Posts Tagged: "trademark litigation"

#Infringement? Olympic Committee Attempts to Knock Out Competitors

The Olympic Games will draw the attention of the world under a banner of honest competition and camaraderie. However, many have accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) of conduct not in keeping with the open spirit of the Olympic Games. In the run-up to the Olympics, companies have reported receiving cease and desist letters from the USOC. These letters claim that use of the USOC’s trademarks in social media posts infringe on the USOC’s federal rights.

Patent litigation returning to pre-2013 levels, says Lex Machina

During 2016’s second quarter, plaintiffs filed a total of 1,282 patent infringement cases in U.S. district court. This is a 33 percent increase in the 958 patent cases filed during the first quarter but data suggests that the second quarter tends to see the highest level of infringement cases over all other quarters according to Lex Machina data scientists Brian Howard. “We would expect a jump up from the first quarter,” he said. The first quarter was also a trough for patent infringement cases after last November’s massive number of 847 patent cases, just more than 100 cases less than the entire docket for this year’s first quarter. “The rise we’ve seen puts this year on track with 2011 or 2012 rather than the last two years,” Howard said.

A Trademark Lawsuit ‘Lager’ Than Life 

The Lumbee Tribe’s lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices for Anheuser-Busch’s use of the tribe’s HERITAGE, PRIDE & STRENGTH slogan and related logo design. According to the Complaint, Budweiser allegedly began using the tribe’s logo as early as 2004 and the HERITAGE, PRIDE & STRENGTH mark in 2015.

Lex Machina trademark litigation report shows heavy enforcement activity for luxury fashion and bong brands

When looking at damages awarded in trademark infringement cases filed since 2005 and terminating between 2009 and 2016, fashion brands have taken in the highest award totals. The top spot here belongs to Parisian fashion brand Chanel, which has been awarded nearly $1 billion dollars from 160 infringement cases resulting in awards out of the 330 cases filed by Chanel. That’s almost double the $523 million awarded to Burberry Limited but its sibling Burberry Limited UK was awarded $416.6 million and those totals were awarded over the course of a combined 12 infringement cases. In terms of damage totals, there’s another steep drop to Gucci of Florence, Italy, which was awarded $207.7 million over the course of 26 cases.

Contract considerations for an international license agreement

As the world continues to grow and international trade on a multi-continent level has become the norm, protecting a company’s name is one of the most important things a company can do, regardless of their size or international standing. Due to what has become almost “organic” international growth for most companies, the use of trademarks owned by U.S. Companies within Europe has grown exponentially in the last 5 years. Consequently, the use of distribution licenses across Europe has also expanded massively.

Federal Circuit rules willfulness a prerequisite for disgorgement of trademark infringer’s profits

The Federal Circuit affirmed. Undertaking an extensive analysis of the legislative history of Lanham Act damages, the Court attempted to explain a 1999 amendment inserting language regarding willfulness. Because the “willful violation” language appears to modify violations of § 1125(c) regarding dilution, Romag argued that the amendment negated any preexisting willfulness requirement for causes of action other than dilution. Relying heavily on Second Circuit precedent, which governed the district court decision, the Court disagreed.

A Trademark Lesson from Chicken Soup for the Soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul Day is on November 12th. This is a day to sip on a nice piping hot bowl of soup and feel inspired. However, it’s also an opportunity to learn a little lesson on trademark infringement. In October 2012, Campbell Soup Company filed a trademark suit against Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC in New Jersey federal court for “willful trademark and trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, trade dress dilution, deceptive acts and practices, and unfair competition.” Campbell Soup Co. and Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC settled their trademark dispute, but the dispute provides a lesson for on how businesses can avoid trademark infringement issues.

Trademark Bullying: Defending Your Brand or Vexatious Business Tactics?

The USPTO defined the term Trademark Bullying as the vexatious practice of a trademark owner that uses its trademark rights to harass and intimidate another business beyond what the law might be reasonably interpreted to allow. Mirroring the modus operandi exhibited by patent assertion entities and copyright bullies, several creative mark owners have adopted and modified this sue-to-settle paradigm and applied it in the trademark context. In short, trademark trolls—businesses both large and small—aggressively assert rights beyond the scope of trademark protection afforded by the Lanham Act through the issuance of threatening cease-and-desist letters.

Confusion Preclusion: SCOTUS Says TTAB Has Preclusive Effect

There was a split in the circuit courts as to what effect a TTAB decision will have, and this depends heavily upon where the litigation is happening. The weight of a TTAB decision will vary depending on the jurisdiction, ranging from none at all to complete preclusion. Here, the issue was whether one mark was confusingly similar to another, which the Supreme Court determined was exactly the same as what was being litigated.

Leason Ellis Continues to Fight Deceptive Trademark Practices

n a memorandum decision handed down July 2, 2014, by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, most of the plaintiff claims in case 7:13-cv-02880, Leason Ellis LLP v. Patent & Trademark Agency LLC have been allowed to proceed in the face of the defendant’s motion to dismiss. The multi-count Federal Complaint filed in April 2013 alleged that the defendants marketed their promotional materials to cause consumers to wrongly believe that it is an official governmental entity. The complaint asserted claims of federal unfair competition under 15 USC 1125(a), federal false advertising under 15 USC 1125(a) and New York statutory law, unfair competition under New York common law, deceptive acts and practices under New York statutory law, and tortious interference with prospective economic relations. The complaint also specifically alleges that the defendants are engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

Leason Ellis Sues Another Trademark Scammer in Federal Court

The firm is back at it again in 2013 taking on another alleged trademark scam operation after successfully prevailing in a similar claim just over 1 year ago against USA Trademark Enterprises. See Trademark Scammers Out of Business Thanks to Leason Ellis. In that case, 7:12-cv-0620 (SDNY), alleged that the defendants had engaged in false advertising and unfair competition by marketing a so-called “catalog” of trademark registrations. The case settled for $10,000, which the firm donated to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Thus, the defendants would do well to stand up and take notice. It seems that Leason Ellis is living by the the words that mark the youth of my generation — “We’re not gonna take it, no, we ain’t gonna take it, we’re not going to take it any more!”

Stone Temple Pilots Sue Former Lead Singer Scott Weiland for Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract

Stone Temple Pilots has filed a lawsuit against its former lead singer, Scott Weiland, claiming in part that they kicked him out back in February of 2013, yet Weiland (who now performs solo) continues to use the band’s name for his own performances, which allegedly violates the band’s partnership agreement.

Trademark Protection: Is Litigation Worth the Cost?

Anybody who has any involvement with Intellectual Property (“IP”) knows full well that protecting IP means a multi-step process. Obviously, step one is the conception of the invention, idea, trademark, trade name, or other innovation where protection might be necessary. Step two is the decision about what to do with the “new” idea, etc. in terms of the need to try for exclusivity on it –or not. Many “new” things do not need IP protection – and other “new” things may not qualify for it. If the “new” idea fits into the area where protection is desirable and it qualifies, then the next step is to seek legal protection. Of course, such protection will have a cost – whether or not the protection is sought by the inventor/conceptualizer himself/herself or itself (in the case of an organization) or assistance of counsel is required.

Under Armour Sues Nike Over Use of “I Will”

In its complaint, UA stated that Nike started an ad campaign in the latter months of 2012 that misappropriated UA’s trademark by pretty much making the phrase “I WILL” the focal point of its ads on its FACEBOOK and YouTube video pages, as well as on nike.com. In particular, Nike has used video footage in its ads that has the catch phrase superimposed throughout the video in big bold letters. UA argues that Nike was well aware of its ongoing, long-term use of the “I WILL” trademark (much in the same way that most people in the industry know that Nike is well known for its phrase “JUST DO IT”) and suggests that Nike’s use of “I WILL” not only does harm to UA but to the public as well because customers currently associate the phrase with UA.

Playboy’s Trademark and False Advertising Complaint Dismissed

Playboy Enterprises International, Inc. v. Play Beverages, LLC, et al., U.S. District Judge S. James Otero has granted the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss on the basis of improper venue.