Supreme Court: TTAB Proceedings Can Have Preclusive Effect in Federal Court

Today, the Supreme Court held in B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries that likelihood-of-confusion decisions by the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) can have preclusive effect in federal court. Hargis applied to register the mark SEALTITE and B&B opposed, based on its registration for SEALTIGHT.  The TTAB sustained B&B’s opposition, even though the marks would be used for different goods in different markets.  In a contemporaneous federal suit, the district court gave no deference to the TTAB decision and held that SEALTITE was not likely to cause confusion with SEALTIGHT.  Affirming, the Eighth Circuit   Read More »

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