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Breaking: Federal Circuit Holds Ban on Offensive Marks Unconstitutional

The Federal Circuit held today that the U.S. trademark law’s ban on offensive and derogatory marks in unconstitutional, following a similar decision by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Supreme Court: Copyright Protection Extends to Uniform Designs

One day, while browsing through a competitor’s marketing catalog, a manufacturer of cheerleading uniforms came across cheerleading uniforms that were very similar to the company’s designs. This is how a dispute between two cheerleading uniform companies started, a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court and could have drastic implications in many [...]

Supreme Court Holds 7-2 that TTAB Decisions Can Be Preclusive in Narrow Circumstances

On March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its opinion reversing the Eighth Circuit and holding that, in some narrow circumstances, a Trademark Trial & Appeal proceeding can have preclusive effects on federal district court litigation. In December, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for B&B Hardware vs. Hargis, an appeal from an Eighth Circuit [...]

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Case With Significant Implications for TTAB Litigation

On Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from the parties in B&B Hardware vs. Hargis on whether the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board’s findings on the issue of likelihood of confusion should preclude the parties from re-litigating the issue in federal court. This ruling could have major implications on the weight and attention given to trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board. Issue: (1) Whether the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s finding of a likelihood of confusion precludes respondent from relitigating that issue in infringement litigation, in which likelihood of confusion is an element; and (2) whether, if issue preclusion does not apply, the district court was obliged to defer to the Board’s finding of a likelihood of confusion absent strong evidence to rebut it.   […]