We have previously blogged about the intersection between patents and trademarks. In that post, we noted that if certain features are protected by a utility patent, that is strong evidence those features are functional and therefore ineligible for trade dress protection. But the content of patents can affect whether trademark protection is available in other ways as well.
Earlier this week, in Peter v. Nantkwest, Inc., Case No. 18-801 the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “PTO”) cannot recover the salaries of its legal personnel as expenses under Section 145 of the Patent Act.
Levi Strauss & Co. and Yves Saint Laurent have reached settlement in the Northern District of California lawsuit filed by Levi’s over YSL’s use of pocket tabs on jeans.
On August 14, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a revised opinion in Swagway, LLC v. ITC, Case No. 18-1672 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 14, 2019) that left open the possibility that decisions by the International Trade Commission (the “ITC”) could have preclusive effect in federal district court cases involving trademarks.
You may have heard by now that a certain Midwestern university that gets a lot of attention in this blog has filed an application to register the word THE as a trademark.