Articles Posted in Trademark Law

The Arizona Board of Regents is suing in federal court to shut down an Instagram account that uses ASU trademarks in spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.


The Court determined that internet companies can trademark the combination of a generic word and ".com" if the combination has acquired a secondary meaning.


On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Judge John Padova, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ruled mostly in favor of Epic Games, Inc. in a lawsuit involving the Fortnite dance emote "Phone It In." Judge Padova granted Epic Games, Inc.'s motion to dismiss concerning plaintiff Leo Pellegrino's causes of action concerning the following claims: (1) unauthorized use of name or likeness; (2) misappropriation of publicity; (3) invasion of privacy by misappropriation of identity; (4) unjust enrichment; (5) unfair competition; (6) trademark infringement under Pennsylvania common law; and (7) trademark dilution under the Lanham Act. However, Judge Padova ruled that plaintiff's claim for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act could proceed.


On Monday, March 16, 2020, New York design firm Uber, Inc. filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, against the ride-sharing company Uber Technologies, Inc., alleging "willful, wanton, and intentional infringement, deceptive trade practices, and unfairly competitive use" of the design firm's trademark. The design firm requested relief in the form of damages, an injunction, and for the ride-sharing company to implement corrective advertising in the form of a campaign.


Singer Ariana Grande has filed a $10 million lawsuit against clothing retailer Forever 21 and a related beauty company, claiming that they misappropriated her name, image, and likeness to promote their products following failed endorsement deal talks between Grande and Forever 21. Grande claims that after she declined to enter into the deal due to an insufficient financial offer, Forever 21 and beauty company Riley Rose hired a lookalike model and launched a social media campaign intended to coincide with the release of her fifth album.


On Monday, June 24, 2019, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Iancu v. Brunetti, 588 U.S. ___ (2019), holding that the Lanham Act's bar on registration of immoral or scandalous trademarks violates the First Amendment. At issue in the case is the trademark FUCT, pronounced as four letters, which is the clothing brand founded by Erik Brunetti. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the majority, wrote that the Lanham Act's bar on immoral or scandalous trademarks is viewpoint-based discrimination in violation of the First Amendment. 


Sprint, a competitor of AT&T, has filed a lawsuit in federal court to attack the use of 5G Evolution branding by AT&T. It argues that this phrase and the 5GE tag associated with it are misleading because these phones and networks do not use 5G technology. Sprint is asking the court for an injunction against AT&T to stop it from using 5GE tags.


In the case of Iancu v. Brunetti, the Federal Circuit recently ruled that a section of the Lanham Act was unconstitutional. This federal law governs the registration of trademarks. Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act prohibits the registration of trademarks that are immoral or scandalous. The Federal Circuit reviewed this provision in…


Last week, Chooseco LLC, the publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure children’s book series, filed a federal lawsuit against Netflix.


Jean-Noel Frydman filed suit against the French Government in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on April 19, 2018. Frydman, an American citizen born in France, sued the French government, Atout France (France's tourism agency), the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.