Trademark and Unfair Comp.

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Transcript Trademark and Unfair Comp.

Trademark and Unfair Comp.
Boston College Law School
February 13, 2008
Genericism, Abandonment
Bayer v. United Drug
272 F. 505 (S.D.N.Y. 1921) (Hand,J.)
Drug Names
•
•
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•
Advil (ibuprofen)
Zantac (ranitidine)
Viagra (sildenafil)
Prozac (fluoxetine)
Policy Considerations
Potential for
Confusion
High
Unprotectible
Secondary
Meaning
Protectible
Harm to
Competition
Low
Generic
Descriptive
Suggestive
Distinctiveness
Arbitrary
Other Marks
• Generic
–
–
–
–
–
–
Thermos
Escalator
Trampoline
Cellophane
Nylon
Yo-Yo
• Generic?
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Velcro
Post-It Notes
Band-Aid
Plexiglas
Kleenex
Frisbee
Realtor
Policing Your Mark
Surveys
• Thermos Survey
– E.g. “if you went into a
store to ask for a
vacuum-insulated
container, what would
you ask for?”
• Teflon Survey
– E.g. “is ‘TEFLON a
brand name or the
name of a type of
product?”
AOL v. AT&T
243 F.3d 812 (4th Cir. 2001)
Hypothetical
• BEST OF BOSTON
– Boston Magazine uses
term for annual survey
– Boston Phoenix wants
to conduct similar
survey and use term
“Boston Phoenix’s
Best of Boston List”
– Survey: 75% of public
associates BEST OF
BOSTON w/ Boston
Magazine
1-800-GENERIC
• 1-800-Number Cases
– 1-212-MATTRES v. 1-800-MATTRES
– 1-800-HOLIDAY v. 1-800-H0(zero)LIDAY
Abandonment
• Lanham Act §45 (15 U.S.C. §1125):
– Abandonment. A mark shall be deemed to be
“abandoned” when either of the following occurs:
• (1) When its use has been discontinued with intent not to
resume such use. Intent not to reuse may be inferred from
circumstances. Nonuse for three consecutive years shall be
prima facie evidence of abandonment. . . .
• (2) When any course of conduct of the owner, including acts of
omission as well as commission, causes the mark to become
the generic name for the goods … or otherwise to lose its
significance as a mark.
Abandonment
• Types of abandonment
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–
–
–
Non-Use
Assignment in Gross
Naked Licensing
Failure to Police
Silverman v. CBS
870 F.2d 40 (2d Cir. 1989)
Trademark / Source Nexus
Strong
Weak
Arbitrary
Descriptive
Generic
(E.g. NIKE)
(E.g. ALL BRAN)
(E.g. aspirin)
Source
Source
Source
(E.g. Nike, Inc.)
(E.g. Kellogg, Inc.)
(E.g. Bayer, Inc.)
None
Abandonment
Nonuse
Trademark
Trademark
Trademark
(Amos & Andy)
(Amos & Andy)
(Amos & Andy)
Source
Source
Source
(CBS, Inc.)
(CBS, Inc.)
(CBS, Inc.)
Sports Teams
Abandonment
Assignment in Gross
Trademark
Trademark
(HEARTLAND)
(HEARTLAND)
Source
(Sears, Inc.)
?
?
Source
(Clark &
Freeman Corp.)
Abandonment
Naked Licensing
Trademark
Trademark
(DA VINCI)
(DA VINCI)
Licensee
(Renaissance)
?
Source
Source
(Barcamerica)
(Barcamerica)
Abandonment
Failure to Police
Trademark
Trademark
Trademark
(BADGER)
(BADGER)
(BADGER)
Source
Source
Source
(U.W.)
(U.W.)
(U.W.)
Administrative Details
• Next Assignment
– VI.A.1 & 2 – Likelihood of Confusion