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Geographical Scope of Permanent Injunctions Challenged

  Federal trademark rights are generally enforceable throughout the United States.  However, confusion can arise where contrary decisions have been made by district courts in different geographical regions relating to the same mark. The Fourth Circuit’s March decision in Georgia Pacific Consumer Prods. LP v. Von Dreble Corp, an appeal from the Eastern District of […]

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Cancelation of Trademarks due to First Actual Use After Application

Federal registration of a trademark provides a number of benefits to the trademark owner, including protection throughout the entire country, advantageous litigation position—for example presumption of validity and enhanced monetary damages—and enlistment of the U.S. Customs Service to stop importation of counterfeit goods. The federal trademark system provides two separate avenues for protecting a mark: […]

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Are Trademarks for Beer Names Becoming a Commodity?

While typically we think of finite resources such as oil and coal as commodities, it could be that the next big commodities are names for craft beers and breweries. According to a recent NPR story, which can be foundhere, the craft brewing industry is becoming an increasingly crowded industry with more than 3,000 breweries in […]

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Passing Off and Taking Credit for Architectural Plans

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued a decision in Gensler v. Strabala, overturning a district court’s ruling dismissing a complaint for trademark infringement under §43(a) of the Lanham Act. Strabala, a former Design Director and architect for the architectural firm Gensler & Associates, formed his own design firm, 2Define […]

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USPTO Cancels Washington, D.C. NFL Franchise’s Trademark Registrations

The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a decision yesterday cancelling six federal trademark registrations owned by the Washington, D.C. National Football League franchise. The cancellation proceeding was brought by five Native American petitioners on the basis that the marks disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute in violation of 15 U.S.C. […]

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2014 Supreme Court Cases Relating to Intellectual Property

On January 10, 2014 the Supreme Court agreed to review a variety of intellectual property cases in the upcoming session, including two patent cases, a copyright case, and a trademark case (including Lanham Act claim). A brief overview of these cases is provided and more detail will be available once decisions are entered by the […]

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Flawed Evidence Undercuts “Charbucks” Trademark Suit

In Starbucks Corp. v. Wolfe’s Borough Coffee, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision denying injunctive relief in Starbucks’ trademark case against Black Bear Micro Roastery over Black Bear’s use of “Charbucks” for coffee. Starbucks sued Black Bear in 2001, alleging, among other things, trademark dilution in […]

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