Gatorade used the slogan “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” and SportFuel, Inc. sued, claiming trademark infringement. The district court threw out the case after it decided that Gatorade’s slogan was construed as fair use. SportFuel appealed.
Mondelez is suing a company called Stoney Patch for trademark infringement. It claims that THC gummy products created and sold by Stoney Patch were intentionally designed to copy the Sour Patch brand under a confusingly similar name and packaging. It additionally says that it is especially concerned about confusing children, since the packaging is likely more appearling to children who are used to the Sour Patch branding.
The State of Illinois is home to a big new battle over the rights to use marks related to male grooming. You have definitely heard the words “manscaping” and “manscaped” used before, and now they are basically the subject of a federal court trademark dispute.
Is the domain name “OrderMyOil.com” entitled to common law trademark protection? An appellate court in Massachusetts has answered in the negative.
In 2019, if you want a quick, easy way to send or receive money without paying a fee, you are likely using the app Venmo. It has become so popular that people will often ask to be Venmo’d money. As can be the case, a noun becomes a verb based on heightened usage.
As of August 3, 2019, trademark applicants and registrants based outside of the United States will need a U.S.-based lawyer if they want to extend their protections to the U.S. A new rule announced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) states that the U.S.-based lawyer must be in good standing of a bar of the highest court of a U.S. state, commonwealth or territory.
HOLY FUCT! The U.S. Supreme Court previously decided that it would hear a case that involves the refusal of a trademark application for the word “FUCT” in conjunction with its use on apparel. On June 24, it issued its opinion and determined that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should not be able to refuse registration for marks that contain immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter in the face of the freedom of speech guarantees offered by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
We love it when clients are able to beat our projection of 9-12 months from trademark application to registration. One client to recently capture that prize is Influential Drones LLC, which was awarded its registration for “Influential Drones” on May 14, 2019. The filing date of the application was September 18, 2018, which means that the client received an early surprise.
We love a recent article written by Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. Titled, Branded or not, Raptors teammates sport their own signature gear, Woike looks at how various members of the Raptors are taking branding into their own hands, with some going the extra step to ensure that their marks are protected.
One athlete featured in the piece is Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who contributed 21 points in the Raptors Game 5 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. Woike has taken notice of VanVleet’s ambition and desire to protect and build his own brand, and Heitner Legal has assisted throughout the process.
Typically, each party must pay its own attorney’s fees in litigation. The exception is when a contract contains a prevailing party clause or a statute provides that the prevailing party is entitled to a reimbursement of reasonable attorney’s fees.
One such statute is the Lanham Act, which permits an award of reasonable attorney’s fees only in “exceptional” trademark-related cases. The difficulty is in figuring out what it takes to label a case as “exceptional.”