OMG Dolls v. OMG Girlz Ends in Mistrial

By Julie L. Spieker

On January 25, 2023, a trial between rapper T.I. and doll maker MGA Entertainment Inc. ended in a mistrial after the judge determined that improper testimony regarding cultural appropriation was “incurably prejudicial” to the jury. In December 2020, MGA Entertainment sued Clifford T.I. Harris, his wife Temeka “Tiny” Harris, and OMG Girlz seeking a Declaratory […]

Continue Reading →

“White” Color Mark

In In re Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc., the TTAB overturned a prior refusal to register a color mark for gunpowder. In doing so, the TTAB found that Hodgdon Powder Co. had proven acquired distinctiveness under Section 2(f) of the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(f), for the color “white”as applied to gunpowder in […]

Continue Reading →

Trademark Searching: The Not-So-Glamorous, Yet All-Too-Important Step in Brand Identification

When you are in the process of branding your company, products, or services, the idea of trademark searching can sound boring and maybe even appear to be an unnecessary expense. However, a proper trademark search can prevent the stress and costs of rebranding and defending a possible law suit, which can be in the realm […]

Continue Reading →

Ninth Circuit Spanks Spoiled Brats

They may be trashy role models for impressionable young girls, but Bratz dolls are not copyright infringers. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit confirmed a lower court's finding that the maker of the popular Bratz dolls did not infringe the copyright or trade dress rights in a line of T-shirts called Spoiled Brats. […]

Continue Reading →

Ninth Circuit: Trademark claim against tribal corporation does not confer tribal court jurisdiction

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's grant of a motion to stay federal trademark claims against Indian tribal defendants pending a determination of jurisdiction by a tribal court. The trademark claims were for alleged passing off of cigarettes on the Internet, on the reservation of another tribe, and elsewhere. The […]

Continue Reading →

Third Circuit: Some store brand sucralose packaging confusing; injunction denial partially reversed

In a Christmas Eve decision, the Third Circuit partially reversed a district court's denial of a preliminary injunction regarding "store brand" sucralose sweeteners. McNeil Nutritionals, makers of Splenda®, brought suit against a company that produces several different sucralose products that bear the store's name and compete with Splenda®. The district court found McNeil not likely […]

Continue Reading →

Tenth Circuit: Post-sale confusion relevant, but denial of injunction still affirmed

In a decision rendered yesterday, the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court's denial of a preliminary injunction in a trade dress infringement case. The Tenth Circuit did join multiple other circuits in holding that post-sale confusion can be relevant to a claim of trade dress infringement. Evidence of post-sale confusion, however, was still insufficient evidence […]

Continue Reading →

Ninth Circuit: No confusion likely between competing energy drinks, preliminary injunction vacated

In a decision today, the Ninth Circuit vacated a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit over the trade dress of two competing energy drinks. The court held the district court's conclusion that success was likely on the merits was clearly erroneous, largely because of the dissimilarity of the two trade dresses. Hansen produces the Monster line […]

Continue Reading →

Back to the Future: trade dress found functional in 1985 still functional in 2007

The Federal Circuit once again rejected Bose Corporation's application to register a speaker design as a trademark. The court had earlier affirmed a finding of functionality by the USPTO, and because there were no changed circumstances since that decision, the court once again affirmed the same finding based on the doctrine of res judicata (claim […]

Continue Reading →

Stay in Touch

Receive the latest news and updates from us and our attorneys.

Sign Up