Posts Tagged: "trademark"

Certification Marks: The Tie that Binds Scotch Whisky, the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union and a Rated R Motion Picture

A Certification Mark is a name, symbol and/or logo used by groups (associations, unions, organizations, trade groups, etc.) to show that the product or service to which it is attached complies with industry or associations standards. A Certification Mark can be used to indicate that a product claiming to be from a region, is in fact from that region (Roquefort Cheese). A Certification Mark can be used to indicate that a product is in fact made with the materials it claims to be (Wool). A Certification Mark can be used to assure that certain standards a product boasts of are true (Energy Efficiency, 100% Recycled). A Certification Mark can be used to help parents decide whether to take their children to a certain motion picture (The Rating System). The purpose of a Certification Mark is therefore, to certify and not to own or indicate source.

Unleashing the Power of AI to Fight Bad Faith Trademark Registrations

Summer has been historically associated with celebrating the enactment of the Trademark Act of 1946 (the “Lanham Act”). Accordingly, Congress now annually introduces resolutions celebrating July, along with Independence, as “anti-counterfeiting awareness month.” These non-binding resolutions are an important reminder of the national importance of trademarks—and a reminder that counterfeiting, and related bad faith trademark misconduct, negatively impacts U.S. small businesses, American jobs, the U.S. economy, and erodes our international competitiveness. Increasingly, brand owners are fighting numerous trademark issues around bad faith registrations and more artful counterfeiting every day of every month. Fortunately, one important element of the solution for restoring the integrity of the register are the tools made possible by responsible artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) image recognition technology that can fight the fakes.

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Sanctions in Energy Drink Dispute for Failure to Provide Computation of Damages

On Wednesday, August 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling against Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VPX) in the form of sanctions for violating its discovery obligations in a trade dress dispute with Monster Energy Company. The Eleventh Circuit also denied Monster’s motion for sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees and double costs.

District Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Requested Under Reverse Confusion Theory Following PepsiCo Ruling

In a case that echoes they key issue in a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruling for PepsiCo, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lorna Schofield denied a brand owner’s request for a preliminary injunction enjoining model and influencer Hailey Rhode Bieber, who is also the spouse of superstar Justin Bieber, from selling products under the name “Rhode,” which is also her middle name.

Second Circuit Says RISE Mark is on Weak End of Suggestive Spectrum, Reversing Preliminary Injunction Against Pepsi

On July 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in RiseandShine Corp. v. PepsiCo, Inc., authored by Senior Circuit Judge Pierre N. Leval, reversing a preliminary injunction entered by the Southern District of New York that prevented Pepsi from marketing its “Mtn DEW Rise Energy” canned energy drink. In reversing, the Second Circuit held that the district court had improperly construed certain likelihood of confusion factors as favoring the merits of RiseandShine’s reverse confusion theory.

IP Issues for Retail Businesses Advertising in Augmented Reality

With the advent of augmented reality systems, unique opportunities exist for retail businesses. The ability to provide dynamic and layered advertisements can add a new dimension and effectiveness to attracting consumers to a brick-and-mortar retail location. However, a number of intellectual property pitfalls appear to be awaiting those retailers that utilize the emerging augmented reality platform to reach and attract customers. For instance, a retailer may find that they do not own the exclusive rights to display augmented reality content to customers despite the customers being physically present in their own store.

Facebook Accused of ‘Eviscerating’ Small Tech Business’s META Marks

A small business owner is suing Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook (Facebook), accusing the internet giant of “brazenly violating fundamental intellectual property rights enshrined in U.S. law to obliterate a small business.” METAx, LLC (Meta) was founded in 2010 by Justin “JB” Bolognino, who is described in the complaint filed in the U.S. District court for the Southern District of New York, as a respected figure in the virtual creator community and “a true pioneer of the industry involving immersive and experiential technologies, including augmented reality (“AR”), virtual reality (“VR”), and extended reality (“XR”).” Meta has continuously used the term “META” as part of a composite mark, and has been commonly referred to as Meta in trade and commerce, since 2010.

Intellectual Property Risks in the Metaverse: Protection, Jurisdiction and Enforcement

The metaverse is commonly known as “a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the Internet.” The metaverse may eventually provide a three-dimensional or virtual world for users to shop, play games, travel, learn, socialize, work, compete, or otherwise experience life in a virtual environment. Users may eventually visit the metaverse for an activity or even choose to live much of their life in this virtual world.

How Wimbledon Tennis Trademarked its Signature Colors

July 10 marks the end of one of the most important events in the sporting calendar and one of the most iconic tennis tournaments in the world: Wimbledon. The All England Lawn Tennis Club (the “Club”) has owned multiple registered trademarks for the famous Wimbledon name and other prominent signs for some time. However, the dark green and purple colorway – which has been associated with the Wimbledon tennis tournament for over a Century – has only been protected as a registered trademark in the UK since 2016.

USPTO Will Ramp Up Identity Verification Rules for Trademark Filers Starting in August

Starting August 6, 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will require all trademark filers to verify their identities in order to file electronic trademark forms. The move comes as an attempt to stop trademark scam entities and was announced in a blog post penned by USPTO Director Kathi Vidal and Commissioner for Trademarks David Gooder last week. According to the post, the identity verification process started as a voluntary option in January 2022 “to better serve our legitimate customers and help prevent bad actors from violating our USPTO Rules of Practice and website terms of use.” The Office has seen a sharp increase in fraudulent trademark filings over the last six years, as well as a rise in foreign scammers from China, Pakistan, and elsewhere outside the U.S.

Good Faith Doctrine and NFTs – How a Bored Ape NFT Dilemma May Present Unique Copyright and Contract Issues

Can something called a “Bored Ape” be embodied in a non-fungible token (NFT) and be associated with smart contracts? How could this present unique and challenging issues regarding copyright law? Over the course of the last two months, the general public has tracked what started out as a phishing scam involving actor Seth Green’s NFT from the Board Ape Yacht Club. It then evolved into a public quest to regain the NFT and the rights to develop a broadcast program based on the character depicted in the digital image. The trials and tribulations related to Seth Green’s efforts to ultimately regain his “lost” NFT made for interesting media clicks. It also raised awareness to copyright issues that are yet to be fully resolved. Seth Green may rest easy knowing he is again the rightful owner of his Bored Ape NFT, but the legal community should not be as quick to move on.

INTA Asks Second Circuit to Limit Rogers’ Definition of ‘Expressive Work’ to Prevent Application of Test on Ordinary Consumer Products

On June 24, the International Trademark Association (INTA) filed an amicus brief in Vans, Inc. v. MSCHF Product Studio, Inc., a case currently on appeal from the Eastern District of New York to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In the brief, INTA urges the Second Circuit to clarify the kinds of “expressive works” to which the Rogers test may be applied, and in such a way that the use of Vans trade dress on sneakers sold by MSCHF Product Studio would be actionable for infringement and not protected by the First Amendment simply because MSCHF claims the sneakers are works of art.

Hermès’ Challenge of ‘MetaBirkin’ NFTs Foretells Future Trademark Litigation Trends

There are not many trademark cases that are of equal interest to high fashion, the art world and cutting-edge tech. The ongoing “MetaBirkin” lawsuit is unusual, however, in that it involves a designer brand and two of the latest, trending topics – non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse. In a case that has bagged global attention, luxury design house Hermès is suing artist Mason Rothschild in New York for trademark infringement and dilution, misappropriation of its BIRKIN trademark, cybersquatting, false designation of origin and description, and injury to business reputation.

Coca-Cola Win Reversed at CAFC in Case Over Indian Soda Trademarks

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today reversed a decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that had canceled two marks for Thums Up cola and Limca lemon-lime soda owned by Meenaxi Enterprise, Inc. The CAFC held that Coca-Cola had not established a statutory cause of action based on lost sales or reputational injury under Section 14(3) of the Lanham Act and thus reversed the decision. Judge Reyna wrote separately in concurrence but said he would have focused the inquiry on the territoriality principle and the well-known mark exception, rather than lost sales and reputational injury among U.S. consumers, as the majority did.

Amazon Brand Protection Report Details Major Anticounterfeiting Investments But Small Businesses Want Stronger Policing Against Knock-Offs

Earlier this month, e-commerce giant Amazon.com issued its latest Brand Protection Report detailing steps taken by the tech titan to reduce the tide of counterfeit products being sold to consumers around the globe. While the report identifies several concrete steps taken by Amazon to prevent knock-offs from being listed for sale, there are plenty of questions that yet remain as to whether Amazon is genuinely committed to eliminating sales of fake branded products that the company has been known to ignore.