Tenth Circuit: No trademark infringement, unfair competition, or cybersquatting by parody sites

In a decision last week, the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment finding no trademark infringement, no unfair competition, and no cybersquatting. 

The district court held, and the Tenth Circuit affirmed, that none of the three elements of a trademark infringement action was proven, namely that the mark was not protectable, the defendant's use was not in connection with goods or serivces, and that the successful parody showed there was no likely confusion.  On the cybersquatting claim, the district court held, and the Tenth Circuit also affirmed, that the mark was not shown to be protectable (as with the trademark claim), and there was no bad faith.  As a result, the district court's summary judgment was affirmed in all respects.

More detail on Utah Lighthouse Ministry v. Found. for Apologetic Info. & Research after the jump.

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Sixth Circuit: No likelihood of confusion between competing wines using same geographic term

In a decision last week, the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that use of the mark "Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard and Winery" did not create a likelihood of confusion among consumers with the plaintiff's "Leelanau Cellars" federally-registered mark.  "Leelanau" in both marks is a reference to a peninsula in Michigan where the wine is produced.  While the district court erred by not affording the plaintiff's geographically descriptive mark the statutory presumption of secondary meaning, the court affirmed the lower court's ruling on the ground that the plaintiff had not demonstrated that a likelihood of confusion between the two marks.

More detail of Leelanau Wine Cellars, Ltd. v. Black & Red, Inc. after the jump.

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Seventh Circuit: single sale insufficient use in commerce to support trademark registration

In Custom Vehicles, Inc. v. Forest River, Inc., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a trademark plaintiff did not engage in sufficient use in commerce to support trademark rights. Even worse for the plaintiff, the court held that even if there were sufficient use, the mark at issue was descriptive, and there was no secondary meaning, so the plaintiff had no trademark rights to enforce. Ultimately, the court affirmed the lower court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant.

More details of the case after the jump.

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