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Does Your Trademark Have Relevant Artistic Expression? By Gabriella A. Wilkins, Jonathan N. King

Traditionally speaking, we think of a ‘trademark’ protected under the Lanham Act as a mark used to identify and distinguish a good or service from other goods and services on the market. But what if the purported ‘trademark’ is being used to express a certain idea, statement, artistic expression, or cultural significance? The same protections do not apply. Instead, when a mark is being used for artistically relevant reasons, a higher degree of protection under the First Amendment is afforded, which means that the threshold for proving trademark infringement is somewhat higher than the ‘likelihood of confusion’ test.

March 6, 2018


Don’t Miss a Beat – Misunderstanding Your Intellectual Property Rights Could Cost You Your Protections By Jonathan N. King, Gabriella A. Wilkins

You have obtained federal trademark protection, so you should feel that all of your intellectual property rights are protected, right? What if you have not obtained the appropriate intellectual property protections? In fact, many people misunderstand the scope of the intellectual property rights they possess and it has ended up costing them significantly. A recent Ninth Circuit case illustrates this precise dilemma, and what’s at stake by not clearly understanding and differentiating between different aspects of intellectual property protection.

March 6, 2017


Likelihood of Confusion Determination in Federal Court Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Is Subject to Issue Preclusion Based on a Prior TTAB Adjudication By Jonathan N. King

In B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. 135 S.Ct. 1293 (2015), the United States Supreme Court held that so long as the other ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met, when the usages adjudicated by the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (“TTAB”) are materially the same as those before a District Court, issue preclusion should apply.

September 29, 2015


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