Posts Tagged: "trademark litigation"

Girl Scouts File Trademark Complaint Against Rival Boy Scouts

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America have filed suit to force the Boy Scouts of America to put the “Boy” back into “Boy Scout.” The two venerable youth organizations will soon face off in a high-stakes trademark battle in federal court.  The Girl Scouts filed a trademark complaint in November 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In it, the Girl Scouts claim the Boy Scouts’ use of the trademarks SCOUTS, SCOUTING and SCOUTS BSA without the word “boy” for programming for girls has and will continue to create confusion for families seeking to enroll their daughters in Girl Scouts.

Preliminary Injunction Granted to Alibaba Against AlibabaCoin Cryptocurrency Operators

On Monday, October 22nd, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York entered an opinion and order in a trademark case brought by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba against a group of companies operating in Dubai and Belarus involved in marketing a cryptocurrency known as AlibabaCoin. Judge Oetken’s order granted Alibaba’s motion enjoining the defendants from using Alibaba’s protected marks in the U.S., including in connection with goods and services provided over the Internet to U.S. consumers. Another motion filed by Alibaba to compel documents from the defendants was denied as moot.

Judge Denies Motions to Dismiss Fraud, Copyright Claims in ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ Lawsuit

In October 2016, the creators of the classic mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap filed suit against a group of defendants including the French mass media conglomerate Vivendi S.A. alleging that Vivendi engaged in anticompetitive business activities to defraud the Spinal Tap creators of profits earned from the movie. On August 28th of this year, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California allowed the case to move forward by denying a motion filed by defendants to dismiss the case based on the economic loss rule, a rule that otherwise operates to require recovery of damages under contract rather than for an action for fraud. Judge Gee also determined that copyright reversion claims presented a sufficiently ripe controversy for consideration by the court. 

Burberry Sues Target Over Sale of Fashion Products Using Burberry Check Design

British luxury fashion brand Burberry filed a complaint alleging trademark infringement and dilution against American retailer Target Corporation in the Southern District of New York. At issue in the case is the sale of scarves and other fashion items in Target stores which include a pattern closely resembling the iconic Burberry check trademark.

Messy Trademark Case Over ‘The Sloppy Tuna’ Gets Cleaned Up by the Second Circuit

???In Montauk U.S.A. v. 148 South Emerson Associates the Second Circuit vacated-in-part an earlier ruling in a trademark case. In that ruling, the district court denied a motion for preliminary injunction filed by Montauk, which was asserting its trademark rights to marks associated with The Sloppy Tuna restaurant.

Florida Restaurateurs Face Off in Trademark Suit Over Frenchy’s Name

On February 20th, Clearwater Beach, FL-based restaurateur Frenchy’s Corporate filed a suit alleging trademark infringement against the owners and operators of Frenchy’s Pizzeria & Tavern, located less than an hour’s drive away from Clearwater in Port Richey, FL. The suit, filed in the Middle District of Florida, aims to protect Frenchy’s Corporate trademark rights to the unregistered trademark “FRENCHY’STM” under…

Craft Beer vs. Big Beer Trademark Suit May Test 9th Circuit’s ‘Irreparable Harm’ Standard

A resounding en garde was declared by California craft beer brand Stone to MillerCoors, the second largest beer company in the United States, over the alleged taking of their brand recognition. On February 12, 2018 Stone Brewing filed a federal complaint alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and California unfair competition. The complaint requests preliminary and permanent injunction, declaratory relief, and both actual and treble damages on the basis of willful trademark infringement by MillerCoors… A particularly interesting factor in this case is likelihood of irreparable harm. MillerCoors may find room for defensive maneuvers due to recent shifts in the standard for proving irreparable harm.

Can the name of a fictional, intergalactic game evolve into a trademark protectable in the world of mere groundlings?

In its latest action in a multi-jurisdictional conflict with a mobile gaming producer, Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC and Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. LLC filed a complaint for trademark infringement in the Northern District of California on December 21, 2017. The complaint alleges, among other things, trademark infringement against a London-based game developer Ren Ventures Ltd. for using the word SABACC as the name of their iOS and Android mobile game. Other causes of action include copyright infringement, cancellation of the defendant’s trademark, unfair competition, common law trademark infringement, and California unfair competition.

Jury Awards San Diego Comic Convention Corrective Advertising Damages Against Salt Lake Comic Con Organizers

A jury in the Southern District of California entered a special verdict form in a trademark case playing out between a couple of American pop culture conventions. The verdict shows that the jury found in favor of plaintiff San Diego Comic Convention against a group of defendants using the “COMIC-CON” mark to publicize a similar event organized in recent years in Salt Lake City, UT. The verdict also awards $20,000 in corrective advertising damages to San Diego Comic Convention for defendants’ infringement of multiple trademarks held by the San Diego event organization.

Lex Machina’s 2017 Trademark Litigation Report Shows High Percentage of Overall Damages Awarded on Default Judgment

Looking at the types of damages being awarded in trademark cases and how they’re being awarded, it’s highly likely that most damages awarded in these cases might never be recovered. “You can see it as two separate worlds of trademark cases,” Howard said. “There are cases in which a defendant doesn’t show up and it goes straight to default judgment, and then there’s everything else.” $4.6 billion dollars, or 84.6 percent of all damages awarded in district court trademark cases going back to 2009, have been awarded on default judgment.

Creators of This Is Spinal Tap sue Vivendi for $400M over breach of contract, declaratory judgment of copyright reversion claims

On Thursday, October 19th, the creators of the 1984 rock band mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap filed a second amended complaint against French mass media company Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) in the Central District of California. The lawsuit, which includes trademark and copyright claims, alleges that Vivendi and its subsidiaries provided fraudulent accounting to the plaintiffs which resulted in greatly reduced royalty payments over the course of decades. The plaintiffs, which include the movie’s director Rob Reiner as well as performers/co-creators Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean, are seeking more than $400 million in compensatory and punitive damages from Vivendi and Universal Music Group.

Characters for Hire cite to Naked Cowboy in fighting Disney’s claims of copyright, trademark infringement

Characters for Hire also argued that the trademark infringement claims lacked the essential element of confusion. Citing to Naked Cowboy v. CBS, a case decided in Southern New York in 2012 involving trademark infringement claims asserted by a Times Square street performer against the use of his likeness in the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, Characters for Hire argue that the use of the names of fictional persons are merely descriptive of the entertainment services provided by the defendants. “Indeed, Plaintiff Disney is well aware of the limits of trademark enforceability having successfully defended a claim brought against them for using the famous ‘Caterpillar’ trademark for construction trucks in one of their films,” Characters for Hire argued. This statement references Caterpillar Inc. v. Walt Disney Co., a 2003 case decided in the Central District of Illinois wherein the court ruled that Disney’s use of construction vehicles with Caterpillar logos in the movie George of the Jungle 2 created no likelihood of confusion that Caterpillar either endorsed or sponsored the movie.

3M files patent and trademark suit against Chinese manufacturer of spray gun paint preparation system

On September 21st, Saint Paul, MN-based technology and materials company 3M (NYSE:MMM) filed a lawsuit alleging patent and trademark infringement committed by Shanghai, China-based Thunder Finish. The lawsuit targets Thunder Finish’s marketing of paint preparation products developed by 3M which are meant to simplify the use and cleanup of liquid paint spray guns. The suit is filed in the Western District of Wisconsin.

Pablo Escobar’s Brother Wants $1 Billion for Trademark Dispute with Netflix

Narcos, the popular Netflix drama about one of the world’s most notorious drug lords Pablo Escobar, is currently at the center of a trademark dispute that has been brought back into headlines after almost a year. Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, brother of legendary drug lord Pablo, has requested $1 billion from Netflix for what he believes are major IP violations. Escobar cites “mistakes, lies and inaccuracies from the real story” in the first season as the reason for his request in a letter obtained and published by TMZ.

Apple failed to block Swatch’s attempt to acquire the trademark for Steve Jobs’ catchphrase ‘one more thing’

The Swiss watchmaker Swatch’s effort to acquire the trademark for “SWATCH ONE MORE THING” has run in to opposition from Apple, which argues the phrase ‘one more thing’ is closely associated with the software giant’s founder Steve Jobs. During Apple press events, Jobs was known to precede new product announcements and introductions with the phrase “there is one more thing” in his keynote addresses. The “one more thing” prelude became a fixture at Apple events… Immediately after the JPO granted protection to the trademark, Apple filed an opposition in May 19, 2015 on the grounds that the trademark violates the main paragraph of Article 3(1) as well as 4(1)(vii), 4(1)(x), 4(1)(xv), and 4(1)(xix) of Japanese Trademark Law.