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Fifth Circuit passes on eBay’s applicability in trademark cases

In a decision last week, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court's conclusion it had subject matter jurisdiction over a trademark case, as well as its grant of a preliminary injunction. While the activities giving rise to the claim of trademark infringement took place in Mexico, they had a "substantial effect" on United States commerce, […]

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Eleventh Circuit: eBay may eliminate presumption of irreparable harm in trademark cases

In a recent decision, the Eleventh Circuit vacated a district court's injunction against the use of a competitor's trademarks in the meta tags of a defendant's website. The court held that while the plaintiffs had shown likelihood of success on both their trademark infringement and false advertising claims, because the district court relied on a […]

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Second Circuit: Famous marks doctrine doesn’t support NY unfair competition claim

In a recent decision, the Second Circuit decided the one outstanding issue from a case it had previously decided in March 2007 (previously blogged here), namely whether the "famous marks" doctrine the court held Congress has not yet incorporated into federal trademark law might support a New York common law claim for unfair competition. The […]

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Second Circuit: Statements made in settlement discussions admissible to prove estoppel

In a decision yesterday, the Second Circuit affirmed a jury's findings in a trademark infringement case between Polo Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Polo Association. The jury found that one of the USPA's four marks was likely to cause confusion. The two parties had been involved in a previous lawsuit in the early 1980s, and […]

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Fifth Circuit affirms injunction against trademark infringement in Saudi Arabia

In a recent decision, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of infringement and disgorgement of profits, but increased the amount of profits awarded because the defendant failed to provide evidence of its costs to reduce the award. Interestingly, the infringement took place entirely outside the United States, namely in Saudi Arabia. Even though […]

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Seventh Circuit: Operating agreement permitted license of marks, so no trademark infringement

In its second trademark decision Friday, the Seventh Circuit clarified what is required for a party to be authorized to use another entity's trademarks. In this case, the plaintiff—one of four founders of two LLC's designed to manage and control a restaurant in Chicago—alleged trademark infringement against the three other co-founders based on the co-founders' […]

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Seventh Circuit: Sanction of no damages for improper witness contact too severe compared to harm

In a decision Friday, the Seventh Circuit affirmed a jury verdict of trademark infringement, but reversed the district court's ruling holding the plaintiff had forfeited damages because of improper conduct towards a prospective witness. The court dealt with whether the burden of proof for the sanction was by clear and convincing evidence or as the […]

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Seizure of goods with counterfeit marks not an “embargo,” so no CIT jurisdiction to challenge fine

In a decision this week, the Federal Circuit vacated the decision of the Court of International Trade (CIT) and remanded with instructions to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.The case arose out of a civil fine levied against the plaintiff for importation of counterfeit goods. The plaintiff brought suit in the […]

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Second Circuit: Sales pitch of slogan to credit card companies not use in commerce

In a decision Monday, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's summary judgment in a trademark case involving the slogan "My Life. My Card." An individual threatened to sue American Express for use of the slogan, alleging that he had superior rights in the mark based on efforts to license the phrase to various credit […]

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Eleventh Circuit: Trademark licensee liable for infringement when deviating from license

In a decision Tuesday, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of trademark infringement against a trademark licensee. The alleged infringer was actually licensed to use the mark owner's trademark, but did not use the mark as described in the license, instead using an abbreviated form. As a result, the court affirmed the jury's […]

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