Articles Posted in Trademark Law

Snap argues that the name "Spectacles" qualifies for protection because consumers have begun to associate the name with its product, but the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has consistently disagreed.


A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against an advertiser of a New Year's Eve outdoor music festival near the site of the famous Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. This prevents the event from being advertised under its current name, due to potential consumer confusion.


A roller derby team known as the Guardians argues that the Cleveland MLB team knowingly chose the same name as a replacement for their traditional but racially insensitive name.


YETI is the latest company to join Amazon's crackdown on counterfeiters with a joint lawsuit filed in the United States District Court the Western District of Washington.


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.