The Truth Is in the Syrup: Bud Light Ordered to Remove ‘No Corn Syrup’ from Packaging in False Advertising Battle

By Shalayne Pillar and David G. Barker The U.S. District Court, District of Wisconsin, recently ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop using the label “No Corn Syrup” on its packaging, the latest ruling in a false advertising battle filed over Anheuser-Busch’s attack ads aimed at rival MillerCoors. The case involves Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light ad campaign that highlighted MillerCoors’s use of corn syrup in brewing Coors Light and Miller Lite.  Anheuser-Busch’s claims are (technically) true: MillerCoors does use corn syrup as a “fermentation aid” during the brewing process, while Bud Light does not.  Nevertheless, MillerCoors sued Anheuser-Busch for false advertising, claiming the ads   Read More »

Posted in False Advertising, IP and Technology Litigation | Tagged , , , ,

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Republishing DNC’s Stolen Secrets Not Trade Secret Misappropriation

By David G. Barker On April 20, 2018, the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) sued the Russian Federation, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (the “Campaign”), WikiLeaks, and other defendants relating to the Russian Federation’s theft of documents from the DNC during the 2016 presidential election. Last week, the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, dismissed with prejudice the complaint against the Campaign, WikiLeaks, and the other defendants. The court noted, the “primary wrongdoer in this alleged criminal enterprise is undoubtably the Russian Federation . . . cannot be sued in the courts of the United States for   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Trade Secrets Litigation | Tagged ,

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Supreme Court to Decide Two Trademark Cases

By Shalayne Pillar and David G. Barker The Supreme Court of the United States recently granted certiorari in two trademark cases.  In Romag Fasteners v. Fossil, the Court will consider whether courts can order trademark infringers to disgorge their profits without a finding of “willful” infringement. In Lucky Brand Dungarees v. Marcel Fashion Group, the Court will consider whether claim preclusion may bar a defendant from raising a defense late in litigation. In Romag Fasteners, a jury found that Fossil infringed Romag’s trademarks.  Nevertheless, the district court refused to award $6.8 million of Fossil’s profits because Romag could not prove   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Trademark Litigation | Tagged , , , ,

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Supreme Court Holds Bar on Immoral or Scandalous Trademarks Unconstitutional

By: Anne M. Bolamperti and David G. Barker The Supreme Court held Monday that the Lanham Act’s bar on “immoral or scandalous” trademarks is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.  Delivering the 6-3 opinion of the Court, Justice Kagan relied on the Court’s previous decision in Matal v. Tam (discussed here), which held that the Lanham Act’s ban on “disparaging” trademarks also was unconstitutional. Respondent Erik Brunetti first sought federal registration of the trademark FUCT in connection with his urban clothing line.  Claiming use since December 1991, Brunetti’s line stands for “Friends U Can’t Trust,” but sounds like an expletive in acronym   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Trademark Litigation | Tagged , ,

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Supreme Court: Federal Government Is Not Permitted to Challenge Patents Under the AIA

By C. Matthew Rozier In a recent 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that the U.S. Postal Service and other federal agencies are prohibited from challenging the validity of patents post-issuance under the proceedings created by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”).  The Court’s decision in Return Mail Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service reversed a Federal Circuit decision holding that the federal government is a “person” for the purposes of 35 U.S.C. §§ 311 and 321.  In reversing, the Court cited a longstanding presumption that a “person” does not include the federal government.  Importantly, the decision leaves the door open for   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged ,

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