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Recent Significant Trademark Decisions

  1. B.V. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office (2020):  Significance: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a generic term, like "booking," could become a protectable trademark when combined with ".com." This decision expanded the scope of trademark protection for online businesses.
  2. Iancu v. Brunetti (2019): Significance: The Supreme Court held that the Lanham Act's ban on registering immoral or scandalous trademarks violated the First Amendment. This decision allowed the registration of previously prohibited marks.
  3. USPTO v. (2020): Significance: The Supreme Court ruled that "" terms can be registered as trademarks if they have acquired distinctiveness. This further expanded the protection of domain-based trademarks.
  4. Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc. (2020): Significance: The Supreme Court clarified the standard for trademark infringement damages. The ruling made it easier for plaintiffs to recover profits in trademark infringement cases.
  5. Unicolors, Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P. (2020): Significance: This case clarified the copyright implications in trademark litigation, emphasizing the importance of copyright registration for designs used as trademarks.
  6. Re: Michael Gleissner (2019): Significance: In a case involving the abusive filing of trademarks, the decision highlighted the importance of actively using and maintaining registered trademarks.
  7. B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. (2019): Significance: This case reinforced the principle of issue preclusion in trademark litigation, where prior decisions on trademark issues can have a preclusive effect in later disputes.
  8. In re Tam (2017): Significance: The Supreme Court ruled that the Lanham Act's ban on registering disparaging trademarks violated the First Amendment, allowing the registration of such marks.
  9. Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag, Inc. (2016): Significance: This case dealt with parody and fair use in trademark law, setting a precedent for balancing trademark protection with First Amendment rights.
  10. Jack Daniel's Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC (2019): Significance: In this case, Jack Daniel's successfully protected its trademark rights against a company selling a "Bad Spaniels" dog toy that resembled its iconic whiskey label. The decision reaffirmed the importance of defending trademark rights against potential infringements, even in creative or humorous contexts.