determining the amount of damages available to them on their allegation that the club violated the Lanham Act (Jaime Faith Edmondson, et al. v. Velvet Lifestyles LLC, No. 15-24442, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136866).

Missouri Federal Judge Finds For Restaurant Franchisor In Franchise Agreement Dispute
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 3 ruled that Lion's Choice franchisee Valley Beef LLC's continued operation of its franchise after the termination of its franchise agreement constitutes a violation of the franchise agreement and a violation of Lion' Choice's trademarks and copyrights (LC Franchisor LLC, et al. v. Valley Beef LLC, No. 4:15-cv-00383, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136790).

New York Federal Judge: No Sanctions For Attorney In Copyright, Lanham Act Case
NEW YORK - Although finding "much to criticize" in the conduct of an attorney who advanced allegations of copyright infringement and violations of the Lanham Act in a third-party action against Viacom and others, a New York federal judge on Oct. 5 nonetheless declined a request for sanctions in the case (Scrilla Hill Entertainment Inc., et al. v. Bianca Dupree, et al., No. 16-490, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138346).

Judge: Insured Failed To Provide Insurer Sufficient Notice Of Bad Faith Claim
ALBANY, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on Sept. 30 found that an insured did not satisfy a statutory prerequisite demand requirement by failing to provide sufficient notice of a bad faith claim or litigation to its insurer before filing its initial complaint, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment as to the bad faith claim (Foliar Nutrients Inc., et al. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co., No. 14-75, M.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135327).

Glass Maker Sues Tobacco Shop For Allegedly Selling Counterfeit Products
LOS ANGELES - A German tobacco glass pipe maker on Oct. 11 filed suit in California federal court against a retail smoke shop, claiming that the shop has sold and continues to sell counterfeit products made by the pipe maker without its express permission (Sream Inc. v. MP Tobacco Inc., No. 5:16-cv-2143, C.D. Calif.).

Pa. Federal Judge Partly Allows Dilution Claims Over Buck Rogers To Proceed
PHILADELPHIA - A dispute over the Buck Rogers character will proceed with allegations of federal trademark dilution intact, but without a related state law claim, in light of a "divergence between the Lanham Act and Pennsylvania trademark law," according to a Sept. 16 ruling by a Pennsylvania federal judge (The Dille Family Trust v. The Nowlan Family Trust, No. 15-6231, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126191).

2nd Circuit Upholds Trademark Ruling In Favor Of Oprah Winfrey
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's grant of summary judgment in favor of trademark infringement defendant Oprah Winfrey was affirmed Sept. 16 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, albeit on "slightly different grounds," according to the panel (Simone Kelly-Brown, et al. v. Oprah Winfrey, et al., No. 15-697, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16939).

California Federal Judge Partly Grants, Denies Relief In Lanham Act Dispute
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry and The California State Grange won a partial preliminary injunction on Sept. 23 on false advertising claims arising from the latest installment in ongoing litigation with a disaffiliated charter (The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, et al. v. California State Grange d/b/a The California Guild, No. 16-201, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130805).

Temporary Restraining Order, Dismissal Denied In Texas Copyright Case
DALLAS - Efforts by a copyright infringement and false advertising plaintiff to obtain a temporary restraining order barring the construction of a single-family home were unsuccessful Sept. 16, when a Texas federal judge denied the request (The Joseph Paul Corporation d/b/a The Joseph Paul Homes v. Trademark Custom Homes, Inc., et al., No. 16-1651, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126206).

3rd Circuit Says 'Fudgetopia' Trademarks Belong To Plaintiff
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge did not err in deeming a trademark infringement plaintiff the lawful and rightful owner of the "Fudgetopia" and "Fudgie Wudgie" trademarks as well as a related logo, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 23 (Three Rivers Confections LLC v. Christopher M. Warman, et al., No. 15-3436, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17390).

No Consumer Confusion On Use Of Navajo Mark By Retailers, Judge Finds
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Navajo Nation is not entitled to summary judgment on its trademark infringement claim against several retailers because the tribe did not prove that the retailers' use of the tribe's trademark caused confusion as a matter of law, a New Mexico federal judge held Sept. 19 (The Navajo Nation, et al. v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., et al., No. 12-195, D. N.M.).

Trademark Counterclaim Survives Motion In New Jersey Federal Litigation
TRENTON, N.J. - Counterclaims of contributory copyright infringement were rejected Sept. 22 by a New Jersey federal judge as barred by the economic loss doctrine because the allegations giving rise to the counterclaim are not "separate and distinct" from a related breach of contract counterclaim (Air Express International d/b/a DHL Global Forwarding Corporation v. LOG-NET Inc., No. 12-1732, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129409).

LSAT Course Provider Asks High Court If 'Test Masters' Mark Can Be Trademarked
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A nationwide LSAT preparation course provider asks the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 13 petition to consider whether an appellate court failed to consider secondary meaning evidence in a trademark infringement lawsuit over the "Test Masters" mark (Robin Singh Educational Services Inc. and Robin Singh v. Test Masters Educational Services Inc., No. 16-353, U.S. Sup.).

University Seeks High Court Clarification On Nominative Fair Use In Trademark Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should clarify the proper approach to nominative fair use, a university named as a defendant in a trademark infringement lawsuit says in a petition filed Sept. 15 (Security University LLC and Sondra Schneider v. International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium Inc., No. 16-352, U.S. Sup.).

9th Circuit Hears Arguments From Skechers, Adidas Over Injunction In Trademark Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 7 heard oral arguments from Skechers USA Inc. and adidas America Inc. as to whether there was evidence of irreparable harm to support an injunction barring Skechers from selling two shoes that allegedly infringed on adidas' brand (adidas America Inc., et al. v. Skechers USA Inc., No. 16-35204, 9th Cir.).

Ex-Band Member Argues Email Blasts Did Not Violate Injunction Under 'Fair Use'
ORLANDO, Fla. - Email blasts for advertisements that include a musician's use of his former band's name do not violate a permanent injunction in a trademark lawsuit because of "fair use," the ex-band member argues in a Sept. 30 opposition brief in Florida federal court (Commodores Entertainment Corp. v. Thomas McClary and Fifth Avenue Entertainment LLC, No. 14-01335, M.D. Fla.).

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," "" and "AncestryDNA" trademarks ( 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.).

Ohio Federal Judge Denies Injunction In Dispute Over Restaurant Trade Dress
CLEVELAND - A lawsuit involving restaurant trade dress will proceed without a temporary restraining order in place, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 8 (Barteca Holdings LLC v. Coastal Taco LLC, No. 16-1498, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104026).

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.).

German Glass Pipe Maker Sues Hookah Company For Selling Counterfeits
MIAMI - A German corporation known for selling water pipes and hookahs on Aug. 9 filed suit in federal court in Florida against a hookah company for allegedly selling counterfeit products (ROOR v. Hookah, Tobacco and Sun Inc., No. 0:16-cv-61902, S.D. Fla.).

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.).