Is “Booking.com” Generic? We’ll Booking.See

By Andy Halaby The Supreme Court’s decision in United States Patent & Trademark Office v. Booking.com to take up whether booking.com is generic, and thus unprotectable as a trademark, is intriguing. The government maintains the term is generic.  It starts with the premise that the root term “booking” is generic.  As for “.com,” the government likens it to “Company,” and invokes the Supreme Court’s 1888 decision in Goodyear’s Rubber Mfg. Co. v. Goodyear Rubber Co. where the Court observed, The addition of the word ‘Company’ only indicates that parties have formed an association or partnership to deal in such goods,   Read More »

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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 »

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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 »

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SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split: Trademark License Rejection in Bankruptcy Does Not Terminate Licensee’s Usage Rights

By Emily R. Parker* and David G. Barker The U.S. Supreme Court recently held in Mission Product Holdings v. Tempnology that a trademark licensor cannot revoke the right of a licensee to use a trademark by terminating a license agreement in bankruptcy. Mission licensed a trademark from Tempnology, which terminated the license after filing bankruptcy in 2015. The First Circuit held that Tempnology permissibly rejected the agreement in bankruptcy and terminated Mission’s right to use the mark. Mission appealed because the First Circuit’s decision conflicted with the Seventh Circuit decision in Sunbeam Products v. Chicago American Manufacturing, which held that a   Read More »

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Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on “Immoral or Scandalous” Trademark Prohibition

By: Anne M. Bolamperti and David G. Barker Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in Iancu v. Brunetti (see previous discussion here) regarding the constitutionality of the portion of Lanham Act, Section 2(a) (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)) that prohibits the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s registration of trademarks comprising “immoral . . . or scandalous matter.”  Previously, in June 2017, the Court unanimously affirmed in Matal v. Tam that the same statute’s bar on disparaging marks was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The PTO refused to register Erik Brunetti’s trademark application for   Read More »

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