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Jack Daniels’ Limitation of the Rogers Shield Prompts the Ninth Circuit to Reverse Itself

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Jack Daniels Properties Inc. v. VIP Products LLC, 599 U.S. 140 (2023), the Ninth Circuit reversed its earlier decision affirming that a publication called Punchbowl News did not infringe a trademark of Punchbowl Inc. (“Punchbowl”), a greeting card and event invitation company. The Ninth Circuit reasoned […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Decide Damages Period Under Copyright Act

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to consider whether a copyright plaintiff’s timely claim under the discovery rule is subject to retrospective relief for infringement occurring more than three years before the suit was filed. Musician Sherman Nealy and his company, Music Specialist Inc. (collectively, “Nealy”), sued Warner Chappell Music, Inc. (“Warner”), for copyright […]

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Supreme Court Holds International Use Not Trademark Infringement

By: Bailey Hopkins* and David G. Barker The Supreme Court recently held Abitron Austria GmbH not liable for using Hetronic International, Inc.’s trademarks outside of the United States. Reversing the Tenth Circuit and resolving a circuit split, the Court held that Sections 1114(1)(a) and 1125(a)(1) of the Lanham Act do not apply extraterritorially and extend only […]

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USPTO’s Cert Petition Argues Constitutionality of Lanham Act’s Living Individual Restriction

USPTO Director Kathi Vidal recently petitioned the Supreme Court to review a Federal Circuit decision in In re Elster. There, the Federal Circuit held the USPTO unconstitutionally applied Lanham Act Section 2(c) (15 U.S.C. § 1052) in refusing to register Elster’s mark that used a living individual’s name, because it impermissibly restricted free speech. Section […]

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Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Amgen v. Sanofi to Decide Enablement Question

By: Trent Hoffman and David Barker On November 4, 2022, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Amgen v. Sanofi, No. 21-757, to review “[w]hether enablement is governed by the statutory requirement that the specification teach those skilled in the art to make and use the claimed invention, 35 U.S.C. § 112, or whether it must […]

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TTAB Mulls Whether Mavericks Star Luka Doncic Can Revoke Trademark Consent After Issuance of a Mark

By: Zach Schroeder and David Barker To obtain a trademark containing or consisting of a living individual’s name, portrait, or signature, that individual must give written consent.  15 U.S.C. § 1052(c).  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is currently faced with a novel question of whether individuals can revoke their consent after issuance […]

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Ninth Circuit Upholds Trademark Protections for Manufacturer of E-Cigarettes Containing Delta-8 THC

By Andrew S. Green and David G. Barker The Ninth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction in favor of AK Futures LLC (“AK Futures”), a manufacturer of e-cigarette and vaping products, against Boyd Street Distro, LLC (“Boyd Street”), a Los Angeles-based storefront and smoke product wholesaler that had allegedly been selling counterfeit versions of AK Futures’ […]

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Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of “Process Automation” Patent Infringement Suit

By Zach Schroeder and David G. Barker On March 15, 2022, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Eastern District of Texas’s dismissal of a patent infringement complaint because the asserted patent claims were directed to process automation and therefore not eligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Repifi Vendor Logistics sued Intellicentrics for infringing […]