IP News Roundup Archive

Cher

I Got Sued, Babe: Cher On Defense In Copyright Infringement Case
A motion to dismiss has been filed by attorneys representing Cher in a copyright infringement case filed against her by celebrated graphic designer Moshik Nadav for artwork and graphics on the cover of Closer To The Truth. The 2013 dance-centric album, Cher’s 25th studio release, was a critical and financial success, selling more than 500,000 units. Nadav’s suit, pending in the Southern District of New York, names Cher, Warner Bros. Records, a design company and the albums’ art and design director as defendants and seeks $5 million in damages. According to Nadav’s complaint, two logos that appear on Cher’s album infringe on the copyrights to his Paris and Paris Pro logos, which he claims were created using his typography, featuring “artistic elements, such as swashes having various thicknesses, end drops and unique lettering.”

Adidas vs. Puma

Adidas Sues Puma For Confusion Between Three-Stripe And Four-Stripe Soccer Cleats
According to a recently initiated lawsuit by adidas, there is no doubt that a consumer is likely to be confused as to whether adidas is involved with products containing four stripes. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court District of Oregon (Portland Division) is against Puma North America, Inc. and alleges trademark infringement against adidas’ competitor. Specifically, adidas states concern with Puma now offering for sale a soccer cleat that contains four consecutive stripes. Additionally, adidas cites to a mutual history with Puma — both companies were founded by brothers Adi Dassler and Rudolph Dassler and share the same small German town for their corporate headquarters. “Puma’s use of four diagonal stripes on the side of the Infringing Cleat is a blatant attempt by Puma to trade on the goodwill and commercial magnetism adidas has built up in the Three-Stripe Mark and to free-ride on adidas’ fame as a preeminent soccer brand,” states the complaint filed by Adidas.

Steadfast Hosting

Court: Hosting A Pirate Site Doesn’t Equal Copyright Infringement
A Federal Court in California ruled that Steadfast is not automatically liable for hosting an alleged pirate website. In a tentative order favoring the Chicago-based hosting provider, Judge Wu fails to see sufficient evidence to support a secondary liability claim. Last year, adult entertainment publisher ALS Scan took things up a notch by dragging several third-party intermediaries to court. The company targeted CDN provider CloudFlare, advertising network JuicyAds, and several hosting providers, including Chicago-based Steadfast. Steadfast was not happy with the allegations and has recently asked the court to dismiss the case. Among other things, the company argued that it’s protected by the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions. In a tentative ruling issued this week, the California District Court agrees that the allegations in the second amended complaint (SAC) are not sufficient to hold the hosting company liable.

Cannabis Plant

California Bill Provides Trademark Protection for Marijuana Industry
The federal government grants trademarks for businesses but the federal government still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug. That makes getting a trademark at the national level impossible. Therefore, California lawmakers have introduced a bill that would provide that protection. Assembly Bill 64 expands provisions of the Model State Trademark law allow the state to grant trademarks to business that deal in “medical cannabis and nonmedical cannabis goods and services.” The lack of trademark protection in the marijuana industry already has led a German pipe maker to sue companies in the United States for appropriating their name and placing it on other products. Under current law, a secretary of state can provide trademark protection for businesses at the state level, but only if they already have a federal trademark. The new law would make California the third state, along with Washington and Colorado, to offer trademark protection to marijuana businesses.

Blue Ivy Carter

Beyoncé and Jay Z Tangled in Blue Ivy Trademark Dispute
Beyoncé’s holding company, BGK Trademark Holdings LLC, submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to register “Blue Ivy Carter” in January 2016. Beyoncé (and, presumably, her husband Jay Z) want the “Blue Ivy Carter” trademark for a slew of goods, from baby products to sporting equipment to entertainment services. A New England-based company called Blue Ivy Events, however, already owns a trademark for “Blue Ivy” in the event planning space, and is taking action to prevent the Carter family from trademarking their daughter’s name. The owner of Blue Ivy Events asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for an extension of time to challenge the Carters’ application. And if the company needs extra time for an application challenge, they’re likely intending to file a formal opposition to the trademark request. On the surface, Blue Ivy Events does not have a bad case — “Blue Ivy” and “Blue Ivy Carter” are definitely similar, and the events company has owned its trademark for a few years. At the same time, however, Blue Ivy Events is not the only company to own a “Blue Ivy” trademark. Two other marks using the term exist, although both marks are for specific designs using the words “Blue Ivy”.

Beyonce Formation

Beyoncé Named in $20 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over ‘Formation’
The estate of the late New Orleans-based rapper Anthony Barré — better known as Messy Mya — has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Beyoncé for allegedly sampling Mya’s vocals on her hit track “Formation.” According to the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the plaintiffs own a number of “protectable copyright interests, both in the musical composition and the sound recording, to Anthony Barré’s original and unique works of performance art,” including “Booking the Hoes from New Wildings.” Barré’s estate alleges in its complaint that “Defendants’ willful infringement of [Barré’s work] has harmed the Estate of Anthony Barré because, among other things, Anthony Barré was not properly credited for his contributions to ‘Formation’ and ‘Lemonade.'”

Stash Tea

Stash Tea flexes trademark muscle as pot legalization popularizes name
Starting this week, Stash Pot Shop of Seattle is now Lux Pot Shop of Seattle because of legal threats from Stash Tea Co. of Tigard prompted. While the word is used to describe a quantity of marijuana for personal use, it’s also been used in the tea company’s name since its founding in 1972. The shop is not alone in facing reprisal from Stash Tea, which started in Portland. Stash Tea in April sued Stash Cannabis Co. of Beaverton, accusing it of infringing on the specialty tea company’s trademark. And, given the prevalence of the word Stash in similar cannabis shop’s names and the growing number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana sales, Stash Tea’s legal team figures to be very busy. Stash maintains that it has established substantial goodwill in the Stash mark and the mark and the registrations are valuable corporate assets and that it is within its rights to demand that marijuana dispensaries immediately cease any and all uses of Stash and any other names or marks confusingly similar to the registered Stash trademark.

The Gap

The Gap vs. The Gap Band: Retailer Takes on R&B Group in Trademark Battle
Despite experiencing less than stellar sales growth over the past several years, the Gap and its intellectual property remains almost universally recognizable. Not surprisingly, the company is serious about enforcing its trademarks, as indicated by the trademark battle it recently waged against one of the founding members of The Gap Band, an American R&B and funk band which rose to fame during the 1970s and 1980s. Turns out, Ronnie J. Wilson, one of founders of the band, filed a trademark application for the “Gap Band” in the class of goods/services that covers “clothing, namely, hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts for sale at live music performances, live music concerts, live music shows and personal appearances.” In response, the Gap has asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) to prevent Wilson’s mark from being federally registered, claiming that Wilson’s “use and registration of [the Gap Band trademark] will damage [the Gap] by trading on the enormous goodwill associated with its mark and diluting its distinctiveness.”

Australia

IP Australia launches trademark technology that allows businesses to conduct image-based searches
The Australian government agency for intellectual property rights has teamed up with a Queensland startup to launch a “world-first” trademark solution to make it easier for businesses and entrepreneurs to protect their logos and brands. Craig Laundy, assistant minister for industry, innovation and science, launched the Australian Trade Mark Search at Melbourne’s Pause Fest on Friday. “IP Australia is focused on using world-leading technology to make intellectual property information easily accessible to all Australians,” Laundy said. The search tool uses image-recognition technology to find similar logos or brands from a database of over 400,000 Australian trademark applications.

Kylie Minogue vs. Kylie Jenner

The Kylie Jenner—Kylie Minogue Trademark Dispute Was a Battle of the Old School vs. the New
No trademark dispute in recent memory has been as Kylie contentious as the one between teen reality celebrity Kylie Jenner and pop star Kylie Minogue over their shared moniker. But for now, Minogue fans have an excuse to shadily hum “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” in the presence of anyone who’s Team Jenner, because this round went to the Australian singer. The battle began in 2015 when Jenner first tried to register the “term” “Kylie” as a trademark. Last year, Minogue’s team shot back with a notice of opposition. Game, set, match, Kylie, said one Kylie to the other. But then last month, Minogue’s people withdrew the opposition — according to the BBC, this could mean that the two sides reached a settlement. Some outlets are reporting that Jenner’s trademark application was indeed rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In any case, Kylie seems to have won this one — Minogue, that is.

Nestle KitKat

Nestlé loses EU Kit Kat trademark
Nestlé risks seeing competitors imitate its Kit Kat brand after the European Union’s second highest court annulled a 2006 ruling that granted the FMCG giant a trademark for the four-fingered shape of the chocolate bar. The EU General Court concluded that the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) “erred in law” by not determining whether Kit Kat’s shape had acquired distinctiveness in every EU member state, the Financial Times reported. It said that when Nestlé applied for a trademark in 2002, it did not prove that Kit Kat had already gained distinctive character through use in all member states, which numbered 15 countries at that time. It was not enough for Nestlé “to show that a significant proportion of the relevant public throughout the EU, merging all the member states and regions, perceives a mark as an indication of the commercial origin of the goods designated by the mark,” the court said.

PayPal vs. Paytm

PayPal Accuses Paytm of Trademark Infringement in India
On November 18, 2016, Paypal Inc. filed an objection at the Indian Trademark Office accusing Paytm, an Indian mobile wallet company, of trademark infringement. The objection comes at the heels of the recent windfall made by the latter on account of a cash-strapped nation moving rapidly towards a cashless normal. For six years, Paytm had been steadily becoming a household name in middle-class India — until it really hit the jackpot on November 8, 2016 when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetization of currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 — invalidating overnight 80% of the country’s cash in circulation. The drastic move was taken to tackle the vast amounts of unaccounted “black” money in the Indian economy that was being used for bribery, corruption, tax evasion and for funding separatists and terrorists — and has since invoked strong emotions, both in favor and against, from the media, politicos and citizens across the country.

Star Trek
Axanar

‘Star Trek’ Copyright Settlement Allows Fan Film to Proceed
In a victory for fan films, Paramount and CBS have reached a settlement in 2015 copyright infringement lawsuit they filed against Axanar Productions, which has produced two fan films based upon the studios’ popular Star Trek series of films and television programs. Whilst the studios have been tolerant of previous fan films, they became concerned about infringement due to the high quality of the Axanar productions. In the settlement, both sides acknowledge that the productions crossed acceptable boundaries of copyright law but has allowed the films to remain on YouTube and another two films to be produced so long as the producers do not profit from the productions or realize any ad revenue on YouTube.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney Sues Sony to Regain Rights to Beatles Songs
Paul McCartney has filed suit in New York against Sony/ATV and is looking to get a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share to a treasured catalog of songs created as a member of The Beatles. In what could become one of the most important legal battles in the music industry this decade, the iconic songwriter is looking to leverage the termination provisions of the Copyright Act. In 1976, Congress increased the period that works are under copyright protection, and, in recognition of authors who had signed over their rights to publishers and studios without much bargaining power, allowed such authors 35 years hence to reclaim rights in the latter stages of a copyright term. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Prince have used the mere threat of termination to negotiate new deals and better compensation arrangements.

Run DMC

Run-D.M.C. Sue Amazon, Walmart for $50 Million Over Trademark
Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, a founder of Run-D.M.C. and owner of the Run-D.M.C. brand, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, Walmart, Jet.com and some of the aforementioned retailers’ business partners for at least $50 million. According to Reuters, the suit accuses the retail giants of alleged trademark infringement. The suit alleges that the retailers’ distribution and sale of merchandise that’s branded with the Run-D.M.C. name without permission misleads consumers into thinking the products have been officially endorsed by the group and accuses the defendants of “trading on the goodwill” of the group’s name. Products in question include glasses, hats, T-shirts, wallets and more that use the group’s name in their title or description or bear the group’s logo. In the suit, McDaniels asserts that the Run-D.M.C. brand is “extremely valuable” and cites licensing agreements that exemplify its value, such as its deal with Adidas.

Marilyn Monroe

Estate of Marilyn Monroe sues intimate apparel company for trademark infringement
On November 9, 2016, plaintiff Estate of Marilyn Monroe filed suit against defendant Fashion Central in the Southern District Court of New York for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, among other things. See Estate of Marilyn Monroe, LLC v. Fashion Central LLC. The Estate of Marilyn Monroe is a brand development and licensing company that owns various trademark rights relating to the deceased, iconic celebrity, Marilyn Monroe. Plaintiff also owns exclusive rights to Marilyn Monroe’s identity, image, name, and likeness for licensing to third-parties.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan prevails in trademark case, earns right to use Chinese character mark for his name on merchandise
In December 2016, famed basketball star Michael Jordan was partially successful in a legal action filed in Chinese courts over the use of his name and likeness on shoes and sportswear marketed by a domestic Chinese firm. The case is further proof of a major change in the fortunes of foreign intellectual property owners in the highest courts of the world’s second-largest economy. The Jordan trademark suit goes back to 2012 when the suit was filed against Qiaodan Sports, a sportswear manufacturer operating thousands of retail locations in China which was founded in 2000 according to business information reported by Bloomberg. According to Bloomberg coverage of the Jordan trademark suit, Qiaodan is pronounced “Chee-ow-dahn” and it is how Jordan’s name is pronounced in the country. Not only was Qiaodan utilizing the Chinese version of Michael Jordan’s name but Jordan’s counsel also took aim at the use of Jordan’s number 23 and the “Jumpman” logo used to market Air Jordan shoes produced by Nike Inc.

Kylie Jenner vs. Vlada Haggerty

Kylie Jenner Acknowledgement of Vlada Haggerty Artwork Leads to Speculation about Copyright Settlement
Throughout her short career marketing makeup products, reality TV personality Kylie Jenner has been repeatedly accused of copying and profiting from the ideas of others. In November 2016, these accusations came to a head when makeup artist Vlada Haggerty threatened to sue Jenner for copyright infringement regarding the marketing and packaging of some of her products. Emboldened by myriad supporters, Haggerty provided multiple examples of Jenner’s work closely resembling her own. Now Jenner is openly acknowledging and praising Haggerty’s work on her Instagram feed, leading to speculation that the two parties may be headed towards a settlement of the copyright infringement case.

Iceland vs. Iceland

Iceland Drags British Frozen Food Retailer into Court over “Iceland” Trademark
UK-based Iceland Foods — a supermarket specialising in frozen food — was granted the EU-wide trademark for the word “Iceland” in 2014. The effect of this has proven to be controversial in the country of Iceland — which is not a member of the EU, but is a major exporter of frozen fish and seafood to the EU — because native companies claim they are being restricted from promoting their Icelandic goods due to the existence of the frozen food specialist’s EU-registered mark. “Iceland Gold”, an Icelandic fish company, and “Clean Iceland”, a specialist seller of Icelandic national products, have reportedly had trouble doing business in the EU due to the supermarket’s ownership of the trademark. The Icelandic government has now begun legal proceedings to cancel the trademark at the EU Intellectual Property Office in Alicante, Spain.

Taylor Swift

Why Taylor Swift Is Asking Congress To Update Copyright Laws
Congress is in the midst of a review of the copyright laws to make sure they’re up to date. Some of the recording industry’s biggest stars, among them Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Paul McCartney, recently signed a letter urging lawmakers to make reforms. The artists say that aspects of the law that were written in the late 1990s make it too easy for tech companies to ignore rampant piracy on their sites and put too much responsibility on the artists themselves to find the illegal music files.

Budweiser: Budejovicky Budvar vs. Anheuser Busch

Anheuser Busch Loses Again in European Budweiser Trademark Dispute
Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar says a Portuguese court has upheld a previous ruling prohibiting rival, Anheuser-Busch InBev, from selling beer under the Budweiser name in Portugal. State-owned Budvar has been fighting with Anheuser-Busch for over a century over use of the Budweiser brand name.

Tasty Burger vs. Chipotle

Tasty Burger challenges Chipotle’s Tasty Made name, logo
Tasty Burger, a six-unit chain, is challenging Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.’s decision to name its new burger concept Tasty Made, citing trademark violations. Chipotle confirmed last month that it is planning to launch a new burger concept this fall in Lancaster, Ohio, called Tasty Made, featuring a simple menu of burgers, shakes and fries using sustainable ingredients and beef raised without hormones or antibiotics.
“This has caused a great deal of confusion among our customers and consumers in general, because Tasty Burger has no association or affiliation with Chipotle,” said DuBois, CEO of Tasty Burger Corp., based in Boston.

Tiffany & Co.

Costco owes Tiffany at least $13.75M over mislabeled rings
Costco should pay Tiffany & Co at least $13.75 million for selling engagement rings labeled “Tiffany” that did not come from Tiffany & Co., a federal jury in New York determined. The high-end jeweler sued Costco three years ago, saying the rings were not Tiffany rings and alleging trademark infringement, counterfeiting, and deceptive business practices, among other things. Costco claimed in a countersuit that “Tiffany” is a generic term for a pronged ring.

Kanye West & Jay Z

Jay Z, Kanye West & Frank Ocean Win ‘Made in America’ Copyright Lawsuit
Jay Z, Kanye West and Frank Ocean have won another victory against allegations of copyright infringement. On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling from last year, dismissing a lawsuit by musician Joel McDonald that alleged the Watch the Throne track “Made in America” by Jay Z and West and featuring Ocean had ripped off one of his songs.

Abbott & Costello

Abbott and Costello heirs strike out in ‘Who’s on First?’ lawsuit
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday threw out a copyright lawsuit by the heirs of comedians Abbott and Costello against the producers of a Broadway play in which a character performed part of their classic “Who’s on First?” routine. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the heirs, while suing the producers of “Hand to God,” had failed to establish they held a valid copyright to the routine, which Bud Abbott and Lou Costello first performed in the late 1930s.

Star Athletica vs. Varsity

In a Copyright Case, Justices Ponder the Meaning of Fashion
The immediate question for the justices at a Supreme Court argument on Monday was whether designs on cheerleaders’ uniforms were subject to copyright protection. As the argument progressed, though, it became increasingly clear that the case raised broader issues, with vast financial consequences for the fashion industry and deep philosophical implications for how clothing signifies meaning. The case, Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, No. 15-866, concerned stripes, zigzags and chevrons copyrighted by Varsity Brands, the leading seller of cheerleading uniforms. The company sued Star Athletica, a rival company, after it started to market uniforms with similar designs.

Frank Zappa

Dweezil Zappa Says Zappa Family Trust Is Applying To Trademark The Surname ‘Zappa’
2016 has been a contentious year for the relations between the children of late guitarist Frank Zappa. Frank and Gail Zappa’s four children are squabbling over a number of issues with the biggest stemming from Dweezil Zappa’s use of the name Zappa Plays Zappa. This sad tale has taken an even more unpleasant turn as Dweezil told the Chicago Sun-Times the Zappa Family Trust is looking to trademark the surname “Zappa”, which if successful would leave him unable to use his own surname as a professional performer.

Gucci vs. Guess

Guess? Victorious in Latest Round of Gucci Trademark Fight
Gucci has lost yet another round in its ongoing battle against Guess?. The Florentine design brand accused the comparatively lower-end brand of perpetrating a massive trademark infringement scheme, initially filing suit against Guess? in 2009 in New York, claiming that the interlocking “G” trademarks that adorn an array of Guess accessories infringe its own “G” trademarks. Gucci was awarded only a small fraction of the $221 million damages award it was seeking (a mere $450,000) in that case, and subsequently filed suit against Guess? on the same grounds in Italy, Australia, China, and France, and initiated proceedings with the European Union (“EU”) Intellectual Property Office.

Sephora

LVMH-owned Sephora sues Indian firm for trademark infringement
Sephora, a cosmetics company owned by LVMH, has dragged an Indian company to court for registering its name as a trademark and selling Sephora-branded footwear. LVMH, the parent of several luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, has filed half a dozen cases in India against companies and individuals for selling counterfeit products and for trademark infringement.

McAfee and Intel Company

Intel asserts its trademark rights against John McAfee
Intel does not object to John McAfee using his personal name in connection with his business, but it objects to the use by the maverick entrepreneur and security expert of the McAfee trade name and trademark in a way that could confuse or deceive consumers or dilute the brand. The issue came up when John McAfee teamed with MGT Capital Investments, which had been until recently mainly into gaming sites, and announced in May that it is in the process of acquiring a diverse portfolio of cybersecurity technologies. MGT also announced that it intended to change its corporate name to “John McAfee Global Technologies, Inc.” with John McAfee at the helm of the new company.

Snapchat

‘Snap’ Trademark Fight Waged Ahead of Snapchat IPO
Snap Inc, the newly named parent company of U.S. messaging and photo-sharing app Snapchat is facing a new lawsuit claiming it stole the trade name and reputation of an online dating services company called Snap Interactive Inc. In a trademark lawsuit filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Snap Interactive said the harm it is suffering is heightened by Snap’s plans to go public next year in what is expected to be one of the biggest tech initial public offerings of the year.

Head and Shoulders

P&G sues competitor over alleged trademark infringement
P&G (NYSE: PG) sued St. Louis-based Vi-Jon in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on Oct. 28, alleging that the company is using packaging that rips off the design of its Head and Shoulders brand. Vi-Jon makes generic versions of brand-name products for retailers like CVS, Kroger and Dollar General. According to the lawsuit, that includes a generic version of P&G’s Head and Shoulders shampoo. An attorney for Vi-Jon declined to comment on the lawsuit.

M22

In Michigan, A Highway Sign Is At Center Of An Unusual Trademark Dispute
There’s an unusual fight underway in Michigan over a simple black-and-white sign that identifies a state highway. That highway runs through a popular vacation region. And one business claims it has the exclusive right to use the road sign as a product brand. But the state disagrees, and the trademark dispute is now in federal court.

DMCA

Copyright Holders Dominate Closed-Door DMCA Hearings
As discussions over DMCA reform continue, a number of closed-door hearings have taken place in San Francisco. Representatives from Fight for the Future and YouTube’s Channel Awesome were there and they report that discussions were dominated by copyright holders seeking new powers to permanently disappear content and even whole sites from the Internet.

Acquazzura

Aquazzura Calls out Ivanka Trump for Copying
Aquazzura’s founder took to the brand’s Instagram account this past week to call out Ivanka Trump for copying. The presidential candidate’s spawn maintains a New York-based clothing and accessories collection, which released a shoe that was just a bit too close for comfort to Aquazzura’s Wild Thing fringe sandal for the brand’s creative director, Edgardo Osorio.

Quaker Oats

Quaker Oats misspells tree farm’s name in trademark blunder
Food brand The Quaker Oats Company has accused a group of Quakers of trademark infringement despite the fact that the group’s business, a Christmas tree farm, is called Quaker Oaks. The PepsiCo-owned company sent a cease-and-desist letter to Quaker Oaks Christmas Tree Farm, an organisation run by the Orange County Friends Meeting in California.

Google - Oracle

Oracle v. Google Copyright Trial Heads Into Second Week
Oracle President Safra Catz and Android lead developer Dan Bornstein were the spotlight witnesses on the stand May 16 on Day 6 of the third Oracle v. Google copyright case. Litigation has been going on for six. Oracle is seeking $9.3 billion in damages and lost profits because it claims Google has made more than $42 billion on the extremely popular Android mobile device operating system, which Oracle says borrows heavily from the open-source Java programming language without obtaining licenses.

Tyson Park's finest

Tyson Foods Wins Hot Dog Trademark Fight
Tyson Foods Inc. has won a summary judgment motion ending a trademark infringement suit brought against its “Park’s Finest” frankfurters. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the motion on May 10, finding that plaintiff Parks LLC’s unregistered “Parks” trademark did not deserve protection because it lacked the necessary secondary meaning.(Parks LLC v. Tyson Foods Inc., 2016 BL 148589 (E.D. Pa. 2016). The court sided with Tyson, even though Parks presented evidence that there was a relatively high likelihood of confusion.

Apple

Apple Loses iPhone Trademark in China
Last week, Apple lost a four-year trademark case on iPhone to a Beijing leather products maker. The plaintiff in this case was Xintong Tiandi? Technology, a company which sells leather products such as handbags, wallets and ironically, smartphone cases under the label “IPHONE”. The case was ruled in favour of the plaintiff by the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court. Apple will further appeal.

Gucci

Gucci Apologizes for Policing its Trademark
Gucci and its parent company have apologized after drawing heavy criticism for threatening legal action against an array of Hong Kong-based shops, accused of selling novelty paper offerings for the deceased that resembled the fashion brand’s luxury products. The brand and its Paris-based owner, Kering, also said in a statement on Friday that they regret any misunderstanding caused by the letters, which were sent to six shops last month. After meeting with the shop owners, “Kering and Gucci would like to reiterate their utmost respect with regards to the funeral context,” the statement said.

Milano

Trader Joe’s settles Milano cookies infringement spat
Trader Joe’s and Pepperidge Farms have ended a months-long dispute about their rival sandwich cookies, reaching an out-of-court settlement. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The cookies, which look similar in appearance and share the same basic ingredients, were the subject of a federal lawsuit filed in December. WebTM Post from 12/2015