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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Trademarks Legal News
Headline Trademarks Legal News from LexisNexis®
Magistrate Judge Bars Opinion On Company's Success In Trademark Infringement Suit
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In a trademark infringement dispute, an internet marketing expert may not testify on whether a marketing consultant could determine the success of a startup company and whether the registration of a website domain name was "highly unusual and possibly unethical," a Kentucky federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 4 (Louisville Marketing Inc. d/b/a Jewelry In Candles v. Jewelry Candles LLC v. P. Micah Buse, No. 15-00084, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153329).
Judge Partially Bars Expert Opinion On Fitness Brand In Trademark Infringement Suit
HOUSTON - In a trademark infringement lawsuit, an expert may testify on branding in the fitness industry but is not allowed to discuss whether an alleged brand meets various legal definitions related to trademark law, a Texas federal judge ruled Oct. 18, also denying summary judgment to a fitness training company on its fair use defense (Michael Jones v. American Council on Exercise, No. 15-3270, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143882).
Divided 6th Circuit Reverses Denial Of Leave To Amend Trademark Claim
CINCINNATI - A Michigan federal judge erred in dismissing allegations of infringement levied in connection with use of the "Bar's Leaks" trademark, a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 2 (Bars Products Inc. v. Bar's Products International, No.14-1611, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19991).
Jury Verdict Of No Likely Confusion Affirmed By 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge did not err in deciding various pretrial motions in favor of a defendant in a dispute over a red sailing ship trademark used in connection with Asian food products, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 4 (Anhing Corporation v. Viet Phu Inc., et al., No. 14-56664, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19967).
Microsoft Piracy Suit Against Georgia Firm May Proceed In Washington, Judge Rules
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Nov. 10 declined to dismiss copyright, trademark and related claims against a Georgia company accused of selling pirated copies of Microsoft Corp. software, finding that Microsoft sufficiently alleged purposeful availment of Washington jurisdiction and harm experienced within the state (Microsoft Corp. v. Aventis Systems Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-01234, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156410).
German Glass Pipe Maker Sues Florida Tobacco Store
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A German glass tobacco pipe maker on Nov. 4 sued a Florida tobacco shop in federal court in Florida, claiming that the shop sold counterfeit pipes (Sream Inc. v. Tobacco E. Cigs LLC, No. 0:16-cv-62624, S.D. Fla.).
Illinois Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Advertising Injury Dispute
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Nov. 8 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in its declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying trademark infringement dispute (Selective Insurance Company Of The Southeast v. Member's Property, Inc., No. 1-14-3436, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2366).
8th Circuit Upholds Injunction, Award In Copyright, Trademark Case
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge's decision to permanently enjoin four defendants from licensing images or phrases from the iconic films Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz as well as images from the animated Tom and Jerry short films was affirmed Nov. 1 by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. v. X One X Productions, et al., No. 15-3728, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19671).
D.C. Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Lanham Act Claims Against McCormick
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Multidistrict litigation stemming from an alleged practice by McCormick & Co. Inc. of "slack-filling" black pepper containers will proceed with a claim of false advertising in place, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Oct. 18 (In re: McCormick & Company Inc., MDL No. 2665, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143176).
Mattress Firm's Lanham Claim Against Review Site Partly Dismissed
NEW YORK - Many of the statements on a mattress review website about which a mattress manufacturer complains constitute opinions that are not actionable under the Lanham Act, a New York federal judge ruled Oct. 20, granting in part the site operator's motion to dismiss (Casper Sleep Inc. v. Derek Hales, et al., No. 1:16-cv-03223, S.D. N.Y.).
Antitrust Claim Dismissed, Lanham Act Claim Survives In New York Lawsuit
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Oct. 27 agreed with a plaintiff that counterclaims of antitrust violations and commercial disparagement by a trademark infringement defendant are ripe for dismissal (Dentsply International Inc. v. Dental Brands for Less d/b/a Dental Wholesale Direct, No. 15-8775, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149139).
California Magistrate Judge Partly Dismisses Trademark Claims Against Google
SAN FRANCISCO - A claim that Google Inc. committed contributory trademark infringement when it failed to remove from Google Play apps from developers previously accused of infringing a plaintiff's "Spy Phone" trademark will proceed in light of an Oct. 14 holding by a California federal judge, who deemed the allegations sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Spy Phone Labs LLC v. Google Inc., No. 15-3756, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143530).
En Banc 9th Circuit: Review Fee Awards For Abuse Of Discretion
SAN FRANCISCO - In what it deemed a "correction in the law," an en banc Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 overruled its own precedent in concluding that a review of an award of attorney fees under the Lanham Act should be conducted under an abuse of discretion standard (SunEarth Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power Co. Ltd., Nos. 13-17622, 15-16096, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19083).
10th Circuit Finds Jurisdiction Lacking In Lanham Act, CDA Case
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge's determination that a defendant was not entitled to immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for allegations the defendant violated the Lanham Act will not be reviewed, in light of findings Nov. 1 by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that appellate jurisdiction is lacking (General Steel Domestic Sales LLC v. Ethan Daniel Chumley, et al., No. 15-1293, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19629).
Judge Won't Enjoin Yelp's Use Of 'We Know Just The Place' Tagline
OAKLAND, Calif. - Finding that a trademark infringement plaintiff failed to establish any likelihood of confusion or irreparable harm due to the use of a disputed tagline by Yelp Inc., a California federal judge on Oct. 25 denied the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction against the business reviews website operator (TPW Management LLC v. Yelp Inc., No. 4:16-cv-03063, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147884).
Pharmaceutical Company Seeks High Court Review In Trademark Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A pharmaceutical company in an Oct. 20 petition for writ of certiorari asks the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether Sections 14(3) and 43(a) of the Lanham Act allow a foreign business that "has neither used nor registered its trademark in the United States to sue the owner of a U.S. trademark for conduct relating to the owner's use of its U.S. mark" (Belmora LLC and Jamie Belcastro v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, et al., No. 16-548, U.S. Sup.).
Retailers Ask High Court Not To Review Willfulness Infringement Prerequisite For Reduced Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should not consider if willful infringement is a prerequisite for an award of infringer's profits reduced to $6.8 million to a trademark owner of magnetic snap fasteners for handbags, retailers argue in an Oct. 19 opposition brief, because every appellate court views willfulness "as an important factor, and the differences between them result in minimal inter-circuit variation" (Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., et al., No. 16-202, U.S. Sup.).
PTO Director Tells Court To Uphold Ban On 'Racial Slurs' In Trademarks Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing the bar under the Lanham Act's 15 U.S. Code Section 1052(a) of the registration of trademarks that "disparage" people, Michelle K. Lee, undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, argues in an opening brief filed Nov. 9 to the U.S. Supreme Court that there is a difference between a rule that restricts speech and one that refuses to endorse and promote it (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 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," "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.).