Tag Archives: trade dress

Watch: Protecting Product Configurations, Packaging, and Designs

What In-House Counsel Needs to Know

Product configuration and packaging play an integral part in consumer choice and can often set a particular product apart from its competition on the store shelf. Because companies heavily invest in creating unique product designs and packaging that encourage brand association, business owners should also consider protecting those investments as intellectual property.

Peter SullivanNatasha Reed and Jenevieve Maerker presented a webinar offering guidance for in-house counsel regarding the different types of intellectual property that may protect product configurations and packaging in the United States,… More

Adidas To Trademark Competitors: ‘Two Stripes, You’re Out’

Last month, a U.S. district court in Oregon granted Adidas’ motion for a preliminary injunction against U.S. footwear company Sketchers USA Inc., blocking Sketchers from selling, among other sneakers, a 3-stripe sneaker design that allegedly infringes Adidas’ 3-stripe registered trademark and one of its sneaker designs.

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The European Union recently afforded an even wider range of protection for the Adidas sneaker design,… More

Political Speech, Trademarks And The Definition of “Goods or Services”

3Last month witnessed the resolution of two trademark infringement cases involving the relationship between political activities and the definition of “goods or services.” On May 18, 2015, State Senator Steve Hershey gave up his right to appeal to the Fourth Circuit from the District of Maryland’s decision that he was infringing the Hershey Chocolate trade dress. On May 19, 2015, however, the Fourth Circuit overturned the case on which the District of Maryland had been relying.… More

Sixth Circuit Rules that Trade Dress Law Does Not Prevent Copying of Functional Design

In Groeneveld Transport Efficiency, Inc. v. Lubecore International, Inc., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 18897 (6th Cir. Sept. 12, 2013), an industry veteran and a relative newcomer battled over the appearance of  a rather specialized product: automatic lubrication pumps for commercial trucks.

The plaintiff, Groeneveld, began making its pump in the 1980s.  Lubecore, the defendant, began selling its own pump roughly 20 years later. … More

Colors as Trademarks: The Gloves Are On In This Baseball Brawl

Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. has brought suit (complaint here) against competitor Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for giving a Wilson® baseball glove with “metallic gold-colored webbing, stitching and lettering” to a major league player — Brandon Phillips of the Cincinatti Reds — who has won the “Rawlings Gold Glove” award in the past but is an endorser of Wilson rather than Rawlings.

Every baseball fan has heard of the Gold Glove awards given annually to 9 players from the National League and American League,… More

Inherent Distinctiveness vs. Secondary Meaning: Chippendales Fights On Despite Setbacks

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has affirmed the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that Chippendales’ “Cuffs & Collar” trade dress (pictured below) is not inherently distinctive for “adult entertainment services, namely, exotic dancing for women in the nature of live performances.” In re Chippendales USA, Inc., No. 2009-1370 (Fed. Cir. October 1, 2010) (PDF).

For nearly ten years,… More