Big Mac Blunder: McDonald’s Loses European Trademark Rights for Famous Burger
February 14, 2019
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob Last month, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) issued a surprise decision revoking fast food giant, McDonald’s, “BIG MAC” EU trademark registration in its entirety. The decision was the latest development in an ongoing battle between McDonald’s and Irish fast food restaurant Supermac’s. McDonald’s trouble started in 2014 after they opposed Supermac’s trademar....... Read More

“Hottest Fashion Brand in the World” Sues Children’s Clothing Company for Trademark Infringement
January 02, 2019
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob In December 2018, high-end streetwear fashion label Off-White filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against children’s clothing company Brooklyn Lighthouse, claiming the Brooklyn company infringed upon Off-White’s trademarks and trade dress. Off-White’s products typically retail between $150 and $2,500 and feature “distinctive graphic and logo-heavy apparel designs.”  ....... Read More

Toe Caps, Stripes, and Bumpers: Federal Circuit Revives Converse Sneaker Dispute
November 07, 2018
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob While Christian Louboutin has shown that trademark rights may extend to colors used on a shoe, can the design of a shoe itself also be protected? As the Federal Circuit made clear last week, the answer is yes. For years, sneaker giant Converse, Inc. has sought to protect its brand by claiming trademark rights in its famous Chuck Taylor sneaker. To this end, Converse filed a federal tr....... Read More

Bloody Shoes: Christian Louboutin Wins Battle Over Non-Traditional Trademark
August 30, 2018
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob “These expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes.” Does this line, from Cardi B’s breakout single “Bodak Yellow,” call to mind a particular fashion brand? If not, the following line from Lil Uzi Vert’s “The Way Life Goes” might help you out: “My Louboutins new, so my bottoms they is redder.” For over 25 years, Christian Louboutin has been a staple in popular culture, famous f....... Read More

The "Sweet and Musky" Smell of Play-Doh: Hasbro Awarded Non-Traditional Trademark
July 13, 2018
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob When you think of trademarks, what comes to mind? Is it golden arches atop a fast food restaurant? Perhaps the image of a partially-eaten apple emblazoned on the back of a phone or computer? Or maybe it’s the scent of sweet, slightly musky, vanilla fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, combined with the smell of a salted, wheat-based dough? If one of those seems unlike the other....... Read More

State Agency-Sponsored Pizza? TTAB Rules on New Jersey Turnpike Authority's Trademark Opposition
May 18, 2018
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob Do you often find yourself asking which highway management state agency has the best pizza? Or do you ever show up to a pizza chain, disappointed it isn’t a highway management state agency? If not, a recent decision by the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will likely make some sense to you. In 2014, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority—the state agency responsible for maintaining....... Read More

Sail On: Former Commodores Guitarist Fails to Establish Rights in Band's Trademark
January 11, 2018
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob Who owns a band’s trademark when that band is composed of multiple people? And more importantly, what rights does a band member have in that trademark when they leave the band? Earlier this week, the Eleventh Circuit addressed these very questions in a case involving legendary funk/soul band the Commodores. The Commodores, famous for chart-topping singles like “Brick House” and “Three Tim....... Read More

Levi's Sues Over Pocket "Tab"
October 10, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob Can you use of a piece of fabric no bigger than a fingernail to constitute a trademark infringement?  Levi’s appears to think so. Late last month, Levi Strauss & Co. filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco against Vineyard Vines, LLC alleging the clothing company has been infringing Levi’s trademark rights by sewing a small “tab” onto the back pocket of its jeans. Levi’s claims ....... Read More

YouTube “Reaction Video” Deemed Fair Use
September 01, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob Much of the YouTube community breathed a sigh of relief last week as a New York federal court dismissed a lawsuit that had been brought against two of YouTube’s most popular personalities. On April 26, 2016, Matt Hosseinzadeh filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Ethan and Hila Klein of “H3H3 Productions,” alleging, among other things, tha....... Read More

Ninth Circuit Reiterates Role of Online Commerce in Likelihood of Confusion Analysis
July 14, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob The Ninth Circuit issued a ruling on Tuesday clarifying the role of marketing channels in trademark infringement lawsuits. The case at issue involved two furniture manufacturers—Stone Creek Inc. and Omnia Italian Design Inc.  Stone Creek manufactures furniture it sells directly to customers.  In doing so, it uses a trademark consisting of the words “Stone Creek” circled by....... Read More

Federal Circuit Opinion Does Little to Resolve Questions Regarding Online Retailers’ Liability for “Offers to Sell”
May 24, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob Under 35 U.S. Code § 271(a), anyone who, without authorization, “offers to sell” a patented invention in the United States infringes said patent.  This basis for liability is distinct from liability for theactual sale of a product and does not require acceptance of the offer—raising interesting questions for online retailers like Amazon.  Notably, when an individual im....... Read More

Let’s Go Crazy: Legal Battle Heats Up Over Unreleased Prince Recordings
April 24, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob On the anniversary of Prince’s death, a battle is being waged over the late musician’s work. Last week, Prince’s estate sued a sound engineer who was planning to release a six-song EP containing previously unreleased Prince recordings.  The estate alleged that this engineer, George Ian Boxill, was in unlawful possession of the recordings and did not have authorization to release them or ....... Read More

Anticompetitive Practices or Protecting IP? 1-800 Contacts Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Keyword Advertising Agreements
April 13, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob Contact lens company 1-800 Contacts is currently facing a class action lawsuit for agreements it allegedly entered into regarding online search advertising as early as 2004. Earlier this month, a class of consumers who had purchased contact lenses through the 1-800 Contacts website, including Florida resident Kathryn Champion, filed suit in federal court against the highly successful ....... Read More

Three Cheers for Copyrights: SCOTUS Establishes New Standard for Determining Separability
April 04, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob On March 22, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling aimed at resolving “widespread disagreement” over an important aspect of copyright law. Under U.S. copyright law, “original works of art” are capable of protection, whereas “useful articles” are not.  However, the distinction between works of art and useful articles can often be hazy, particularly when the two are both present in th....... Read More

Not so 'Black or White': IRS Takes on Michael Jackson
February 17, 2017
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob How much is Michael Jackson worth?  This is one of the underlying questions currently being considered in U.S. Tax Court right now, as Michael Jackson's estate battles with the Internal Revenue Service over the late entertainer's estate taxes. The IRS served the Jackson estate with a notice of deficiency back in 2013 contesting the estate's valuation of various items follow....... Read More

New Year's Resolution: Trademark Review and Planning
December 29, 2016
Post by Krob, Nicholas J.

Post By Nicholas Krob 2017 is fast approaching, which means one thing: It is time to select, and soon start implementing, your new year's resolution! For most businesses, there are few resolutions better than those designed to help protect the company's valuable intellectual property. Accordingly, consider making the review and maintenance of your company's trademark portfolio this yea....... Read More

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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.


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