Trademark Infringement

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Global Brand Protection – How to Manage an Anti-Counterfeiting Program

For every successful brand, it is critical to properly protect and to productively develop and use the underlying intellectual property (IP) in that brand to ensure its long-term growth. Trademark and registered design portfolio… Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to FRCP 26 Should Streamline Discovery

On August 15, 2023, the Committee published proposed amendments to Rules 16 and 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”). The amendments are designed to require that parties address and agree on discovery issues regarding privilege and work product protections at the Rule 26(f) Conference. This is a welcome change that should both … Continue Reading

Podcast: SPB’s Paolo Beconcini Covers Global Counterfeiting and the Importance of Protecting Your Brand in China

Counterfeiting is a global problem that affects a wide variety of entrepreneurs and innovators – from small businesses to global corporations.  Action in China can be an important tool for combating these problems.  Head of the firm’s China Intellectual Property team, Paolo Beconcini covers the complex challenges of fighting global counterfeiting for INDICAM (Italian Association … Continue Reading

A New China Trademark Trojan Horse: Hold Registered Trademarks Ransom by the Filing of Bogus Non-Use Cancellations

The recent draft amendment of the Chinese trademark law seems to finally zero in on trademark squatters, as described in my previous blog here). The new regulations, if approved as drafted, will make it more difficult for squatters to steal others’ trademark by abusing the first-to-file system in force in China. This could be a … Continue Reading

Limiting the Reach of the Lanham Act: Supreme Court Vacates Substantial Monetary Damages Award Based On Foreign Conduct

The authors wish to thank Summer Associate Will Baker (Cleveland) for his work on this timely blog.  Trademark owners take note: In Abitron Austria GmbH et al. v. Hetronic International, Inc. the Supreme Court definitively ruled that Sections 1114(1)(a) and 1125(a)(1) of the Lanham Act are not extraterritorial and extend only to claims where the … Continue Reading

Central District of California:  Test Buys Do Not Create Specific Jurisdiction

A plaintiff has always been the “master” of a complaint, but such mastery is not unfettered. Principles of subject matter jurisdiction, proper venue, and personal jurisdiction restrict a plaintiff’s choice of forum. A trend of recent cases from the Supreme Court down through the lower courts continue to narrow that “mastery” that a plaintiff once … Continue Reading

No First Amendment Right to Confuse Consumers, High Court Holds

Today, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment will not protect an infringers’ use of a confusingly similar trademark for its goods – even if it is a humorous parody. Justice Kagan writing for the Court held that the First Amendment does not give infringers license to trade on the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Commercial Brand Names Can Be Expressive Speech

In Punchbowl, Inc. v. AJ Press, LLC, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a trademark win for upstart news outfit Punchbowl News. In doing so, the court held that First Amendment protection extends to the names of commercial enterprises. This ground-breaking decision heralds the expansion of traditional fair use defenses to any trademark infringement claims where a … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds Foreign Trademark Defendants Can Be Served through USPTO

Suing an overseas defendant often forces plaintiffs to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of serving the defendant through the Hague Convention. This requires translating the complaint and related documents, delivering them to the foreign country’s designated “Central Authority,” and then waiting for that Central Authority to actually deliver the documents and confirm delivery … Continue Reading

China: Recycled Packaging and Trademark Infringement, a Questionable Decision in the Tsingtao Beer Case

Back in 2020, the famous Chinese brew company Tsingtao Beer filed an administrative complaint for trademark infringement against a smaller Chinese competitor for the use of recycled Tsingtao beer bottles. The smaller brewery was filling legitimately recycled Tsingtao bottles with their own beer. The recycled bottles did not bear the Tsingtao labels and marks, which … Continue Reading

An International Drama Over the Maradona Heir’s Right to Use Their Dad’s Name

The heirs of Argentinian soccer super star, Diego Maradona, as well as a John Doe identified only by an IP address, have been sued for trademark infringement based on their use of the name “Maradona.” The suit was filed on January 13, 2022, and is just another episode in an ongoing struggle over the rights … Continue Reading
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