Clients often ask whether—and, if so, when—they must use the ® and ™ symbols, or other forms of attribution, when using another company’s trademarks. This question arises in a variety of settings. For example, a company may want to use another’s trademark in order to make a comparative advertising claim, to state that its product is compatible with another company’s product, or to identify a business relationship with another company. The rules for the attribution of another’s trademarks are not cut and dry.
Starting on May 13, 2015, Applicants in the United States who file a single industrial design application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in English have the opportunity to obtain protection for up to 100 different industrial designs across 44 countries and intergovernmental organizations. This change was published in the USPTO’s Final Rules relating to “Changes to Implement the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs” in April.
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Washington, DC — In January, Arent Fox LLP secured a summary judgment on behalf of the sportswear manufacturer Fila against a website that was cybersquatting and appeared to carry the company’s internationally recognized label. This is the second domain name Arent Fox obtained in recent months for Fila after successfully arguing that the website registrant’s actions violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Video game developer Activision Blizzard, Inc. recently won a key victory in the ongoing battle over the right of publicity when a California state court judge dismissed former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega’s well-publicized lawsuit. Noriega had alleged that his image and likeness were improperly used in the blockbuster video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Determining that the First Amendment protected Blizzard, the court dismissed Noriega’s complaint with prejudice.
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A recent case filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida charges A&E Television Networks, LLC (A&E), with willful trademark infringement and unfair competition stemming from merchandise for the hit reality show Duck Dynasty. The case is a cautionary (duck?) tale about the importance of clearing trademarks prior to use and a reminder about the steps companies can take to minimize their liability under intellectual property laws.
The French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. (LVMH) recently settled its long-running court battle with eBay, Inc. over the online auction website’s alleged distribution of counterfeit luxury goods. Although financial terms were not disclosed, the two companies announced that they would collaborate in implementing measures aimed at protecting intellectual property rights and preventing the sale of counterfeit goods online. “Thanks to our joint efforts, consumers will enjoy a safer digital environment globally,” the companies said in a joint statement.
Washington, DC – On June 24, Arent Fox LLP filed suit on behalf of Italian clothing company Diesel S.p.A. against 83 websites that are cybersquatting and selling counterfeit products appearing to carry the internationally recognized label. By using the company’s trademark in the domain name, the websites are creating the false impression they are authorized to sell genuine Diesel goods. Already, the sites have sold thousands of counterfeit reproductions of Diesel’s high quality products.
Yesterday, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) cancelled six registrations related to the Washington Redskins professional football team. The TTAB found the marks violated Section 2(a) of the Federal Lanham Act, which bars registration of trademarks that may disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute.
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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.