Copyright & Trademark Litigation
As digital technology and the online environment transform the distribution and use of intellectual property, our Copyright & Trademark group is on the front lines in protecting and enforcing our clients’ most important creative assets. Our trial-tested team represents a wide range of clients, from entrepreneurs to major corporations, from playwrights to media giants, and from individual songwriters to the country’s largest performing rights organizations.
U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Plaintiffs Need Not Prove “Willful” Conduct to Recover Profits in Trademark Infringement Suits
On April 23, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held that a plaintiff who proves a trademark infringement claim under the Lanham Act does not need to prove that the defendant acted “willfully” to recover profits from the defendant’s infringement.
Litigation partners Lewis Clayton and Eric Stone’s latest intellectual property litigation column, “Supreme Court to Decide Willful Trademark Infringement Issue,” appeared in the November 13 issue of the New York Law Journal.
The Supreme Court Holds That the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s “Likelihood of Confusion” Decisions Are Eligible for Issue Preclusion in Federal Court
On March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an important decision in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., No. 13-352 (Mar. 24, 2015), holding that a "likelihood of confusion" decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB" or "Board") is binding in a subsequent trademark infringement lawsuit if the ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met and the usages of the mark adjudicated by the TTAB are materially the same as those before the federal court. Although the Court was careful to limit its ruling and noted that issue preclusion would not apply to "a great many [TTAB] registration decisions," the opinion has potentially significant implications for a subset of trademark infringement actions, and it is likely to increase the importance of both TTAB proceedings and judicial review of TTAB decisions.