Lengthy use by the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam of its unregistered marks was not enough, by itself, to raise a triable issue as to the marks’ protectability. A church that calls itself the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (the “Unified Church”) failed to show that its asserted trademarks had acquired secondary meaning and therefore…

Can the name of a historical, well known place be registered as a trademark? If we think about the NEUSCHWANSTEIN case (C-488/16), the answer is: yes, it can be registered, provided there is no connection between the designated goods/services  and the famous place. But what about the “allure” associated with a well-known site? Should anyone…

Use of analogous state-law limitations period for Lanham Act Section 43(a) claims was “unsatisfactory”; summary judgment order finding Bayer’s false association and false advertising claims time-barred was vacated. Reasoning that a district court erred by reading a limitations period into the Lanham Act where none existed for Section 43(a) claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals…

The Swedish Patent and Market Court (PMD) ruled out a likelihood of confusion between two figurative trademarks for “ghost” and “GHOST VODKA” based on their mere visual differences. In fact, the Court concluded that the sigs were dissimilar, without even analyzing the signs on a phonetical or conceptual level. A good outcome for the defendants…

The TTAB acted within its discretion in weighing evidence of functionality and alternative designs. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board had sufficient evidence to find that two box designs for electric cables and wire to prevent tangling submitted by applicant Reelex Packaging Solutions, Inc. were functional and not entitled to trademark protection as trade dress,…

In the assessment of the similarity of signs, visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity are evaluated and it is not necessary that similarity exist in all three aspects, one can suffice. Nonetheless, in the global assessment of likelihood of confusion,  visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity do not actually carry the same weight, and often the balancing…

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) erred by not applying the Supreme Court’s two-part Lexmark test in analyzing standing under 15 U.S.C. § 1064 but nevertheless reached the correct result because the Empresa Cubana standard used by the Board was substantially similar to Lexmark. The TTAB correctly determined that a company that owns federal registrations for SPROUTS trademarks in…

On 2 March 2021 the Polish Supreme Court finally decided that the famous Polish boxer Dariusz Michalczewski had won his case against FoodCare sp. z o.o. for the “Tiger” trademark for popular energy products (III CSKP 5/21). The internationally renowned Polish boxer Dariusz Michalczewski used the nickname “TIGER” during his sporting career. His nickname was…