• trademark

    Tolerated Infringement

    by  • December 12, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    A trademark ownership dispute generally means taking a very mushy set of facts and deciding who has the superior claim. Generally, avoiding likelihood of confusion is the paramount interest, so the outcome will mean that one party will have to cease its use. But sometimes courts allow what I call “tolerated infringement,” concurrent uses...

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    Round and Round

    by  • November 14, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    We have one of my favorite things, a chain of title case, and one about a band name to boot. Usually band name cases are pretty ugly, about a bunch of people getting together without any legal formalities. But this is not that case. We have the 80’s glam band RATT (official website –...

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    The Subsidiary Standing In

    by  • October 24, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Lately we’ve been seeing an increasing number of trademark cases that revolve around the relative rights of different members of the same enterprise: a family of companies asserting a family of marks theory in Wise F&I v. Allstate Ins. Co., different chapters of the Salvation Army allowed to register similar trademarks in In re...

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    Update: All the Wrong Reasons

    by  • October 20, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Update: I previously reported on Sebastian Brown Prods. LLC v. Muzooka Inc., a fairly routine trademark priority dispute with a troubling holding. In it, the district court wrote out the last sentence of Section 10 of the Lanham Act, essentially holding that an intent-to-use application cannot be assigned until the trademark is in use....

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    Cutting to the Chase

    by  • October 17, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Props to the bankruptcy court in the Eastern District of North Carolina for cutting through to the meat of a trademark ownership dispute. We have a company, B6USA, Inc., doing business as “BaySix,” in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. B6USA was formed in March 2005 and was solely owned by Katherine D. Hite, who was also...

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    A Family of Marks with Different Owners

    by  • October 3, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    The “family of marks” concept in trademark law is a difficult one to win. We all understand the concept, which is that consumers realize that when trademarks share a similar trait, like restaurant food products that start with “Mc,” the goods come from the same source. Proof of a family of marks is challenging,...

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    Isn’t It the Corporate Secretary’s Job …

    by  • September 26, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Isn’t it the Corporate Secretary’s job (and in this case, the same person was also the General Counsel) to make sure that documents are signed by the right entity? In East West Bank Co. v. The Plubell Firm LLC, not once, but twice the Corporate Secretary, Douglas Krause, executed trademark maintenance documents for the...

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    And You Wonder Why Litigation Is Expensive

    by  • August 22, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Golly, the things you have to explain sometimes. Plaintiff Ubu/Elements, Inc. claimed to have purchased all of the assets of Defendant Elements Personal Care, Inc. UBU/Elements accused the defendant of continuing to use the trademark AFTER THE GAME after the purchase. The Asset Purchase Agreement said this about the trademark in dispute: If you...

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    A Blessing in Disguise

    by  • July 28, 2016 • trademark • 1 Comment

    Whole Foods lost a New York tax decision to the tune of $3.5 million, but in my opinion that’s a small price to pay to avoid a decision inconsistent with ownership of the WHOLE FOODS trademarks. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. (WFMG), a Delaware corporation, is the operating company that distributes and sells natural...

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