Seventh Circuit: no evidence of use of “Stealth” mark, cancellation affirmedJuly 9, 2007

In a ruling today, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the cancellation of one of Leo Stoller's many "STEALTH" registrations (owned by one of his companies) for lack of use. The registration in question for "baseball bats, softball bats, and t-ball bats," was the basis for a suit brought against baseball hall of famer George Brett and his company, Brett Brothers Sports International, when they released a bat named the "Stealth."

The Seventh Circuit also affirmed the lower court's award of attorney fees and costs to Brett under 15 U.S.C. § 1117. In the Seventh Circuit, such an award is reviewed under the clear error standard, which only is found if the ruling strikes the court "as wrong with the force of a 5-week-old, unrefrigerated dead fish." Here, the court had no trouble agreeing with the district court's ruling that this was an exceptional case, and attorney fees were appropriate.

This is another decision in a series that have gone against Mr. Stoller, from being sanctioned by the TTAB last year, the end of his opposition to Google's trademark application at the USPTO, to a court ordering, and the USPTO executing, the cancellation of 34 of Mr. Stoller's "STEALTH" registrations.

Also of interest in the ruling is a description of the famous "Pine Tar" incident involving George Brett, which takes up the first three pages of the opinion. The court even provides a link to a video of the incident on YouTube. Baseball fan Howard Bashman has links to more on the Pine Tar incident over at How Appealing.

To read the full decision in Cent. Mfg. Co. v. Brett, click here.

The TTABlog posts about the case here.

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