SCOTUS SPOTLIGHT: In a Victory for the 1st Amendment, Supreme Court Rules Trademark Office Cannot Refuse to Register Offensive Marks

June 19, 2017. In Matal v. Tam, SCOTUS was asked to decide whether an Asian-American band name, “The Slants” was prohibited from attaining a federal trademark registration. The Lanham Act statute in question, 15 USC 1052(a), prohibits registration of trademarks which may be disparaging, bring contempt or disrepute to any…

SunEarth Inc. v SunEarth Solar, et.al.: Easier to Shift Fees in 9th Circuit Trademark Cases

October 24, 2016.  In the matter of SunEarth, Inc. v. SunEarth Solar, the 9th Circuit has made less stringent the standard to shift fees to an adversary.  In the past, appellate courts across the country reviewed fee award standards under the "exceptional" standard, which normally required really bad conduct in litigation or…

Pabst Blue Ribbon uses Twitter to Police Intellectual Property Rights

Last week beer maker Pabst Blue Ribbon, a/k/a PBR, used its Twitter account @PabstBlueRibbon in a humorous way to forewarn professional wrestler superstar John Cena and his employer World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (d/b/a WWE) of PBR’s intellectual property (IP) rights. As shown in PBR’s tweet below, John Cena’s new T-shirt…